Box 1 – ROSTERED OFF (Paul Stuart)
Black Dog | 3YO | Prizemoney: $141,885
Incredible training performance to see this bloke spear out again last week and lead throughout setting a new PB of 29.66. Versatile, consistent and with his lethal record off box 1, he looks primed to give the Cup an almighty shake. His best chances rely on a trouble free first turn where he has had some minor issues in the past but will be almost impossible to run down if he has the lead solo up the back. Went 5.48 last week to the first mark and a repeat sees him have one paw on the Perth Cup. Major contender.
Box 2 – SPEED BANDIT (Enzo Crudeli)
Brindle Bitch | 2YO | Prizemoney: $45,150
Great effort to see this girl make her way into a cup final after only her 3rd run back from a stopper injury. Showed her customary box speed to level out a 5.49 then hold them off in 29.91. Clearly a much tougher assignment this week with the dog in 3 wanting the fence badly and she will need a lot of luck to figure but you know she will give you everything and will have her say in the run to the first turn. Super effort just to make the final but looking to others.
Box 3 – MAKURU (Eric Campana)
Black Dog | 2YO | Prizemoney: $35,465
The X factor! Has taken to 500m racing like a seasoned pro and the way he hurtled to the first turn last week off box 8, wanting the lead at all costs, shows his determination and chase. Has dazzling early speed and his 5.49 last week had a few bumps in it as well so he can go faster. The last bit tests but if he spears out, will be almost unleadable and that’s when he will burn up the back. Will give a huge sight here if he steps and one for the each way players.
Box 4 – LALA KIWI (Andrea Dailly)
Black Bitch | 2YO | Prizemoney: $628,695
The Queen of Australian greyhound racing. Australian Cup winner and all round weapon. Has shown her class here at her only 2 starts and was superb in her heat as she went about her business like the professional she is. Jumped fairly but then put herself where she needed to be with a 5.50 at which point she went out after the leader to salute in an electric 29.65. She is however, awkwardly boxed here and will need all her star qualities to nail the box rise and stay out of traffic. Speed all around her makes her task that much harder. Can never be discounted though and may look ominous at some stage with the right run but the fact remains that the box draw will play a huge role against her chances. As good as she is, the short quote is not attractive and prepared to take on.
Box 5 – VICE GRIP (Adam Smithson)
Black Dog | 3YO | Prizemoney: $200,765
Wonderful WA competitor who doesn’t know how to put a bad one in. He did take a long time to reel in the leader last week and is looking a little more dour lately over the sprint trip. Went 5.54 early and that presents a problem with this weeks draw. He will keep coming though and won’t give up until the race is well and truly run. Capable of nailing the jump but can he then outpace the early speedsters? Will need luck to do so and win but he can get into the placings with some first turn luck.
Box 6 – ARCHIBALD (Robert Westworth)
Black Dog | 2YO | Prizemoney: $45,815
The forgotten dog of the final. Has one of the most explosive accelerators in the business off the mat and isn’t badly drawn here. It took Lala Kiwi to run him down last week and 3 starts ago, showed he can run the trip right out with a 29.81 win here. The dog in 7 steps right at box rise and with the 5 going in, this means he gets every chance to use his most dangerous weapon here, his sheer speed. If he crosses and leads, it’s game right on! Must do so to figure though. The smokie!
Box 7 – WEST ON FINN (Chris Halse)
Black Dog | 1YO | Prizemoney: $31,220
Young gun who lines up here after only 8 career starts. Does his best work on the arm and there has to be some question about him crossing and getting that here. Goes well off outside draws but this is a step up again and will need luck to get into the placings for mine. Dwells at box rise and he just can not afford to do that against these. Only hope for him is to lead and that looks unlikely now. Happy to risk.
Box 8 – PADDY WANTS PATS (Kelly Bravo)
Black Dog | 2YO | Prizemoney: $177,975
Victorian star who can burn the clock to the ground when he is allowed to run. First up in his heat he displayed his class and talent with a majority all the way victory in 29.76. Will improve again with the look at the track and has a tremendous box 8 record. Will be looking to roll down the outside in the run to the first turn and put himself within striking range. Can come from behind and if he secures a trouble free run, will be awfully hard to stop. Small question on where he lands at that first turn with a few others having an edge on his first split but holding his line out wide can work heavily in his favour.
Sunset Whistler (Reserve 1)
Fair effort but every hope behind Speed Bandit in his heat and while he can go much better, especially from an inside draw, he lacks the necessary class to win. Not this year.
Bubbles Away (Reserve 2)
Tried hard behind Paddy Wants Pats and while he stuck on ok, would have to find a few more lengths to get into this. Beaten in Novice company 3 starts back and reserves his best for outside draws. One to watch for next year perhaps.
One of the most intriguing Perth Cups in memory with the draw opening this right up. The best dogs have the tougher draws and a lot will depend on how they offset their boxes.
Rostered Off looks set to run the race of his life here with the coveted inside trap. Can land in the right spot and his strength will keep him coming.
Archibald and Makuru are the 2 big smokies who can set the pace here and in front is always the best place to be in these big races. While the last bit can test them both, anything can happen behind them and they can steal the Cup with a little luck.
Paddy Wants Pats has the good draw but does he have the speed to cross a few early sections that will be reeled out? If he does, he is a major threat.
Lala Kiwi has a very tough draw to navigate and while class will carry her a long way, she would need do to everything right while also hoping some others miss the start.