Friday Focus: Stars To Shine In Ballarat Cup Heats

SIX country cup winners – plus a group 1 Cup winner – will line up in the star-studded heats of the Group 2 Ballarat Cup (450m) on Friday evening.

Mick Floyd

1 April 2022

SIX country cup winners – plus a group 1 Cup winner – will line up in the Ballarat Cup heats on Friday evening.

Robbie Rotten (Warragul Cup), Typhoon Sammy (Traralgon and Horsham Cups) and Substantial (Shepparton) are already winners on Victoria’s lucrative country cups circuit in 2022 and will be joined by three-time Cup champion Ferdinand Boy, Jax Bale and the evergreen Yozo Bale which won the Ballarat Cup in 2020.

FIELDS AND FORM BALLARAT CUP FRIDAY NIGHT

Adelaide Cup winner Do It is one of several group-performed sprinters looking to add a country cup to their CV, including Compliance, Hennessey and Dream Wizard.

It promises to be a fiercely contested night of racing, with only the winner and two fastest runners to the $47,000 to the winner final on Friday 8 April.

Heat 1 (race 3)

Mepunga Mustang (2) is the early TAB favourite on the back of his last start win over Ballarat Cup all-in favourite Typhoon Sammy in quick time at Geelong. Can be a little hit-or-miss as his record indicates – 12 wins from 22 starts but only three minor placings. Ferdinand Boy (3) looks better value given his proven record, early speed and outstanding record at the track. Quintana Bale (1) is a must for the trifectas.

Tips: 3-2-1-7

Heat 2 (race 4)

Arguably the thinnest heat in terms of quality sees Hennessey (1) an odds-on favourite and on form, it’s hard to argue with the short quote. The fastest heat winner in the Warragul Cup (where he finished 4th), Hennessey was unlucky in the Shepparton Cup heats (third to Ferdinand Boy) but bounced back last time out to win in 24.84 at the same track last week. Realistically, it’s hard to see anything but bad luck beating him. If there is a danger though, keep an eye on Cranbourne Cup winner Jax Bale (7) fresh from a 14 week layoff.

Tips: 1-7-2-6

Heat 3 (race 5)

Typhoon Sammy (4) dominated the Traralgon and Horsham Cups before finding all sorts of trouble a heat of the Shepparton Cup. Took out a thrilling Cup Night Match Race on Shepparton Cup night the following week but was narrowly beaten by Mepunga Mustang at Geelong last time, but a move out to box 4 here suits beautifully especially with the vacant box on his outside. Compliance (6) is the big danger – was a Free For All winner at the Meadows last Saturday and has the speed and quality to got with Typhoon Sammy early. Hadouken’s (1) form is better than it appears and should get a nice run from box 1.

Tips: 4-6-1-8

Heat 4 (race 6)

Mr Audacious (1) is a genuine talent but lacks a lot of experience in a field of this class. Warragul Cup winner Robbie Rotten (7) is a seriously fast greyhound and ran second in both the Shepparton Cup heat (beaten a length by Mr Audacious) and final (Mr Audacious ran 5th) from box 8, and he represents better value. Barooga Smoke (2) will be finding the line late. Expect one of the fastest second place getters to come from this race.

Tips: 8-1-2-3

Heat 5 (race 7)

Shepparton Cup winner Substantial (2) is the nominal favourite but will need to be at his best to cross Black Avenger (1) in the early stages. Black Avenger has had three weeks off since running 24.83 at Shepparton his last time out – just a length outside the time in which Substantial won the Cup – but importantly ran a length and half faster to the first mark. A resurgent Yozo Bale (3) has a real affinity with the Ballarat track having won the Cup in 2020 and the Cup Consolation in 2021.

Tips: 1-2-3-4

Heat 6 (race 8)

Adelaide Cup winner Do It (3) will be looking to make amends from his first-round exit from the Golden Easter Egg series but despite his class, the six-time group 1 finalist is a risk at the short quote given his lack of speed at box rise. In what is a very open heat, Dream Wizard (6) was massive in a hectic week leading into the Shepparton Cup (in which ran third) and will appreciate the early room afforded by a vacant box 5 and a wide runner in box 7. Zipping Scorcher (4) has great early speed and can cross early, Aston Merit (2) and Shima Pearl (1) can run a race at odds from suitable draws.

Tips: 6-4-2-3

The first on Ballarat Cup heats night jumps at 7.07pm with the first Cup heat (race 3) at 7.48pm.

Best: Hennessey (race 4, box 1)

Value: Dream Wizard (Race 8, box 6)

Quaddie: 46 / 127 / 12 / 12346 = 83% for $50