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A blockbuster field has been assembled for next week’s Group 1 Sky Racing Brisbane Cup at Albion Park.
During last night’s heats, the who’s who of Australian greyhound racing did what they needed to in order to advance to Queensland’s showpiece event including local hope Oh Mickey.
Oh Mickey was simply breathtaking in the fourth and final heat of the night as he posted a sizzling 29.45 to finish just 0.06 seconds outside of Sennachie’s track record set in last year’s Final.
TAB immediately installed him on the third line of betting at $4.60 after drawing box seven, with Simon Told Helen ($2.90) and Black Opium ($4.00) headlining the market.
“We couldn’t be happier, he’s probably gone a couple lengths quicker than what he’s ever run at Albion Park,” trainer Mick Zammit said.
“We would’ve preferred to draw near the fence (for the Final), on paper we probably have a really ordinary draw and it’s hard to say the same for some of the other top contenders.
“We’ll have to try and clear them before the first corner, so we would’ve preferred the first three boxes – but I won’t be shocked whoever does win the race, it’s an unbelievably strong field.”
SKY RACING Brisbane Cup (G1) H 520m
Since bursting on the scene, Simon Told Helen has turned heads with his scintillating box speed which has led to three Group 1 victories and more than $500,000 in stakes.
The Victorian superstar also boasts form at Albion Park after capturing the Group 2 Queensland Derby in December.
Last night, however, he was chased down by Special Cyndie (29.80), but will still start favourite in the $85,000 Final after drawing the outside box.
Not to be outshone, Black Opium is aiming to go one better next week after finishing second to Sennachie last year.
The undisputed Queen of Australian greyhound racing underlined her credentials last night with the second fastest heat win after stopping the clock at 29.52.
Hooked On Scotch was equally impressive after winning his heat in 29.55 and looks to be well positioned to add to his growing tally of Group victories.
“I couldn’t have been happier with the pair of runs last night; Black Opium is in the best form of her career, she came out and did her thing and I’m really happy that she’s drawn in the middle for the final,” kennel representative Tony Brett said.
“Hooked On Scotch is a bit of a strange one, he looked like he was a little bit all over the place and then you see the time and you think ‘wow, how good is this guy’ – it’s scary how good he could run when it all clicks.
“They’ve drawn next to each other for the final and as much as no one ever likes those middle boxes, I was talking to (trainer) Jason Thompson this morning and we were both pretty happy with it.”
In the Group 1 TAB Queensland Cup, Velocity Bettina ($1.75) will jump from the inside box as an odds-on favourite.
Blazing Cartier ($4.40), Classy Ethics ($4.80) and Rasheda ($7.50) are among the contenders with the rest of the field framed at double-digit odds.
The Group 1 Brisbane Cup and Queensland Cup will be held at Albion Park on Thursday, July 2.