Inside runners will be tough to stop in Monday’s Orange Cup heats at Kennerson Park – Western Advocate

Inside runners will be tough to stop in Monday’s Orange Cup heats at Kennerson Park  Western Advocate

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BOX one looks to be the place to watch for Monday’s pair of Orange Cup Heats (520 metres) at Kennerson Park. Inside starters Awesome Fusion (Wesley McDonald) and Mr. Edward (Raymond Smith) look tough to stop in the two events, given their fantastic personal best times at the Bathurst track, but it’s not like they’re short on quality opposition. Awesome Fusion enters the heats with the second fastest time (29.56) over the 520m at Kennerson Park out of all competitors, bettered only by veteran Little Digger (29.50) in box six. However, McDonald’s greyhound is much earlier into his career, and is in fine form. He came up just short of four victories in a row after his latest start. Kennerson Park racing manager Jason Lyne said there’s speed aplenty in the opening heat. “Awesome Fusion excels from the inside box. He takes a few steps to get going but he’s got high speed when he hits the ground,” he said. “Little Digger’s getting a bit old now but he’s still very competitive in his races and loves the Bathurst track. Solar Sky has got the early speed to put herself in the race. “Paul Roach’s dog Still Blue has a good record here and the one to watch will be Zipping Byron for Jason Magri in box two. Jason’s coming off a great weekend where he trifectaed the big maiden final at Wentworth Park.” Only four runners in the second heat have run the distance at Bathurst before. The only one to break the 30-second barrier is Mr. Edward (29.76). Fearnando Porsche is the next best (30.04) and comes to Bathurst off a win at Wentworth Park. “Mr. Edward is perfectly boxed because he a bit steady early and crashes to the fence. He should get a dream run through the corner to put himself right in the race,” Lyne said. “Fearnando Porsche is well experienced at Bathurst, Spring Bella’s got pace and got checked last week over 400. She’s stepping up to the 500 for the first time. “I think Mr. Edward is the clear pick for favourite ahead of Fernando Porsche.” Lyne said the Orange Cup continues to be a race many trainers and owners want to win. “It’s a great lead up for the Bathurst Cup. The Orange Cup we still run in recognition of the Orange track, which amalgamated with Bathurst around 12 to 13 years ago “It’s been won by some great dogs. The great Rapid Journey won it at Orange back on the old grass track, and he went on to win several Group 1s so this race was a great launch pad for his career.” The first of the Orange Cup meets gets underway from 5.24pm. Last year’s Orange Cup Final was sadly cancelled due to rain. The top four runners in each heat will go straight into the following Monday’s final.