THE second week of the Armidale Greyhound Club Cup Carnival attracted record crowds and very competitive heats for the finals next Saturday.
Almost 200 people turned out on Saturday afternoon to watch the 365m McDonald’s Restaurant Grade 5 heats and the 520m Armidale Sprinters Cup heats.
Club president Garry Carson said it was an excellent meeting for the club.
“It was possibly as good a crowd as I have ever seen here,” Carson said.
“The bar takings were definitely the best.
“I hope we get the same back for the final and Cup next week.”
The Maureen West-trained Takeshi, out of Beechwood, staked his claim by winning the first heat of the Sprinters Cup although it turned out to be the slowest heat of the three.
Ian Hoggan’s New Zealand dog Cauthen brought Yo Cool Maxie’s seven-win streak to an end in the next heat.
Yo Cool Maxie jumped well as usual and was leading all the way until Cauthen caught him half way down the straight to record a one and a half length win.
The time of 30.63 seemed very good, until the final heat.
The better than evens favourite Easy Drinking, by Charles Northfield out of Casino, blitzed the field to record the fastest time of 30.12 seconds.
Easy Drinking beat second placed Cosmic Tina by nine lengths and should be favourite for the final.
West came to the fore again in the shorter Grade 5 heats with Harry Dart in the final race.
Harry Dart beat Gunnedah’s Rip Stix by a neck to qualify for the final.
Rip Stix’s kennelmate El Lethal may have recorded the run of the day though.
After missing the start, the Jamie Bush-trained brindle dog went through the entire field to take the win.
The two-year-old beat race leader Lady Lolita by almost four lengths in an impressive display.
El Lethal will go into the final as one of the favourites, although heat one winner Lunatic Bob will be hard to beat.
Northfield may have the favourite in both races after Lunatic Bob recorded the quickest time of 20.92, missing the track record by less than a length.
Local, Robert Bray’s Flying Sprite surprised many to win the other heat and book a spot in the final.
The box draws for the final will be done on Tuesday night and Carson said they would determine who the favourites are.
“El Lethal will be hard to beat in the Grade five race, although Lunatic Bob should be favourite,” Carson said.
“It will depend on who gets the better box, although any dog can win in a race like that.
“I think Cauthan will be heavy favourite for the Cup after his run today.
“Easy Drinking will also be in the mix but the race should be great.
“We have attracted some really good dogs this year and the final should be an excellent race.”
The Armidale Sprinters Cup day will kick off at 1pm on
5TH GRADE FINAL: El Lethal, Lady Lolita, Lunatic Bob, Where’s La Plume, Flying Sprite, Eramon, Harry Dart, Rip Stix. Res: Bar No Miss, Get Out Steaks. ARMIDALE SPRINTERS CUP (520m): Takeshi, Violent, Cauthen, Yo Cool Maxie, Easy Drinking, Cosmic Tina, Rose Radiant, Birdie. Res: Noir Lee, Mint Splice.