Trainer insights into the Trio’s Winter Cup

Cranbourne will host three feature finals headlined by the $28,500 Trio’s Winter Cup tonight. Here’s an in-depth preview of what promises to be a sensational race…

Yozo Bale was the fastest heat winner of the Trio’s Winter Cup on June 10, however The Watchdog is tipping Aston Gwen to turn the tables on the in-form speedster in tonight’s final at 6.19pm.

The talented duo (pictured above battling out their heat in rugs three and six respectively) were the only greyhounds to break 30 seconds across the five heats, with Correy Grenfell’s Yozo Bale clocking a sizzling 29.78sec.

Yozo Bale is chasing his fourth straight win after also scoring two sub-30 second victories at The Meadows in recent weeks.

A winner of 10 from 23 starts, Yozo Bale has Box 6 and is marked at $3.60 by The Watchdog, who has tipped him to run fourth.

“He’s airborne at present but this is a tough draw,” The Watchdog said.

Aston Gwen clocked an impressive 29.98sec despite being beaten in what was her first look at the track, and she has Box 1 in the final.

Trainer Michelle Mallia believes the daughter of Fernando Bale and Brueghelino, who is unbeaten in two starts from the red box, can figure prominently.

“She’ll definitely improve in the final,” Michelle said following her heat run.

WATCH: Michelle Mallia on Aston Gwen after she ran 2nd to Yozo Bale in her heat.  WATCH REPLAY

Stayer-in-the-making Houdini Boy is The Watchdog’s second tip following a stunning heat run which saw him narrowly beaten after striking huge interference.

However, trainer Kel Greenough isn’t getting carried away with the youngster’s chances.

“It is hard to be too confident when he falls out of the boxes most of the time, but he has a big motor,” Greenough said.

Another serious contender in tonight’s final is Percy’s Magic, a son of Fabregas and former flying machine Magic Diva.

The Watchdog has tipped Percy’s Magic for third and describes him as ‘an absolute beast’.

Trainer Nathan Rooney was thrilled with his heat run when he led all the way in 30.08sec.

“His early speed is his best asset,” Rooney said after this heat.

Percy’s Magic’s first split of 5.39sec was inferior only to Yozo Bale (5.37sec) in the heats.

The Trio’s Winter Cup is supported by two other feature events tonight, the $11,710 GRV Vic Bred Maiden Final at 5.27pm and the $8,000 Cranbourne Track Star (311m) at 5.44pm.

WATCH: Nathan Rooney talks up Percy’s Magic after his heat win.  WATCH REPLAY

Tonight, 6.19pm – 520m – $20,000 first prize
1 ASTON GWEN (Michelle Mallia, Avalon)
2 PERCY’S MAGIC (Nathan Rooney, Nilma North)
3 MANILA KNIGHT (Mario Briganti, Tuerong)
4 HOUDINI BOY (Kelvyn Greenough, Pearcedale)
5 PHILIDELPHIA PIP (Jason Sharp, Lara)
6 YOZO BALE (Correy Grenfell, Mount Wallace)
7 ANNIE ROSE (Sharon-Lee Chignell, Rosedale)
8 VESPER BALE (Steve Collins, Pearcedale)
9 SHANLYN ROB (Stan Ralph, Tooradin)
10 ONE NIGHT ONLY (Kelvyn Greenough, Pearcedale)

HEAT WINNERS (fastest to slowest):
YOZO  BALE 29.78sec (Best)
PERCY’S MAGIC 30.08sec
VESPER BALE 30.28sec


WATCH: Handler Heather Collins with Vesper Bale, who won his heat at odds of $57.80.

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