Trainer Tony Apap “couldn’t be happier” with multiple group-placed greyhound Outside Pass, as the pair look to go one better in the 2017 Group One Garrard’s Winter Cup (520m).
The bitch by Head Bound ex Tina’s Show is a $1.60 UBET favourite in the last of five heats at Albion Park tonight, and is best-backed ($8-$6) to take Queensland’s equal-richest final ($110,000) in seven days’ time.
Since running second behind Zambora Brockie in the same event last year, Outside Pass has performed solidly in races no less than the National Championship Final and the Melbourne Cup.
Apap laments poor draws, bumps and slow starts in previous Group One efforts.
She returns to the track first-up since April tonight, and the Gatton-based trainer is confident she is primed to make an immediate impact.
“She’s due for a change of luck. She’s got the motor and the ability to win one,” Apap said.
“She’s coming off a break but she is really going terrific and I couldn’t be happier with the way she’s going.”
Her main danger will be the Evelyn Harris-trained Cosmic Bonus, which comes off a last-start second to Apap’s other Winter Cup charge, Bubble Guppy.
The latter will line up from Box 8 as second favourite ($3.70) behind 2016 National Sprint Champion Worm Burner ($1.55) in Heat Two.
Since returning from Melbourne with a Group One placing in the Harrison-Dawson final last month, Bubble Guppy has put two commanding wins on the board from inside boxes, despite being tardy at the start on both occasions.
“He just gives you everything he’s got,” Apap said.
“He’s a real honest dog who doesn’t mind the rough stuff. I am hopeful he can get across from Box 8. He has shown he can (start well) before.”
Other Queenslanders in with a strong chance to qualify for next week’s final include Jackson Benz (Heat 4), Shoes To Fill (Heat 3), and Fast Times (Heat 1).
Victorian-trained Striker Light is the $3 all-in favourite for next week’s final and is a $1.55 favourite in Heat 1.
Winners from each of the five heats progress straight to the final on July 6, with the three-fastest second place-getters also jagging a spot. The slowest two second place-getters will qualify as reserves.
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