Victorian trainer Darren Pattinson is hopeful that his star chaser Blazin’ Bomber can score a breakthrough win at the highest level in the final of the Group 1 Garrard’s Winter Cup (520m) at Albion Park on Thursday night.
Pattinson’s charge drew the outside box after qualifying for the $110,000 final after a convincing 29.71 win over locally trained chaser Split Image who has drawn one alley closer to the rail in box seven.
“It’s going to be very tough after the box draw, there’s plenty of pace drawn inside him” Pattinson said.
“From eight, we need a few things to go our way.”
Pattinson rates Zambora Brockie as the hardest to beat in the final, and punters agree, making Anthony Azzopardi’s chaser the even money favourite with UBET from box four, but Pattinson believes Blazin’ Bomber ($4.20 second favourite at time of writing) is by no means out of the discussion, but it will all come down to the start and the run to the first bend.
“We’re hoping the seven (Split Image) can come out good and give us a good cart across. (Zambora Brockie) can miss the start as well.”
“He’s going to have to get through that first turn and be close enough. If he is close enough, he’ll go close to running (Zambora Brockie) down.”
Azzopardi’s chaser has been somewhat of a nemesis for Blazin’ Bomber, defeating him in the final of last year’s Group 1 Vic Peters Classic at Wentworth Park and in the final of the recent Group 2 Horsham Cup series.
Blazin’ Bomber himself has put together an excellent career, with four Group 1 finals to his name with his biggest wins coming in the Group 3 Cranbourne Puppy Classic (defeating Dyna Double One and Kayda Shae) and the Group 3 Bill Collins Memorial Speed Star series at Sandown.
“He’s done pretty much everything except win a Group 1, but he’ll get his chance, he keeps putting himself in them. Eventually he’ll get some luck and win one.”
The Kinloch Brae x Absolute Stunna litter which has produced Blazin’ Bomber has also produced quality stayers Ring The Bell, winner of the Listed Superstayers Invitational run a fortnight ago and Sandown Cup winner Bells Are Ringin’ and connections will go for their second Group 1 victory on Thursday night.
“It’s been a fantastic litter” he said.
Local trainers Tony Apap and Tony Brett each have two finalists, Apap with the in-form Outside Pass (box two) and versatile Vegas Bound (box three). Brett has the aforementioned Split Image (box seven) and champion youngster Thirty Talks (box six) as he attempts to make it five Winter Cup victories in the past six years.
Bill Elson’s Cyndie’s Magic (box one) and Northern Rivers-owned Master Jackpot (box five) round out the field.
Last year’s Winter Cup was taken out in an upset by Reg Hazelgrove’s Fabulous Storm, defeating Albion Park track record holder Dyna Double One in 29.83 seconds.
The Brisbane Club has plenty of entertainment lined up for the night, with a Winter Wonderland theme. There will be live music on track, a jumping castle and face painting for the kids, and plenty of prizes to be won.
The UBET Winter Carnival tipping challenge will also draw to a close, with the winner taking home a share of $4,000 in prizes.
The final feature card of the 2016 Greyhound Winter Carnival kicks off with the first of ten events at 6:43pm, with the feature, the $75,250-to-the-winner Garrard’s Winter Cup to be run as race eight at 9:12pm.