Potential unlocked in Warrnambool Cup

Wednesday night’s Group 2 Sportsbet Warrnambool Cup Final (450m) went largely to plan for Michelle Mallia, with her star sprinter Matt Loch emerging victorious.

MATT LOCH after winning the G2 Warrnambool Cup.
MATT LOCH after winning the G2 Warrnambool Cup.

Mallia had two finalists, Fernando Phil and Matt Loch, with the former finding the early lead from box 5 before copping interference from out wide.

That left Mallia's hopes with Matt Loch, who from box four cut across the path of the favourite Morton (Box 3) before pouncing on the lead along the rail and never looking back.

"This means a lot, firstly because we bred Matt Loch, and secondly because he is part-owned by a couple of boys who have had a raw deal in life (Matt Field and Lochy Barsby). I gave them both a 25 per cent share each in Matt Loch so this is a big thrill for them," Michelle said.

Rewind the clock six days earlier to the heats and Michelle's heart was in her mouth when Matt Loch ran 2nd to Flying Zulu in what was almost a dead-heat.

"There were seven Warrnambool Cup heats, and Matt Loch had run the fastest 2nd

with one heat still to run," Mallia said.

"It was a long 20 minutes waiting to see if he would qualify, but thank goodness he did.

"We've had a bit of luck fall our way in country cups lately, with Fernando Phil winning the Horsham Cup after gaining a start as the first reserve.

"We've got such a great team of people working with the dogs at home, so it's a credit to them all."

Mallia said Matt Loch is a special greyhound.

"He's got it at both ends. He's such a good beginner but also has that strength and a bit of grunt about him as well," she said.

Mallia said that all going to plan, Matt Loch would be set for the Western Districts Derby (450m) at Ballarat, heats of which will be held on Wednesday, followed by the Ballarat Cup (450m) and Pink Diamond series.