Sauce Adds Spice To Traralgon Cup Decider

MORE Sauce will add great ‘flavour’ to tonight’s Traralgon Cup as he strives to emulate his brother Robbie Rotten, winner of the Warragul Cup.

Gerard Guthrie

25 January 2022

NSW raider More Sauce will add great ‘flavour’ to tonight’s $70,335 Group 2 SEN Track Traralgon Cup final (395m), as he strives to emulate his litter brother Robbie Rotten, winner of the G2 Warragul Cup earlier this month.

More Sauce (Box 8) is a two-time G2 runner-up in his home state, finishing second in both the Maitland Cup and Black Top, and owner/trainer/breeder Michelle Lill hopes it will be a case of third time lucky at Traralgon.

“It’s a great litter and it’s special, because it’s the fourth generation of our line,” said Lill, 39.

“More Sauce’s great-grandmother, Special Sauce, was the first dog my husband Mick and I bought together. We paid $500 for her and she won about $20,000!

“Robbie Rotten has just thrived down in Victoria. It was exciting to see him win the Warragul Cup and it would be a huge thrill if his brother can win the Traralgon Cup.

“More Sauce injured a pin muscle in the Fireball final at Goulburn in October after he broke the track record in his heat. 

“He had two and a half months off and because he was coming back from injury, when they announced the Traralgon Cup was going to be run over a shorter distance, we thought it would be ideal for him at the moment.

“We’ve always wanted to race in Victoria but it was difficult because we both worked full-time. We’ve got a bit more serious about the dogs over the last couple of years and it’s a really big thing for us just to make the final.”

The winner of 21 of his 33 starts, More Sauce made his first appearance outside NSW in last Friday night’s Cup heats, where after a moderate getaway he showed blistering acceleration in a 21.66sec victory.

“It was a massive effort because we travelled down on the day – it took about 12 hours,” explained Lill, who’s based at Greta in the Hunter Valley.

“We did take him down for a trial and he got a bit lost in his trial. 

“He is a dog that takes a couple of good looks at a track to do his best, so I was expecting a lot of improvement in his heat but I wasn’t expecting him to start like that! 

“I was worried but he just mustered and has that brilliant pace. He got himself up there so quickly. He’s just a winner. He really wants to beat the other dogs.

“I still think he was feeling his way around the track in his heat, so there might be some more improvement, if he gets the start right.

“I was hoping to draw one, two or three, but from Box 8 I’m hoping he gets the chance to use his speed out there.”

Inexperience at Traralgon won’t be a disadvantage for the lone interstate finalist, as six of the eight heat winners were on debut on the new J-curve track, which only staged its first meeting on January 15.

Three-time country cups winner Ferdinand Boy (Box 5) and kennelmate Hill Top Jonah (Box 2), along with second reserve Mr. Fix It, are the only finalists to have had two race starts on the world-first circuit.