Rip­pin’ open­ing to car­ni­val

Warragul & Drouin Gazette - - GAZETTE SPORT -

The open­ing leg of Grey­hound Rac­ing Vic­to­ria’s lu­cra­tive Gipp­s­land Car­ni­val has re­ceived a mas­sive boost with su­per­star stayer Rip­pin’ Sam on tar­get to re­turn from in­jury in time for the Sale Cup.

Sale Grey­hound Rac­ing Club man­ager Des Doo­ley said the tra­di­tional Box­ing Day meet­ing for the Sale Cup fi­nal keeps grow­ing in stature and never fails to pro­duce top qual­ity rac­ing.

“With more than $170,000 in stake money to be dis­trib­uted, it is the rich­est provin­cial grey­hound meet­ing in Aus­tralia and a fit­ting start to this year’s Gipp­s­land Car­ni­val,” he said.

Barn­storm­ing stayer Rip­pin’ Sam hasn’t been seen in ac­tion since Septem­ber, but the Group 1 win­ner re­turned to train­ing this month and Robert Brit­ton is op­ti­mistic he can make a timely come­back for the Gipp­s­land Car­ni­val’s head­line event.

“Rip­pin’ Sam is back in work and while it’s guess­work as to how far off he is, if ev­ery­thing goes ac­cord­ing to plan the Sale Cup is a per­fect op­tion for him,” said Brit­ton, who won the Sale Cup in 2010 with Sym­me­try and fin­ished se­cond with cham­pion Fanta Bale last year.

The Gipp­s­land Car­ni­val, be­ing staged for the third time in 2018/19, con­sists of four coun­try cups.

Sale’s $75,000 to-the-win­ner mid­dle dis­tance show­down will be fol­lowed, in or­der, by the War­ragul Cup, Trar­al­gon Cup on Aus­tralia Day and then the Cran­bourne Cup, all Group 2 events with a $47,000 win­ner’s purse.

War­ragul Grey­hound Rac­ing Club gen­eral man­ager said the War­ragul Cup car­ni­val will be spread across three days.

A sports­man’s night with Cal­cutta theme on Fri­day, Jan­uary 4 will be fol­lowed by a fam­ily fun day two days later, with the War­ragul Cup fi­nal to be staged on Sat­ur­day, Jan­uary 12.

Last year’s Gipp­s­land Car­ni­val launched bril­liant speed­ster Poke The Bear’s rise to star­dom with Seona Thomp­son’s pow­er­house claim­ing his first Group ti­tle when win­ning the Trar­al­gon Cup, also run­ning third at Cran­bourne.

The cream of the Vic­to­rian sprint­ing ranks will take aim at the War­ragul, Trar­al­gon and Cran­bourne Cup and there’ll also be a cham­pion ex-foot­baller track­side at the three sprints in Colling­wood’s charis­matic 2011 Brown­low medal­list Dane Swan.

Mel­bourne’s cult ruck­man Max Gawn will at­tend the Sale Cup.

Above: Koo wee rup keeper Brody Smith looks to col­lect the throw as Liam Serong makes his ground from a quick sin­gle.

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