The Group One spotlight will shine on Angle Park in South Australia this Friday with the running of the $75,000 to the winner Adelaide Cup over 515 metres. Seven spectacular heats were run and won last Thursday night, with the in-form kennel of Jeff Britton seizing four spots in the decider.
The Victorian mentor’s fantastic night kicked off when littermates Texas Titan ($6 with TAB.com.au) and Oakvale Destiny ($2.40) saluted in heats three and four clocking 29.74 and 29.78 respectively. The talented duo, by Vapour Whirl out of Foot Luce, have drawn favourably in the final, with Oakvale Destiny, this year’s G3 SA Oaks winner, coming up with the coveted rails alley, while her brother will jump from the pink.
Britton will also be represented in the feature by Mepunga Armagh ($7), which led all the way in his heat last week, clocking a slick 29.83. The front-running sprinter will be looking for his 19th career victory when he exits box four on Friday night, but will have to contend with another kennelmate, Cosmic Wise, drawn directly on his outside.
Cosmic Wise ($18) downed an impressive line-up in her qualifier last Thursday, scoring from box seven in another fast time of 29.84. She will no doubt be searching for the rails this week and will be hoping to avoid a clash with Mepunga Armagh, which does tend to run straight on leaving the traps.
Blurred Lines ($15) and Allen Deed ($2.60) will also be looking to capture the Group 1 trophy for the Garden State. Blurred Lines, a 29.75 heat winner, is trained by Kelly Bravo, no stranger to the Adelaide Cup, having won it in 2011 with Kilty Lad.
Blurred Lines, which will start from box seven in the feature, defeated a fast-finishing Allen Deed by a neck in their qualifier last week, with the runner-up producing a phenomenal performance to earn his spot in the final as the fastest second.
Allen Deed will jump from box two in the final and, although he tends to handle himself best from out wide, he does boast three wins from five starts from the checks, so he certainly shouldn’t be discounted. Trained by Andrea Dailly, the supremely talented backmarker has a recent 29.43 Wentworth Park win to his name and if he can get room to move early, he will take holding out on the line.
Check the full TAB.com.au market for the Group 1 Adelaide Cup here.
While Oakvale Destiny and Texas Titan are South Australian-owned, the Festival State only has two SA-trained chasers searching to secure the win for the home state. Both scored their heat victories at double figure odds, with Winbrook ($41) the roughest as a 30/1 outsider.
The Cameron Butcher-prepared chaser was first-up after more than four months on the sidelines and clocked an impressive 29.94 at his racetrack return. He should strip fitter for that run and is massive odds considering he loves the rails and has drawn box three with two slow beginners on his inside.
The field is rounded out by Valladares ($21) for Lauren Harris which has drawn awkwardly in box six. The son of El Grand Senor and Sealin’ The Deal has won eight races from 16 starts - seven of those victories at Angle Park.
The Adelaide Cup is race eight on Friday night and will jump at 8:48pm (AEDT). Jason Witham will be trackside covering all of the action and you can see it all on Sky Racing 1 (Ch519).
G1 - The Bet365 Celebration Steeple Chase (class 1)
G3 - The Bet365 Gold Cup Steeple Chase (handicap) (class 1)
G1 - Aes Champion 4yo Hdle
Grade B - Setanta Sport H'cap Hdle
Grade B - Palmerstown House Pat Taaffe H'cap Chase