CRANEBROOK trainer Melinda Finn had a memorable evening at Richmond on Friday night, saluting in two of the four Group 2 Richmond Derby heats conducted over 535m.
Finn and her team returned to the Richmond circuit after a trip to Victoria last week for heats of the Australian Cup. Punters shied away from Winsome Mission in heat one, preferring recent Group 1 National Derby runner-up Bad Boy Sniper, which started at $4.30. Exiting from box seven, Winsome Mission began beautifully from the wide alley and crossed the field to lead comfortably at the first turn. Notable beginner La Grand Logie crossed from box eight to sit in second position, whilst Jason Mackay’s talented chaser Zipping Sonny got to third. Winsome Mission saluted by three lengths at the finish over Zipping Sonny, who made up good ground to finish second with favourite runner Bad Boy Sniper sneaking along to rails to run third. Winsome Mission, a son of El Grand Señor and Ramblin’ Ruby, clocked a sizzling time of 30.38 and notched up his first win at Richmond.
Maitland track record holder Winsome Prince was all the rage in heat two at $1.70 and gave Finn her second qualifier for next week’s $40,000 to the winner final. After running wide at the first turn, the son of Barcia Bale and Winsome Shiraz sped away in the back straight over in-form chaser Seven Jacks, which ran a gallant second for trainer David Taylor. Queenslander Iva Vision finished third after suffering several checks of intereference. The winning margin was three and a half lengths, with Winsome Prince recording a smart time of 30.68 and came home in a sizzling time of 15.08.
Zipping Carter and Jumble shared favourtisim at $2.30 in heat three, with Group One Peter Mosman Classic winner Bessy Boo causing somewhat of an upset from box four. After dropping back in distance since his recent step up to the 700 journey, Christine Proctor’s speedster rounded up early leader Jumble on the home turn, saluting by two lengths over Mark Delbridge’s fast finishing Quasi Bale, with Jumble hanging on for third place. The son of Bekim Bale and My Black Bess notched up his 20th career win last night and took his earnings to over $163,000.
The fourth and final heat saw a few greyhounds well-supported by punters, with Jason Mackay’s Zipping Oscar made the $2.50 favourite from box one. Recent Richmond Cannonball runner-up I’m Pedro began brilliantly from box four and led the field around the first turn. Talented youngster No Donuts was hot on his heels in the back straight and Zipping Oscar was also making good ground along the inside. Turning for home, I’m Pedro began to fade with Lithgow Panther flashing along the rails to make a line of four at the finish. On the far outside, No Donuts held on the win by a neck, with Lithgow Panther tantalisingly close in second and Zipping Oscar half a length away in third place. The son of Fabregas and Chevy Princess, trained by Johnannes Vanderburg, recorded his fourth career win from start number six and is yet to be unplaced.
Group Two Richmond Derby Boxdraw – $40,000 – 535m – 13/03/15
1 – Bessy Boo – Christine Proctor
2 – No Donuts – Johannes Vanderburg
3 – Zipping Sonny – Jason Mackay
4 – Quasi Bale – Mark Delbridge
5 – Winsome Mission – Melinda Finn
6 – Lithgow Panther – John Chapman
7 – Seven Jacks – David Taylor
8 – Winsome Prince – Melinda Finn