CANTERBURY Bulldogs NRL stars infamously once danced on a table to the tune of Sweet Caroline, but it will be a Kempsey man who will be getting his jig on if Sweet Ella gets the chocolates at the $15,000 Wauchope Cup.
This will be the biggest assignment yet for Kempsey trainer Shane Cartwright, whose three-year-old red brindle bitch will jump from Box No.3 on Wednesday, January 6.
Shane's sister, Vicki Byrnes, a committee member and past president of the Kempsey Greyhound Club, reckons Sweet Ella has every chance to make her mark in quality company.
Entry to the Cup at the newly-minted TAB Wauchope track was via a formula of country gradings and accumulated points - and Sweet Ella has been in eye-catching form since moving from Queensland to NSW.
Vicki said Sweet Ella was originally out of Albion Park, but found the corner starts far from her liking.
But the move south and the link with Shane has fast brought results - including a win at Wauchope at the juicy return of $81 for those like Vicki who backed her.
"She just loves the Wauchope track," Vicki said, and recent form at Maitland has also been encouraging.
The Wauchope Cup is over 457 metres, and Vicki said this will be Sweet Ella's "first look at that" - as she steps up from 384m and 400m racing.
The Wauchope Cup will also be significant for Queensland owners, Martin and Sarah Allan - as something of a husband and wife challenge.
Sarah owns Sweet Ella and Martin Nangar Kash - and they will start alongside one another in the big race.
Shane has been training at Kempsey for 10 years-plus, and is no doubt looking forward to the short trip to Wauchope where it will be all to run for.
Racing starts with the Hastings Hotel Maiden from 3.12pm, racing continues throughout the day and concludes with the Bago Tavern 384 metres at 6.27pm. The BBet Park Wauchope Cup is scheduled for 5.29pm over 457 metres.