The stars of greyhound racing were welcomed to Logan Park on Saturday night for the heats of the Group 2 Lion Quality Products Warragul Cup (460m).
Gippsland’s favourite greyhound Luca Neveelk produced a stirring performance to hold off the emerging Big Ticket in heat one, with both greyhounds making it through to Friday night’s final.
Luca Neveelk – trained by Denison’s Gerry Kleeven – was a hot favourite going into the race having won both the Geelong and Ballarat Cups in 2014 but Steven Clarke’s Big Ticket – a Hobart Thousand finalist himself – provided worthy competition.
In a heart-stopping race, Luca Neveelk jumped to the early lead with Big Ticket pressuring on his outside. As the two straightened for home Big Ticket looked to have Luca Neveelk’s measure but the son of Talk’s Cheap and It’s a Neveelk dug deep to claim victory in a time of 25.710 seconds.
After drawing box one for the final, Luca Neveelk is the $2.30 favourite for Friday night’s final with TAB Fixed Odds.
The fastest run of the night went to Kelly Bravo’s Ride The Rails that stopped the clock at a near-record 25.488 seconds.
Other heat winners include Narralee for Stephen Creighton winning at odds of $10.50 while Caustic Bale, Jubilea Bale and Ronray Spirit also won their respective heats.
The fastest two second place getters on the night were Big Ticket and Sisco Rage.
WARRAGUL CUP HEAT REPLAYS
Heat 1: Luca Neveelk beats Big Ticket in 25.710 secs
Heat 2: Narralee beats Lamia Bale in 25.743
Heat 3: Ride The Rails beats Droopys Bentley in 25.488 secs
Heat 4: Caustic Bale beats Sisco Rage in 25.581 secs
Heat 5: Jubilea Bale beats Xtreme Knocka in 25.791 secs
Heat 6: Ronray Spirit beats Alex’s Entity in 25.669 secs