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Quality field set to contest Brisbane Cup Final

By Isaac Murphy

The heats of The 2018 Brisbane Cup have been run and won and a bumper field is set to line up for their shot at Group One glory next Thursday night.

The five heats yielded one local winner, against four interstate raiders who will be joined by the three fastest second placed dogs in the $150,000 final, which received a $40,000 top up from Racing Queensland’s new greyhound prize money scheme.

Heat one exemplified the interstate attention the race had garnered with the Debbie Coleman trained She’s Gifted lining up as a short-priced favourite just six days after running third in Australia’s most prestigious greyhound race the Melbourne Cup.

But it was a local hope Brandi Alexander for Tommy Tzouvelis that got the nod in a blanket finish over the Brendan Pursell trained Slingshot Hammer, who is first reserve for the final.

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The inform Tzouvelis said the bitch had carried strong Ipswich form to Albion where she has run quick time before.

 “She’s run 29.79 here in the Futurity before, but she’s been doing her best racing at Ipswich lately,” he said.

“She loves the eight and got herself into a good position, but to run down a dog that finished third in a Melbourne Cup was a big effort.”

Heat two shaped as a match race between locally trained Wise Misty for Craig Hazelgrove and classy Victorian Hasten Slowly and it was the latter that produced a huge run from the back half of the field to take the heat.

Kennel representative Jeff Britton acknowledged the big run but said Hasten Slowly would have to lift his game to figure in the final.

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“He wasn’t able to go with them early, but fortunately with the inside draw he found the rail and I knew he would close,” he said.

 He’ll have to jump better than that in the final, you can’t get that far back against that class of dog,”

The Correy Glenfell trained Dyna Chancer rattled home for second in a Victorian quinella.

Heat three produced the quickest time of the night with Miss Splendamiro deifying a betting drift to romp home in 29.77.

Miss Splendamiro is out of the flying David Geall kennel who last week won the TAB Melbourne Cup with My Redeemer.

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Part owner Michael Phillips said the front running Go Lassie Go set the race up for her ideally.

“I knew Go Lassie Go would probably lead them so to see her sit up in a clear second I was very confident she’d win.”

“It’s the third time we’ve brought her up here now, so she’s pretty comfortable with the track would have to be in the best order we’ve had her.”

Winner of the Ipswich Sprint Final last week Darren Russell’s Go Lassie Go did enough to grab the last qualifying spot for the final.

Cosmic Bonus scored a well-deserved win in heat four for Evelyn Harris after running a luckless second in the Ipswich Cup last week.

Despite being in the best form of his career Cosmic Bonus was usurped in the betting by the Tommy Tzouvelis trained Maurice Minor.

But Evelyn Harris’ rising four-year-old continued his winning ways.

“He didn’t have it easy, they really made him work getting across and I thought of all the heats this was probably the toughest,” Harris said.

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“He’s racing great wherever he draws, I’d probably prefer the pink again next week, but he can win off the inside too.”

Travis Elson’s Silver Stunner showed his staying form to roar home for second, doing enough to book a spot in the final.

Another Victorian Not Available produced a huge run from a seemingly hopeless position to grab heat five, trainer Robert Britton thinking it was all over half way around.

“I wrote him off down the back, but he got off the canvas to win that one,” Britton said.

“He’s a funny dog, he loves the rail almost to a fault, he tried to sneak through a gap that wasn’t there on the first turn.”

“The box draw will be everything for him, he’s run in plenty of Group One’s but never drawn inside.”

The all-important box draw was conducted after race nine on the card, with the final field listed below whoever comes out on top next week will be a deserved Group One Brisbane Cup champion.

  1. Brandi Alexander – Tommy Tzouvelis
  2. Miss Splendamiro – David Geall
  3. Hasten Slowly – Angela Langton
  4. Cosmic Bonus – Evelyn Harris
  5. Not Available – Robert Britton
  6. Silver Stunner – Travis Elson
  7. Go Lassie Go – Darren Russell
  8. Dyna Chancer – Correy Glenfell
  9. Slingshot Hammer – Brendan Pursell
  10. Blue Sky Riot – Robert Cooke