Group 3 Sydney Cup (720m)
Best 24 nominated.
Heats October 9. Final October 16
Winner to receive $100,000
By David Brasch
TRAINERS around Australia have been scrambling to qualify their super fast sprinters for the third running of the Million Dollar Chase to be staged in October.
But, at the same time those trainers with top class stayers have been given just as much incentive with the lure of a $100,000 pay day as winner of the Sydney Cup to be run during the Million Dollar Chase program.
It\’s lucky Victorian breeder and studmaster Geoff Collins won his Sydney Cup when he did.
That was back in 2013 when Geoff joined forces with top trainer Robbie Britton to land the Sydney Cup with Lucy Wires.
What\’s so special about that?
Well, Lucy Wires had been bought from the US when she was just 13 months of age, spotted by Collins running five 500m trials during the US Nationals.
It was a homework job done with the greatest of results.
Lucy Wires (Flying Penske-Okgo Box To Wire) was bought by Collins for $15,000 and eventually raced 32 times for 13 wins and nine placings, earning $129,000 in stakes.
She never once raced under 600m – a stipulation Collins gave Robbie Britton when he sent her to Britton to be trained. The Sydney Cup was her crowning glory and she would down such superstar stayers as Infinite Wish and Bell Haven.
\”She was a typical Flying Penske,\” said Collins of the bitch. \”A little bit shy, tall and rangy, lean but the perfect staying type.\”
Collins knew she was a potential stayer from the moment he first saw her.
That was as a 13-month-old baby running through the Nationals in the US. She raced 500m five times in just 15 days. At the end of the Nationals, all dogs that compete in those races are then sold at auction.
Lucy Wires and her littermates had been bought before the auction in a package deal. The real target for the buyer was a dog from the litter called Smokey Joe.
He would go on to be a 2013 All American and win the Flashy Sir award.
\”I made some inquiries about buying Lucy,\” said Geoff. \”I even contacted the guy who had educated the litter and he told me they had done very, very little indeed. It made me more determined to get her.
\”She had stayer written all over her.\”
Eventually he was able to get her for $15,000 and for the next six months she was busy complying with all the quarantine requirements and being sent to Australia.
\”When I started trialling her, she started running hot times straight away, but I decided to give her to Robbie to train with the proviso she was never to be raced under 600 metres,\” said Geoff.
\”You had to see what sort of bitch she was to realise why I made that stipulation. Being such a lean type and a little bit on the shy side, I knew she would not cope with the hustle and bustle of sprint racing.
\”It was never going to do her confidence any good. She was tall but not solid.\”
Her Sydney Cup victory came at only her 16th race start. She had already been third in the G3 Chairmans Cup and a finalist in the G3 Top Cat Video Cup.
She would then go on to be second, beaten a nose, in the G1 Bold Trease, a finalist in the G3 Summer Cup, G1 Sale Cup, G2 Summer Distance Plate, G1 Zoom Top and third in the G3 Betfair Cup.
\”Have a look at the video of the Bold Trease,\” laments Geoff Collins. \”She was checked, checked and checked again and ran Robbie Britton\’s other bitch Cheetah Zorro to a nose.
\”That was one that got away.\”
Geoff bred litters by Mogambo and Above All with her, and says a dog in the Mogambo litter was something else, but he was hurt.
\”Then George Dailly made me an offer to buy her and I sold her,\” he said. \”They put her to Dyna Double One and she produced Lucy\’s Milo who won $170,000 and was a Group star.\”
Geoff prides himself that he picked out Lucy Wires as a 13 months old baby running in far off distant lands in the US and brought her to Australia to win the Sydney Cup.
\”It would take me hours to go through every one of those Nationals trials, but when it came to Lucy … well, I loved the way she travelled in those runs and it was obvious to me she was a stayer.\”
How right he was.
Caption: 2013 Sydney Cup winner, Lucy Wires