After scraping into the race Kilty Lad is likely to be the dog to beat in the Group 1 SKY Racing Perth Cup (530m) at Cannington this Saturday.
The multiple Group 1 winning chaser nearly didn't qualify after a torrid run in his heat but plucked trap three for the final at last night's box draw and kennel representative Brett Bravo says that is exactly where he wants the dog to be.
The draw means Kilty Lad should avoid an early clash with the fast jumping Pedrosa (box 4) as that greyhound tends to take a sharp step to the right out of the traps.
"All I wanted was to be inside Pedrosa and we've got that so it's super draw," Bravo said.
A bargain purchase for his owner (Joseph Patterson, father of trainer Kellie Bravo) Kilty Lad is the most exciting greyhound racing in Australia at the moment and he now has the opportunity to emulate the feats of his sire, Superman, winner of the Perth Cup in 2006.
Kilty Lad was forced to summon something special in his heat as he claimed a gritty win.
Severed checked in the opening strides Kilty Lad was bounced to the rear of the field as they passed the post the first time.
He recovered but was held up for a run in the back straight before eventually finding an avenue on the inside to snatch a narrow victory in 30.74.
"He could have given it up a couple of times but he just kept coming," Bravo said. "He's just a super competitive animal."
Pedrosa's entry to the final was considerably easier as the WA star produced typical early pace to lead all-the-way and win by seven lengths in 30.32.
Fellow sandgroper Blue Goose was the fastest qualifier with a blistered effort of 30.12 from the pink in his heat and he will need to do it from out wide again the final with box seven.
Blue Goose's owner Shaun Miller believes the powerful finishing chaser could repeat the dose in the final.
"He's very strong," Miller said. "Even when he's coming from behind he's always got a chance so we're fairly confident."
Trainer Ben Abercrombie was more than happy to draw the pole for his runner Liquigas.
Liquigas used his speed of the traps to record a surprise heat win in 30.61 and zippy black dog couldn't have a better box for the final.
"We're in there and we've got a good box so who knows," Abercrombie said.
Defending champion High Earner is looking to become the first greyhound to win back-to-back Perth Cups.
The veteran recently returned from retirement but proved that he was no spent force with an impressive run in his heat to salute by four lengths in 30.25.
Connections of Gold Heritage said that the greyhound will be suited from box eight in the final.
The field for the Group 1 SKY Racing Perth Cup
2. High Earner
3. Kilty Lad
7. Blue Goose
8. Gold Heritage
1st Res. Ima Hologram
2nd Res. Kalden Athena
- JAMES BROADHURST
Police raided a notorious chain of smoke shops across Perth yesterday as it revealed officers seized more than 4500 packages of synthetic substances from the outlets last financial year.