Nova Surf is set to start a long odds-on favourite in the final of next week’s $72,500 Group 1 Hawkins Media Laurels at Sandown Park after blitzing her rivals in tonight’s semi finals.
Rated the kennel’s fastest early dog by trainer Darren McDonald, Nova Surf ($1.40F) shanghaied from box 7 to cross to the rail and lead through the first turn.
From there, the former New South Wales sprinter was never challenged, racing to a 4.5 length win over the fast finishing Boozeroo ($5.20) in a slick 29.74.
Former trainer Neal Gray sent Nova Surf to McDonald for her Laurels campaign, and the master ictorian mentor has helped guide the daughter of Surf Lorian into her third Group 1 final. She ran third in the Group 1 National Futurity in February before joining the McDonald kennel, and then ran second as a short favourite behind the exciting Aston Trivett in the Group 1 Maturity Classic in May. She has also run second in the Group 3 Maitland Gold Cup.
Nova Surf’s grip on the $50,000 first prize and free service to 2005 Group 1 Topgun winner Black Enforcer tightened further when she drew ideally in box 7 for the final.
Mystical Soul ($6.10) took out the night’s opening semi-final with an impressive 3.25 length win over race favourite Infuriation ($3.10F).
Mirella Bale ($17.40) proved too good in a blanket finish in the third semi final, edging out Nitrane ($3.60) and favourite Brislane ($2.70) by a half length.
In the last semi final, Ashby Rose ($3.30) continued her good form to defeat roughie Bronte’s Chat ($43) by 5.5 lengths in 30.06.
The win was her third in succession and took her record to three wins from four starts at Sandown Park.
500 Group 1 Hawkins Media Laurels Final Draw
- 1 Boozeroo Verity Cotton $11
- 2 Mystical Soul Jamie Ennis $6
- 3 Infuriation Michael Carter $6
- 4 Bronte’s Chat Brett Bravo $31
- 5 Nitrane Robert Britton $11
- 6 Mirella Bale Graeme Bate $13
- 7 Nova Surf Darren McDonald $2
- 8 Ashby Rose Angela Langton $11
- 9 Brislane Richard Dean 1st Res
- 10 Pure Range Leisa Carlson 2nd Res