By Mike Hill
WILL the female domination of the Ipswich Gold Cup (520m) of recent years continue next month?
This year\’s Group 2 feature (heats, November 5, final, November 12) carries record prizemoney of $113,000, with winning connections taking home $75,000.
It\’s all part of Racing Queensland\’s push to eventually have the Cup elevated to Group 1 status.
Since the Tony Brett-trained bitch Regal Lauryn won the Cup in 2013, it has been dominated by the girls.
In the first 12 years after the Cup distance was lifted from 512m to its current 520m only three bitches were successful – Reg Kay\’s Fool\’s State in 2004, the John Edwards-trained Ellie\’s Diamond in \’06 and Regal Lauryn.
However, since the Brett sprinter\’s victory females have ruled supreme – winning five of the last seven finals – the other winners being Cash In Motion (Robert Cook, \’15), Outside Pass (Tony Apap, \’17), Fab Fit (Darren Russell, \’18) and the Craig Hazelgrove-prepared Wise Misty (last year).
The only successful males in that period were Happy Haswell (Reg Kay, 2014) and the highly talented Brett-trained sprinter Thirty Talks (2016).
Respected Gatton owner-breeder-trainer Tony Apap, who considers Outside Pass the best bitch he has trained, said there was no reason for the female domination.
\”It\’s probably that the bitches were the best racing at that time,\” he said. \”It gets down to the best greyhound on the night.\”
But, as in all finals, luck plays its part.
And Apap will tell you luck sidestepped Outside Pass in many of her big finals during a superb career.
The beautifully bred bitch (Head Bound-Tina\’s Show) retired from the track in early 2018 with a stunning record of 31 wins and 17 placings from 69 starts and $264,280 in prizemoney.
With all that she achieved, it\’s hard to imagine that Outside Pass\’ Ipswich Cup victory was her only Group success.
She had matched it with the best chasers in the land over all distances, qualifying for 13 Group finals.
The black sprinter finished second to Zambora Brockie in both the Group 1 Winter Cup (520m) at Albion Park (2016) and G2 Shootout (515m) at Sandown Park (\’16); was runner-up to Blazin\’ Bomber in the G3 Speed Star at Sandown Park (\’16) and third behind Thirty Talks in the G1 Brisbane Cup (520m) at Albion Park (\’16).
She was also a finalist in the G1 Melbourne Cup (2016), G1 National Sprint (\’16), G1 National Distance (\’17), G1 Winter Cup (\’17), G2 Richmond Oaks (\’16) and G2 Maitland Cup (\’16).
Outside Pass was scratched from the 720m G3 Chairman\’s Cup (\’17) at Wentworth Park because of injury and in her last race start was unplaced to kennelmate Jalapeno in the Queensland Cup (600m) in January 2018.
After the Ipswich Cup victory, Apap said: \”It\’s just a great relief to finally get a Group win with her. \”She deserves it.
\”She has a big motor, but in the past she\’s had no luck in the big races. She\’s the best greyhound I have trained … the fastest and the best.\”
It was also Apap\’s first Ipswich Cup success.
\”I\’ve won many other feature events at Ipswich, but this is my first Cup,\” he said at the time.\”
Last month, recalling the bitch\’s great career, Apap said Outside Pass was a wonderful chaser.
\”She ran phenomenal times on most tracks,\” he said. \”She was able to do it everywhere.
\”She ran 29.10s at her first look at Sandown Park. That\’s mind-boggling.\”
Apap now has his fingers crossed that Outside Pass can throw something special from her second litter – seven pups (four dogs, three bitches) to super sire Fernando Bale.
\”They are only 12 months old,\” he said.
The trainer also praised organisers for boosting prizemoney for the Ipswich Cup.
He said it was great that the club\’s big feature was carrying $75,000 to the winner.
\”It should attract some good interstate dogs … and it\’s brilliant for the club,\” Apap said.
Caption: The Craig Hazelgrove-prepared Wise Misty wins last year\’s Ipswich Gold Cup