Group 1 Favourites All Draw Box Five

THE box draws for Saturday night’s three Group 1 events were unveiled on Tuesday and it wasn’t great news for the favourites.

THE box draws for Saturday night's three Group 1 events at The Meadows were unveiled on Tuesday afternoon and it wasn't great news for the favourites in the countdown to the final night of the Australian Cup Carnival.

Remarkably, all three pre-box draw fancies for the Australian Cup (525m), Rookie Rebel (600m) and Fanta Bale Super Stayers (730m) were allocated box five.

Fastest Australian Cup semi-final winner Morton, the country's best middle distance greyhound Hector Fawley and superstar NSW stayer Palawa King will have to overcome the squeeze alley.

Morton, trained by Jason Sharp, burst into Australian Cup favouritism with a blistering all-the-way 29.53sec semi-final romp, relishing an overdue inside draw in box two.

However, the son of 2021 Australian Cup hero Tommy Shelby's reprieve from a horror run of middle draws was short-lived.

Saturday night will be the eighth time in Morton's last ten starts he's drawn four, five or six.

One positive for the Sharps is that Morton has been able to overcome the tough draws in winning seven times, including an Albion Park feature double in the G1 Gold Bullion and G2 Queensland Derby, both from box five.

The prized rails alley in the Australian Cup went the way of Tim Zoo, which is likely to challenge Morton for favouritism as he attempts to break champion trainer Jason Thompson's Cup hoodoo.

Similarly to Morton, Lisa Cockerell could scarcely believe Rookie Rebel fave Hector Fawley's misfortune when he drew box five for the third week in succession during the Cup Carnival.

Hector Fawley was also confronted by box five when he won the G1 Hume Cup (600m) at The Meadows last November.

Box five shouldn't pose such an issue for Palawa King and Jack Smith in the 730m Super Stayers, given he's come from a conspicuous last when running third in the G1 Zoom Top and winning his Super Stayers heat over the last fortnight.

Australian Cup: 1. Tim Zoo, 2. Schillaci, 3. Launch Code, 4. My Magic Man, 5. Morton, 6. Alpha Zulu, 7. Mepunga Smokey, 8. Fernando Phil. Reserves 9. Orli Bale, 10. Mepunga Reward

Rookie Rebel: 1. Fast Minardi, 2. Cain Bale, 3. Succeed, 4. Father Rick, 5. Hector Fawley, 6. Fabs Vegetable, 7. Stomping, 8. Raider's Guide. Reserves 9. American Queen, 10. Aston Costello

Fanta Bale Super Stayers: 1. Misty Black, 2. Zinzan Chopper, 3. Drill Sergeant, 4. Lena Jinx, 5. Palawa King, 6. Zulu Blast, 7. Redeemer Blue, 8. Tan And Black. Reserves 9. Dewana Sensation, 10. Osanna Bale

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