February 26 will bring with it the pinnacle of the 2022 Australian Cup greyhounds carnival - the Australian Cup.
While not Australia’s richest greyhound race, it is one of the longest-running. 2022 will mark the 64th running of the event with the 525-metre sprint at The Meadows in Victoria set to feature an all-star field once again.
The eight-greyhound field will see half of the dogs in the race trained by Andrea Dailly, with Lala Kiwi, Gypsy Bun, Daph’s Ascend and Zippy Tesla all in the fight.
The other four dogs in the race are Paddy Wants Pats trained by Kelly Bravo, Orlando, trained by Raymond Drew, Immunity, trained by Jason Thompson and Titan Blazer, trained by Daniel Gibbons.
Lala Kiwi comes into the race as the favourite, and with relatively good reason, holding 23 wins from 58 starts throughout the career, including 7 wins from 21 starts at this distance.
Of all the dogs in the field, Lala Kiwi also comes in with the best time over this distance at 29.61.
Drawing Box 4, it could also be expected that the middle berth could suit Lala Kiwi, who is known for an excellent jump out of the box. If it manages to take the lead into the first corner, then the race could be all but over almost immediately. Form ahead of the race is also superb with two wins in the last four outings for the Dailly-trained dog ahead of this Cup at the Meadows.
While Lala Kiwi will seemingly be difficult to beat, the field has plenty of top options. Zippy Tesla - another out of the Dailly box - will likely be the biggest challenger to the pre-race favourite.
In 47 career races, Zippy Tesla, who has drawn a solid run from Box 3, has won 14 and had another 14 place finishes, while winning 6 from 19 races over this distance. More than that, the best time to date is also on pap with Lala Kiwi, with the duo sitting a tenth ahead of any other dog in the field.
Gypsy Bun & Daph’s Ascend
The other two greyhounds in the Dailly trained group are also changes, with Gypsy Bun coming into the race as the most experienced in the field holding 23 wins from 93 starts, while Daph’s Ascend has 77 starts. Both are rated as chances, although Daph’s Ascend, with a best time of 29.73, heads up the competition from outside of Zippy Tesla and Lala Kiwi.
Immunity & Paddy Wants Pats
Of the dogs not in the Dailly-trained group, it’s likely to be Immunity and Paddy Wants Pats who are the best chances of pulling off an upset victory.
Both dogs are still developing into their careers, and yet, have shown some excellent form in the lead-up. Immunity has 24 career wins from 46 starts, while Paddy Wants Pats has 17 wins from 37 starts, with both doing times in the mid 29.7s as their best efforts, putting them on par with Daph’s Ascend.
Orlando & Titan Blazer
Orlando and Titan Blazer are the other two greyhounds in the field for the Australian Cup in 2022, however, are unlikely to challenge the field, with Lala Kiwi the favourite and likely to take out the 64th running of the prestigious race.