Caption: Mandurah trainer Morgan Turner. (Photo: Greyhounds WA)
G2 MANDURAH BIRTHDAY CUP (405m)
$40,000 to the winner
Heats: Friday, January 7. Final: Friday, January 14.
By TERRY WILSON
LOCAL star Stanga Moose is to be given a chance of landing Mandurah’s biggest and most prestigious greyhound race, the Group 2 Mandurah Birthday Cup this month.
And given the Moose’s excellent record at the track he stands a great chance of grabbing the $40,000 first prizemoney for trainer Morgan Turner.
And that would be fitting because Turner is one of a number of trainers based at Nambeelup, a greyhound central area which is only a 10-minute drive away from everybody’s home track.
This year the Birthday Cup has been elevated to G2 status with total prizemoney now $60,000 and it remains the premier event on Mandurah’s racing calendar.
“That’s the aim,” said Turner when asked if he was setting the Shakey Jakey-Stanga Sparx chaser for a race that was first run in 1979.
“There is nothing wrong with him, he’s still running time but it’ll be harder with a lot of city-class dogs likely to be here with the extra money on offer.”
Stanga Moose has raced almost exclusively over the 405m trip at Mandurah, although after a fifth placing over 490m in a Free-For-All there on December December the black dog backed up for a third over the 405m journey on December 10.
Now the local hope is set for a chance at taking Mandurah’s premier event, one of only six Group events held in Western Australia.
There are two G1 events, the Perth Cup and the Galaxy and the other G2 races are the Star Sprint, the WA Derby and the WA Oaks. All those events are held at Cannington in Perth.
Last year the Birthday Cup was taken out by Victorian Blackpool Flash, which was sent across to local trainer Shane Williams early to acclimatise before tackling the 405m classic.
No matter the strength of the opposition this time around, Stanga Moose warrants plenty of thought when assessing chances.
At the time of writing, Stanga Moose had won 21 from 50 starts and amassed $66,445 in stakes.
Away from its December 3 fifth placing over 490m, Stanga Moose had put together 20 wins from 42 starts over 405m at Mandurah.
From July 30, Stanga Moose had 11 wins from 16 starts over 405m (plus one over 490m), which represents significant consistency.
“He’s probably the most honest chaser I’ve had,” said Turner, who aims to take his champion to Cannington after the Birthday Cup and have a go at a longer journey.
Mandurah and Cannington are the only two tracks currently being used for greyhound racing in Western Australia.
There is racing at Mandurah on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays and also on alternate Sundays.