Cup winner out to wow them again
By GARY CLARK
ONE of the best sprinters in the country, Wow, will attempt to win his second Goulburn Cup later this month in the Group 3 event.
After winning the 2020 cup defeating his litter brother Ad Astra, last year’s victory was the start of the path to Wow’s Group fame and the change in kennels has not made any difference.
Before Wow contested this year’s Golden Easter Egg, he was transferred from Karina Britton, who had taken him to this point in his career, into Danielle Matic’s kennel.
After his brilliance in the Goulburn Cup last year, Wow displayed his speed again in January by winning the Group 2 Gosford Cup and breaking the track record.
His Group 1 glory opportunity came in the Paws Of Thunder at Wentworth Park and Wow didn’t disappoint.
His next Group 1 success came when he beat some of the best sprinters in the country in The Temlee at The Meadows.
Back to Wentworth Park at Easter and the Egg was next on his agenda.
Wow made the final and closed in on leader and eventual winner Tommy Shelby to the turn, but drifted badly on the home turn costing him his chance and finishing a length second.
Pulling up soar in one of his front wrists, Wow had time off but since returning in June has been destroying fields with his electrifying speed running track records at Goulburn in 24.18 and 29.28 at Nowra over 520.
Again this showed his versatility on big or small tracks over any distance.
If he wins this year’s Goulburn Cup Wow would become only the third dog to win consecutive cups after November Prince in 1987-88 and Awesome Hustler in 2007-08.
His brother Ad Astra’s preparation is slow and stable this year after seven months off from his injury in the Group 2 Bulli Cup in February. He has had four runs back for wins up the straight and over the 350m at Goulburn.
He is also now with Danielle and Ruth Matic and they still have a month to decide if he will be ready for another Group contest.
Casual Glance, a finalist in The Fireball last year, is in cracking form and could return for the Goulburn Cup.
He broke the Gosford 388m record and qualified for three Group finals this year including his third to Wow in the Gosford cup.
With the Covid border closures it remains to be seen if the Victorians will contest the race as they have been for a decade.
Success came for them when the David Geall-trained Emerald Rainbow won the race in 2019.
Geall has an outstanding chaser in Ferdinand Boy, who won last month’s Group 2 Healesville Cup and would be ideal for this year’s race.
Local and NSW Premier trainers Jodie and Andy Lord will have their usual number of chasers entered as they chase their second cup after winning in 2017 with Champion Model.
They have a class team of sprinters and this will ensure they have a strong presence this year.
This will be the last cup on the existing track as Goulburn will close early next year for the redevelopment of the circle track, the inclusion of track lights and the new straight track with lights.
Goulburn will be the most exciting racing complex in the state when the new facility is opened in June or July next year.
Goulburn is likely to hold its first night time cup meeting under lights in 2022 with additional prizemoney for the Group 3 event.
Back in the mid-1900s the first prize for the cup was just a few pounds, a far cry from the record levels on offer these days.
The supporting race to the cup each year is The Fireball over 350m. This is another race that is growing with age after just five years on the honour roll.
Last year’s race had Group 1 and 2 finalists and track record holders. The current Goulburn record holder for the 350m, Myrniong And All, won the race in 2019 for Anthony Azzopardi.
This year’s cup will have $10,000 to the winner. It all starts on Sunday October 17 with the heats of both races.