SHOCKWAVE has been installed as the $3.80 favourite with William Hill to win this year’s Group 3 Magic Maiden final (520m) at Wentworth Park.
Nine heats of the $25,000-to-the-winner series were run and won last Wednesday night, with Shockwave clocking the second fastest time for Vineyard trainer Dean Swain.
Stepping from box seven in heat five, Shockwave quickly found the top of pack in the charge towards the first turn, kicking clear of her rivals to lead with ease.
In the charge to the line Shockwave continued to extend her lead, crossing the line seven-and-three-quarter lengths clear of Shayna Powers (box six) in a slick 29.84.
To put that time into perspective, Shockwave clocked a faster time at her first start than four of the Group 1 Golden Easter Egg heats on Saturday night, making the daughter of Paw Licking and Resemblance one to watch in the future.
Claiming time honours in the heats was Midnight Francis for successful owner-trainer-breeder David Pringle.
The black bitch was faultless at box rise, zooming straight to the early lead and bolting clear to score by 14 lengths in 29.73.
Midnight Francis is the $6 second elect with William Hill to win the final on April 15.
Pringle had a successful night in the Magic Maiden heats, also training the winner of the sixth heat, Rusty Memories.
A litter brother to Midnight Francis, the son of Barcia Bale and Midnight Capers also showed a clean set of heels at box rise, bounding to the front of the field from the three and leading all the way in 29.99.
Running a good little race to finish second was Blitzing Lass (box one) ahead of Blossom Belle (box two) and Red Sox Ethics (box eight).
Shakey Jakey, which set the current Wentworth Park track record in the Magic Maiden series three years ago for Pringle, also sired Pringle’s third heat winner, Watch The Wasp.
Out of former top racer Midnight News, Watch The Wasp was slowly into stride and settled in fifth position from box eight, around four lengths off the leader Devine Rite (box one).
Down the back, the 33.5-kilogram dog showed plenty of tenacity to rail underneath his rivals to get into second spot approaching the home turn before sneaking under Devine Rite to assume the lead in the charge to the finish.
Devine Rite clocked 30.18, with Devine Rite far from disgraced when finishing two lengths off the winner.
Pringle also had a second placegetter in the opening heat of the night, with Midnight Secret (box five) finishing behind Wise Owl (box eight) for Jane Carruthers.
A son of Barcia Bale and Clockwise, Wise Owl was having his second start on Wednesday night and was able to overcome a slow beginning from box eight, mustering plenty of pace in the early stages to take the lead.
In the run to the line Wise Owl was too powerful for his rivals, scoring by six lengths in a nippy 30.05.
Kerry Drynan, the daughter of respected NSW conditioner Doreen Drynan, took out the second heat of the night with the beautifully bred Fortunes Of Time.
By American sire Kinloch Brae out of Desiderata, a half sister to Group 1 National Sprint Championship winner Chica Destacada, Fortunes Of Time was able to overcome box five when landing straight on the bunny.
Out in front it was a case of times and margins, with the black bitch scoring by just under seven lengths in a handy 30.11.
Also clocking good time from the squeeze box was King Carmody in the final qualifier of the night, defeating Mithril Magic (box two) to score in 30.29.
Trained by Jodie Van Enkhuyzen, King Carmody is a member of the Barcia Bale x Clockwise litter, making him a brother to Wise Owl which won the first heat of the series.
The remaining two heats were both taken out by 20/1 shots – the first of which being Shallay Pallay which won heat three from box four.
It was a gutsy little performance by the George Tsohalis-trained greyhound which was only fairly away and had to dodge plenty of interference around the first turn before capturing the lead down the back straight.
In the run to the line Shallay Pallay was pressured by the race favourite Zipping Chang (box six), but in the end proved too good on the night when scoring by half-a-length in 30.67.
The other heat was won by Eye Dunno at start nine for Ashcroft trainer Shannon Burgin. At her first start over 500m, the daughter of Barcia Bale and Dunno was able to lead all the way from box one, defeating Cullarin Blue (box eight) in a steady 31.06.
Four semi-finals of the Group 3 Magic Maiden will be run this Wednesday night, with first and second qualifying for the lucrative final which will be held on Golden Easter Egg night.
Group 3 Magic Maiden – series winner
Midnight Francis $6
Rusty Memories $6.50
Wise Owl $7.50
Fortunes Of Time $8.50
King Carmody $9
Take A Seat $9
Watch The Wasp $9
Midnight Secret $14
Zipping Chang $14
One Safe Place $17
Here’s Dave $18
Blitzing Lass $21 with William Hill
Devine Rite $21
Blossom Belle $26
Bugatti Extreme $26
Set To Storm $26
By Golly Wally $31
Imagine Time $31
Shayna Powers $31
Allonsy Johnny $41
Bad Boy Dougie $41
La La Lara $41
Mithril Magic $41
Shallay Pallay $41
Champness Boy $61
Crystal Lake $61
Cullarin Blue $61
Kihael Koalmina $61
Sir Nalin $61
Snakey Katie $61
Bugatti Bender $81
Eye Dunno $81
Hubbity Bubbity $81
Magic Skyline $81
Red Sox Ethics $81
Zulu Hurricane $81
Irish Luck $101
Serena Serena $201