COMMERCIAL HOTEL MT GAMBIER CUP (512m)
Listed (14,275 prizemoney)
Heats: Sunday, April 11. Final: Sunday, April 18.
By TERRY WILSON
CLUB officials were hoping that leading trainer Ray Murray would find a $10,000 bonus as worthy of going for a South Australian provincial double this month.
After Air Marshall won the Murray Bridge Cup it opened the chance for Murray to have a crack at the Mt Gambier Cup ($14,250).
Under a Greyhound Racing South Australia incentive, if the same dog wins both Murray Bridge and Mt Gambier Cups it earns connections a $5000 bonus.
It is the same money for any trainer who can win both events and presents a challenge for the two major SA provincial classics.
Mt Gambier officials expect strong interest in the Cup, which is heading into its 41st staging, and with a likely healthy Victorian flavour now that the COVID-forced border closures have disappeared.
Last year, with borders closed to Victoria, it looked possible at one stage the Cup would not go ahead. But it eventually did, in August, but is now back into its regular time slot.
“We wanted to run it, even if it was for only $2000,” said Mt Gambier official Barry Shepherd.
Some smart performers have won the Cup, none better than stylish bitch Fabregal, who ended up winning more than $200,000 in career money.
Last year the race went to Sunset Milo for Tim Aloisi and before that the winners were Galactic Athena (Steve Bartholomew) in 2019 and Extreme Caution for Brian Weis in 2018.
Over the years leading Victorian trainers Rob Britton and Kevin Mugavin have claimed two Cups each.