By GARY CLARK
The Group 3 Ladbrokes Goulburn Cup ($25,000 to the winner) promised something special and it certainly delivered in late October, when the headline dog Wow created a little more history.
Expectations were high coming into the cup final with Wow looking to become just the third dog in the history of the race to win consecutive cups and was an early odds- on favourite to achieve this.
Drawing the four box, a box he broke the track record from earlier this year, Wow had to time his start to perfection and that he did.
Wow exploded from the boxes to lead the Victorian, Derry Express and the heavily supported Casual Glance, who was expected to give Wow a real speed contest early.
There were a few anxious moments coming to the home turn when, Wow started to drift, as he can do, and Derry Express a strong finisher got within his shadows. But Wow balanced up on straightening … and the race was over.
Wow cleared out to win his second cup by just on four lengths and again ran close to his own track record (24.18), running 24.22 defeating Casual Glance and Derry Express. The remainder of the field were run of their legs.
Casual Glance, who has been in so many Group finals, once again was gallant in defeat and was backed off the map, $6.00 – $2.90, while Derry Express gave everything, but again Wow broke another heart.
Every time Wow races at Goulburn he produces something special – two cups, a track record and three wins within a length of his track record and breaking the second section record in the final. He now has won six from seven at Goulburn.
Wow has a real cult following and trainer Danielle Matic and mum, Ruth, are experiencing and amazing ride.
“Because Wow is always in the news and is one of our best sprinters you are nervous that nothing goes wrong and the pressure builds with each race,” Danielle explained.
Last year Wow was trained by her owner Karina Britton and was transferred into the Matic kennel just before his second in the Golden Easter Egg.
Danielle is now following in her mother’s successful footsteps, For Ruth, training top class chasers at this level has been part of her career for so many decades, and that knowledge and professionalism is not only being shown through her daughter’s achievements but also with the success of Wow.
The win in last year’s cup was the start of the ‘Yellow Brick Road’ to his Group success. After taking the 2020 Goulburn Cup Wow then won the Group 2 Gosford Cup, Group 1 Paws Of Thunder, Group 1 Temlee (The Meadows) and then ran second in a heat of the Australian Cup and Easter Egg Final.
And he broke track records at Goulburn, Gosford and Nowra.
Now the brindle and white flash is off to Melbourne.
“We have the invite into the Topgun, which we have accepted, and then he will run in the heats of the Melbourne Cup,” Danielle explained of the future plans.
Also on the day was the short course Fireball Final, which seems to grow every year. After running a track record in the heats, More Sauce ran a short-priced favourite, but his four box was always going to be a major issue.
For trainer Michelle Lill the afternoon was just not happening after running second in the cup with Casual Glance luck was against More Sauce at box rise.
Promising young dog, Father Rick, who is wide runner (box 3), took More Sauce’s running early and Father Rick was then pressured by Sizzle Fly all the way before breaking clear for a dominating win to take the $10,000 first prize.
Father Rick, the baby of the field, was taking on some of the best sprinters over the short trip (350m) and at start 11, with now seven wins, has given his trainer Ray Webster a real boost.
“I had this race in mind for him despite his inexperience as I know how good he is,” said Ray.