Caption: Trainer Michelle Lil with Group sprinter Casual Glance. (Photo by Lachlan Naidu Photography)
By GARY CLARK
CASUAL Glance gets his chance to end a string of unsuccessful Group finals in the 2022 Group 2 Gosford Cup, the first major race of the year.
Heats for the Cup will be run on December 28, with the final on January 4. It is worth $40,000 to the winner.
Casual Glance was third to Wow in this year’s Gosford Cup and trainer Michelle Lill will hope the run of outs will end in January.
The bad trot started in November last year when Casual Glance qualified for the Fireball final at Goulburn then followed the Gosford Cup placing.
He then made another Group 2 final when he finished seventh in the Maitland Gold Cup before another seventh at Wentworth Park in May for the Group 3 Bob Payne Sprint Final.
Then it was to Dubbo and Casual Glance made the final of their Cup but finished fourth.
Michelle Lill headed to the Grafton carnival in July. In the Sprinters Final, one of the main races at the carnival, Casual Glance ran third to kennelmate More Sauce.
The Group races continued in October when Casual Glance took his place in the Group 2 Black Top at Newcastle but again it was another seventh.
Two weeks later he headed back to where it all started, Goulburn for the Group 3 Cup.
After an impressive heat win Casual Glance was backed off the map to win the final and this was to be the closest he has come so far when runner-up behind the track champ, Wow.
So along with his kennelmate More Sauce both sprinters have outstanding chances of winning the 2022 Gosford Cup.
Casual Glance broke the 388m track record at Gosford this time last year so his track knowledge and speed will be major assets.
More Sauce after his second in the Black Top went to Goulburn and broke the track record over 350m in the heat of the Fireball and will be ideally suited to the Gosford circuit.
Some of the state’s best sprinters could be there, including Wow, who would be chasing wins in both the Goulburn and Gosford Cups in successive years.
The winner of the Black Top, Zipping Kyrgios, might be on show if John Finn decides to head north. Finn won the race with Prince Diablo in 2012.
The “Good” dogs could also make an appearance, Good Odds Cash and Good Odds Harada.
The 2022 race will have a new sponsor after Woy Woy Poultry stepped aside after having supported the race since 2003.
The race will be known as the Beast Unleashed Gosford Cup thanks to the 2019 winner’s connections, Peter and Jodie Lagogiane and part-owner, Dawn Garrett.
Beast Unleashed held the track record until Wow broke it. Past winners include Sure Fella in 2008 for Eric Castle and the iron dog Cosmic Bonus for Evelyn Harris in 2018.
The 2022 Cup looks to a high-class race and history could be made with a Wow victory, however the headline awaits for a Casual Glance Group win.
While all interest will be on the track on December 28th we should not forget the memorable calls of one of the great broadcasters, in the late John “Macca” McDermott who was part of the great Gosford Cups for half a century.