The Workers Club Goulburn Cup will be held tomorrow with record prizemoney and a Victorian challenge that may well see the cup head south.
Only once in the long history of the cup has a Victorian won it, back in 1995 when Heading West took the honours, and this year it has a distinct southern flavour. The winner of the 2018 cup recieves $20,000.
After winning the Group 1 Melbourne Cup at Sandown 10 days ago, trainer David Geall has selected the right sprinter to bring to Goulburn in Fernando Drums who has won 22 of his 47 starts.
After winning at first run at the track in preparation for the series two weeks ago in brilliant fashion, Fernando Drums again showed his explosive early speed to lead after 50m and win last week’s heat.
He was clipped from behind when taken over and was lucky not to get dragged down but after regaining his balance went on to beat Smart Desire in 24.99, the time not really a factor after his early check.
The dog ran 24.65 the week prior, just 3/10th's off the record. According to Geall he is a far better dog when drawn inside.
"I was worried he would ease back and find the rails at his first win and he really surprised me when he came out like a rocket,” Geall said.
"He travels well and has handled the track perfectly, so box seven may not be an issue.”
Now that Fernando Drums has won both his races from the outside, drawing the seven tomorrow is probably a favourable draw.
His main danger looks to be the ideally placed Scientific Man who is a tragic for the rails and trainer Marck Wilcox has two runners in the final including Cosmic Blend.
Scientific Man has run scorching times over both the 350m and 440m and had little peace in running when second in last weeks heat.
He is a maturing type who has now settled into racing winning 13 of his 23 starts and four of six at the track.
Wilcox won the Goulburn Cup in 2013 and 2014 with litter brothers, Knocka's Return and Natural Player, while Scientific Man and Cosmic Blend are both half brothers.
Cosmic Blend is another who can give the record a shake as she showed in October when running 24.54 ( record 24.34) but her box six will not help her chances.
Another sprinter who started his career at Goulburn with wins over both sprint trips is One Hour Parking who can fire out and looks the early leader.
He led all the way in the heat running 24.75 which is right on his P.B. Drawing the four box is not an issue and has already been a Group 1 finalist this year. He will give a real sight for Mark Knowles.
Closer to home, Yass trainer Neil Staines has Bogan Doonie who can run anything on her day.
She walked out in the heat before rattling home for second behind One Hour Parking. Her box manners are the only problem.
While Young trainer Gary Kimber has a real chance of filling a place with his consistent chaser Corleone King who has drawn ideally in the eight.
After a great second to Fernando Drums the week prior he used the track in defeating Cosmic Blend in the heat running the fastest 24.73.
Cootamundra trainer Terry O’Keefe prepares Smart Desire who has been at the top of his career in the past month and his reliable breaks at the start have been a big factor in his form.
Bargo trainer Neville Brown has been collecting winners everywhere lately and is represented by Nangar Ace who worked hard in defeating Scientific Man in the heat but will need to rise to another level tomorrow.
Supporting the cup is the Ladbrokes Fireball Final over 350m with $7,000 to the winner and David Geall is a chance of a huge day with speedster Untold Soldier looking to lead the field home after winning seven of his 11 starts.
"He has never been led in any race and is probably the fastest first section dog in the country,” Geall said.
Local dog Friskey is another who is a flying machine over the shorts and has drawn the eight in the final for the Mulrine kennel of Collector. She has 20 of 31 and her contest with the Victorian is going to be breathtaking.
The cup meeting tomorrow is a twilight programme with the first at 3.40pm and the cup is on at 6.16pm.
1. SCIENTIFIC MAN ($3.00) Has his much needed box. A strong chaser who has a remarkable record winning 13 of 23 starts and four from six at the track. Ran near record times over both sprint journey's at Goulburn last month. Major player who can give his trainer his third Cup since 2013.
2. BOGAN DOONIE ($12.00) Can motor on her day with some scorching wins in town. No early speed but found the line with a storming second in heat behind One Hour Parking. Has the same draw again, very risky at box rise. Place chance.
3. NANGAR ACE ($12.00) After slick Bulli wins contested the lead all the way before holding Scientific Man in heat. Box a little more difficult hear with speed going with him early. Capable but will need to produce something special.
4. ONE HOUR PARKING ($5.50) Highly motivated chaser who showed above average ability at the start of his career around Goulburn with fast wins on the clock. Has made Group 1 finals and was first to break the line in all the way heat win from the draw. Likely early leader but will have be under pressure all the way. Will give his all.
5. SMART DESIRE ($20.00) Came into the cup series with fast wins at the track and stepped up to the top class in the heat and ran a respectable second to Fernando Drums. Gained some early luck, has pace but the class is likely to test.
6. COSMIC BLEND ($14.00) Can be risky at the break but a very fast bitch as shown with a near record 10 lengths win here in October. Ran into the race before turn when runner-up in heat to Corleone King. Needs a smart start and may get into a place.
7. FERNANDO DRUMS ($2.10) Victorian trained sprinter ftrom a very astute kennel and has looked superb in wins at the track past two weeks both from wide boxes. Loves the rails and has brilliant explosive speed in the first 100m. Led after 50m in heat win when he defeated a classy field. If he finds the lead by the first turn the race will be over. The one to beat.
8. CORLEONE KING ($8.00) Ran Fernando Drums to a length here two weeks ago then had unsuitable box one in strong heat win running the best of the four heats. Likes to use the track, so he is ideally drawn and has shown in recent weeks he is ready to run the race of his life.
SELECTIONS; Fernando Drums 1. Scientific Man 2. Corleone King 3. Bogan Doonie 4.