Following the box draw, Bogie Bekim opened on the 2nd line of the market, narrowly behind Trip To Eden and by Wednesday morning, they were equal at $2.80. The fastest heat winner from the 3 heats held last week, the Ben Rawlings trained chaser already boasts a Group 1 victory over the equal favourite Trip To Eden. That win came in the Galaxy run over 715m at Cannington in WA. Returning to the East Coast he took on the G1 Zoom Top at The Meadows and after being slow out of the boxes was never in contention with Burn One Down scoring a nine length victory. He followed that with a sub-par run behind It’s A Fling in a Super Stayers heat. He returned to form with wins at Angle Park and then his heat of this series was able to display his talent with a top win. His numbers from box 2 are 8:3-3-0 and at 700m or greater are 11:6-2-0.
Prepared by Seona Thompson, Trip To Eden lines up in the 4th Group 1 of his career and has the impressive return of two 2nds and a win from those 3 appearances. He was an unused reserve in the G1 Sale Cup Final won by Dundee Osprey and then made his maiden G1 Final when finishing 2nd to Bogie Bekim in the Galaxy. Returning to Victoria he was 2nd behind the domination of Burn One Down in the Zoom Top before sweeping the Australian Super Stayers series to record his maiden Group 1 success. Starting off box 6 in his Association Cup heat he was slowly away before driving through the pack to be into 2nd as they entered the home straight the first time. Moving up to take the lead moving into the straight on the final time, he forged clear for a 4.75 length victory. His record at 700m is impeccable, reading at 7:4-3-0.
The John Heard trained chaser has snuck into the final with a 4th placed run in the heat win of Bogie Bekim. Starting from box 5 in that heat she jumped mid-field and held that position and was at the head of a chasing pack down the back straight that were setting off out after the 3 runners that had broken clear before rounding the final turn she knuckled down to grab 4th. Leading into the series the black bitch had secured successive wins over the 720m at Wentworth Park, defeating Ebby Ripper in both runs. The first of those wins was in the G3 Gold Cup with Obi Kenobi and Miss Foxy Lee also amongst the beaten brigade. Despite being the rookie of the field with 26 career starts, 18 of those have been over the Wenty 720m where her record is 17:7-2-4 while from box 6 Gunnadoo Cove has started 3 times for 2 wins.
The Association Cup Final will be held for the 53rd time in 2017 and is the second-oldest of the four major NSW Cups held over the longer trip.
In 2017, the Group 1 feature will carry total stakes of $102,810 with the winner to receive $75,000.
2 Heats were held on Saturday April 8 with the first four placegetters automatically progressing to the Final with the remaining 2 boxed reserves earning their place via their qualifying times.
The Heat winners were Bogie Bekim and Trip To Eden.
The race was first conducted in 1965 and won by Blue Autumn. That first edition was held at the old Harold Park greyhound racing track and up until 1987 was held at the Glebe venue over 732m. In 1988 the race moved to its current venue of Wentworth Park and has been held over 720m since the change and was elevated to Group 1 status in 2002.
winners include Miata (2012), Miagi (2008), Irinka Barbie (2004), Equability (1992) Quick
Pulse (1983) and the only dual winner, the mighty Zoom Top (1968 & ’69).