The dual Group1 winning son of Barcia Bale went into the Temlee with 3 successive wins that had included a sweep of the G1 Paws Of Thunder Series at Wentworth Park. A commanding heat victory was followed with a 1.5 length victory in the final over Slick after jumping straight to the front from box 7. Drawing the yellow in the Temlee he was a touch slow to jump and then squeezed when Kouta Mayhem tried to work across him from box 6. His chances then ended when checked again before turning out of the home straight the first time. From box 7 in the heats of the Cup, he was much smarter away at box rise and cleared them early to take control and run home for a 29.89 one length victory. With 5 wins from 8 starts in the blue rug, both his G1 victories have come when wearing the blue.
Since making his G1 debut when 3rd in the Wentworth Park Peter Mosman Final behind Mister Twister, the son of Fabregas has finished 2nd behind Crash Bandicoot in the Vic Peters Final, 2nd to Aston Dee Bee in the Melbourne Cup Final, 3rd to Quick Jagger in the Sale Cup Final and just two weeks back was 2nd to Dyna Dean in the Rookie Rebel all at the top level. Starting from box 1 in the Rookie Rebel, he was crossed early by Dyna Dean and settled in 2nd position and railed hard all the way to finish just under four lengths from the all the way winner. Stepping back from the 600m of that event, he was quickly into stride at box rise in the Cup heat from box 2 and controlling the race scored by six lengths in 29.78. His record from box 3 is 10: 5-2-1 and if able to find the rail will take catching.
One of two Queensland trained chasers to make the final, the John McCarthy trained Slick came into the Cup heats following a narrow 2nd to Striker Light in the Temlee. The first reserve for the Temlee, he started from box 3 with the run a great effort after running into plenty of traffic in the early stages yet he was able to drive through and chased hard after Striker Light who had skipped clear ahead of the jostling in behind. Heading into the Temlee, the son of 2010 Australian Cup winner Dyna Lachlan, had won through to the Final of the Paws Of Thunder at Wentworth Park and chased hard in the final to finish 1.5 lengths from the winner Raw Ability to finish in 2nd place. Box 1 might not be ideal for his racing pattern, but he is a strong dog that can push through and chase hard as seen in his run in the Temlee.
A Heat/ Final Series, there were 8 heats conducted at The Meadows on Saturday February 24. All 8 heat winners progress to the final with the fastest two 2nd placed runners being awarded the reserve rugs. The distance of the Australian Cup Final is 525m, the same distance as the heats.
This Group 1 race held at The Meadows was first held in 1958 and the honour roll contains a list of some of the greatest dogs to race in Australia. Rookie Rebel, China Trip, Tenthill Doll, Brett Lee and Pure Octane have all been winners of this race.
Total prizemoney on offer in 2018 is $355,000 with the winner to receive $250,000. The 2017 winner was the Robert Britton trained Fanta Bale who jumped from box 8.