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Winter Cup favourite declared 'moral' after box draw

New Albion Park track record holder Mepunga Blazer has drawn Box 6 for next week’s $150,000 Group 1 Garrard’s Winter Cup Final, following this morning’s box draw at the Brisbane Greyhound Racing Club.

The Jeffrey Britton-trained superstar smashed Dyna Double One’s 2015 track record by one-tenth of a second in Thursday’s heats, running the 520m in a slick 29.41sec.

The performance set up a mouthwatering final at Albion Park on Thursday 5 July.

Britton will have two runners in the final with Hasten Slowly (Box 7) also qualifying, alongside fellow heat winners Not Available (Box 5), Joyce Rumble (Box 4) and It’s Dyllan (Box 8).

Hall of Fame trainer Tony Brett, who has won five of the last seven editions of the Group 1 Winter Cup, will be represented by his Nationals Sprint champion Jury in Box 1.

Queensland trainers Corey Mutton and Alex Green will be represented by heat runners-up Gunnadoo Rev (Box 2) and Codrington Kid (Box 3) respectively.

Racing Queensland Greyhound Strategy Development Manager Adam Wallish said the Winter Cup was set up to be one of the highlights of the racing year.

“With the race stakes raised from $110,000 to $150,000 this year, there was always going to be plenty of talented greyhounds travelling to Brisbane to try and capture Group 1 glory,” Mr Wallish said.

UBET spokesperson Gerard Daffy said the box draw hadn’t changed bookmakers’ minds about the makeup of the early market.

“I think Mepunga Blazer is an absolute moral. He can afford to find a little trouble but still win. I will be very surprised if $1.80 is still available next week. The markets are now open so you can check them out at www.ubet.com,” Mr Daffy said.

Brisbane Greyhound Racing Club CEO Luke Gatehouse said the carnival had already been a tremendous success, and said the club would have plenty of entertainment on course for Winter Cup night.

“It’s going to be Winter Wonderland night at Albion Park next week, with snow for the kids to play in and plenty of live entertainment,” he said.

Racing then turns its attention to the all-new UBET Origin Greyhound Series between the best greyhounds from Queensland and New South Wales at Albion Park on July 12.

“The series is starting to get really interesting and the selectors will meet on Monday to discuss some possible inclusions in the squad, before the final teams for the sprint, distance and match race are announced on Friday 6 July,” Mr Gatehouse said.

$150,000 Group 1 Garrard’s Winter Cup Final

  1. Jury ($8)
  2. Gunnadoo Rev ($31)
  3. Codrington Kid ($31)
  4. Joyce Rumble ($26)
  5. Not Available ($3.50)
  6. Mepunga Blazer ($1.80)
  7. Hasten Slowly ($8)
  8. It’s Dyllan ($12)

RESERVES: Catch Me Curly, Benali