Clock’s Ticking sets the standard in Christmas Gift heats

CLOCK’S Ticking is the fastest qualifier heading into next weekend’s Group 3 Christmas Gift (520m) after a strong 30.07 heat victory at Wentworth Park on Saturday night.

Stepping well from box two, the Jason Magri-trained dog was able to muster speed and assume the front spot in the run to the line on the first occasion.

Running through the catching pen, Clock’s Ticking burned clear of Mister Twister (box one) and Virouette (box four), extending his lead down the back and sprinting away.

Despite the best efforts of Mister Twister, the favourite could only get within three lengths of the victor, with Ritza Rossi (box five) running home well to finish third.

A recent winner of the $10,000 Goulburn Cup, Clock’s Ticking has now won 16 of his 35 starts, including six of his last nine performances.

Also impressive in winning a heat on Saturday was Sam Sultana’s Big Chicken which used box one to perfection in the opening qualifier of the night.

Stepping cleanly from the inside, the black bitch was able to push up along the fence to take the lead around the first turn and from there it was a case of times and margins.

The daughter of Dyna Lachlan and Heat The Plate strode clear in the run to the line to score by six lengths in a nippy 30.11.

First reserve Gate Blaster (box six) ran a nice race to finish second and in doing so booked a spot in the $25,000 to the winner decider.

Classy campaigner Brad Hill Billy was all the rage in the second heat, but the powerhouse greyhound was beaten for speed in the early stages and found plenty of interference.

Taking the lead was Better Call Sloy which carved across from box seven and was never headed, recording a six-and-a-half length win over the favourite in 30.21.

Trained by Darren Sultana, the beautifully bred son of Cosmic Rumble and Best Percentage has now won seven of his 18 starts, with Saturday’s win his fourth over the track and trip at Wentworth Park.

The final heat of the night saw a massive upset, with Royal Turbo (box five) leading all the way at double figure odds.

Sent to the boxes as a $31 chance, the Glen Mckinley-prepared chaser never looked in danger, crossing the line three-and-one-quarter lengths clear of Bessy Boo (box six) in 30.28.

The final of the Group 3 Christmas Gift will be run at Wentworth Park next Saturday and is worth $25,000 to the winner.

Group 3 Christmas Gift – box draw

1 – Bessy Boo
2 – Better Call Sloy
3 – Brad Hill Billy
4 – Big Chicken
5 – Clock’s Ticking
6 – Mister Twister
7 – Gate Blaster
8 – Royal Turbo
1st Res – Ritza Rossi
2nd Res – Nangar Bear