Warrnambool Cup Preview with Allan Hawkswell 05-05-2021

 

SHIMA SET TO RULE THE 'BOOL

BONA fide superstar Shima Shine is TAB’s raging hot $1.75 favourite in tonight’s (Wednesday) $67,000 G2 Macey’s Bistro Warrnambool Cup final (450m).

Arguably Australia’s No.1 sprinter, Shima Shine was the fastest winner among last Thursday’s eight star-studded heats, running just .04 seconds (just over half a length) off the 450m track record, which has stood for five years.

A dual G1 winner (Topgun & Gold Bullion), Shima Shine also holds three track records – Bendigo 425m (23.35sec), Horsham 485m (26.79sec) and Warragul 460m (25.19sec).

He’ll also be striving to give Victoria’s leading trainer, Anakie-based Andrea Dailly, her fourth Warrnambool Cup. She also has $6 chance Qwara Bale (Box 3) and Jax Bale (Box 7) at $17 in the final.

But Shima Shine, who has won 33 races from 56 starts, will need to overcome Box 5 in the final – a draw he has had on three occasions without victory. With this being such a high-quality final featuring established stars such as Dream Wizard, Jax Bale and Yozo Bale, he’ll need to bring his ‘A-Game’.

It should also be noted that six of the past 11 Warrnambool Cups have been won by the favourite.

 

Check out the latest Warrnambool Cup night markets here.

 

Meanwhile, Qwara Bale is the only greyhound flying the flag for the fairer sex in the final. Two of the past three Warrnambool Cups have been won by females, with superstar duo Striker Light (2018) and the Dailly-trained Dyna Patty (2019) successful.

Qwara Bale has won 10 from 19, including five of her past eight and is a star in the making. She was the second fastest heat winner (24.93sec) – around 3L slower than Shima Shine.

Seasoned campaigner Jax Bale won the G2 Cranbourne Cup and was equal second in the G2 Horsham Cup won by Shima Shine. He was also runner-up in last year’s G1 Harrison-Dawson and seventh in last year’s G2 Warrnambool Cup. His impressive record from Box 7 reads 10: 4-3-1.

‘Country Cups King’ Yozo Bale (Box 8), a $5.50 chance, is chasing his third Country Cup.

Yozo Bale – prepared by young Anakie training prodigy Correy Grenfell, won last year’s G2 Bendigo Cup and G2 Ballarat Cup. He was also runner-up to NSW sensation Wow in this year’s G1 Temlee Invitational during the Australian Cup Carnival.

Grenfell’s wife, Samantha, has kennelmate Denzell Bale (Box 4) in the final. He was a shock $29.80 heat winner and is a $71 rank outsider to cause another major boilover.

“I’ve always said I love Yozo Bale off a rails draw, but I’m hoping he can get across from Box 8 and lead,” Grenfell said.

“He’s going to have to jump to the front, it’s as simple as that. Looking at the speed map, if he can stay out of trouble, he may find the lead on the first turn.

“Once he’s on the rails, he makes his rivals work hard to get around him. However, Shima Shine and Mepunga Warrior are strong to the line.”

Obviously, Grenfell isn’t holding out high hopes for Denzell Bale.

“The truth be told, he pulled up a bit sore after his heat. He’s probably an 80 per cent chance of starting in the final,’’ he said.

“He was a surprise packet in a heat but is out of his depth ability-wise.”

Jeff Britton, incredibly one of seven Anakie-based trainers vying for the $47,000 first prize, also launches a dual challenge with $6 chance Do It (Box 1) and Mepunga Warrior (Box 6) at $17.

Do It lowered the colours of G2 Ballarat Cup and G2 Shepparton Cup winner Ferdinand Boy in a heat and has an excellent record from Box 1, winning three from four (75%).

“It’s all about Shima Shine,” Britton said.

“If he jumps and gets a clear run then he’s the winner.”

“But we know he can miss the start and if that happens there’s probably six winning chances. Do It is the better chance of my two finalists. The red (draw) is where he wants to be,” he added.

Mepunga Warrior was a G3 Launching Pad finalist and a reserve for the G2 Geelong Gold Cup. The locals will be cheering him home as he was bred and is owned in the Warrnambool region by legendary Mepunga East breeder Barry Smith.

Trained at Devon Meadows by Sean Lithgow, $11 chance Dream Wizard (Box 2) was a finalist in last year’s G2 Ballarat Cup and this year’s G2 Warragul Cup. He’s only been unplaced once in nine starts from Box 2.

ALLAN’S SELECTIONS: Shima Shine (5); Yozo Bale (8); Qwara Bale (3).

 

Pawnote: The Warrnambool Cup is the fourth and final leg of greyhound racing’s new $700,000 Western Festival of Racing, which runs throughout autumn and also incorporates the Horsham Cup (won by Shima Shine), Ballarat Cup (won by Ferdinand Boy) and Geelong Gold Cup (won by Weblec Jet).

 

MATCH MADE IN HEAVEN

GREYHOUND fans will also be treated to a mind-boggling Cup night Match Race between two of the sport’s heavyweights – the Correy Grenfell-trained Tiggerlong Tonk (pictured) and Ferdinand Boy, prepared by David Geall – with a $10,000 winner-take-all prize up for grabs this evening (Wednesday).

 

FEATURES ON WARRNAMBOOL CUP NIGHT

6.55pm: $6,225 Super VicGreys Final - 450m (Race 3)

7.18pm: $5,825 Go Distance Racing Special Event - 650m (Race 4)

7.58pm: $7,365 Stan Lake Memorial - 450m (Race 6)

8.38pm: $67,000 Group 2 Warrnambool Cup final - 450m (Race 8)

9.00pm: $10,000 winner-take-all Cup Night Match Race - 450m (Race 9)

 

Catch all the action of Warrnambool Cup night on Sky Racing and the Sky Racing Active app.

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