Kihael Kaluna raises the bar in Magic Maiden semi-final

IT WAS a case of de ja vu at Wentworth Park on Friday night, as last Sunday’s fastest Group 3 Magic Maiden heat qualifier, Kihael Kaluna, clocked a sizzling 29.75 in taking out his semi-final of the $25,000-to-the-winner feature, one tenth faster than the next best winner.

Exiting from box five in semi one, the son of Oaks Road and She’s The Goodes dwelt at the start but showed brilliant acceleration to dash to the lead at the first turn. Recording a speedy first split of 5.37 and an equally impressive second sectional of 17.77, owner-trainer Kim Hyde would have been smiling from ear-to-ear as her charge raced away to score by four lengths at the finish. Aqua Phoenix was simply outstanding from box eight, crossing from the wide alley to chase gallantly throughout the entire affair. The black bitch also earned herself a spot in the final for trainer Tia Robertson.

Another impressive heat winner from last Sunday stepped out in semi-final two, with Ruth Matic’s Black Bear Lee well-supported by punters at $2.50. Jumping from box eight, the 35kg heavyweight stumbled at the start, before balancing up to challenge early leader Remember Irene at the first turn. Dashing away in the back straight, the son of Brett Lee and Paua Of Love careered away by three-and-three-quarter lengths, recording a smart time of 29.88. Mark Gatt’s Nit Noi chased his heart out to finish second after exiting from box seven at big odds.

Privacy and Down Every Road shared favouritism in the third semi-final at $2.90, with Melinda Finn’s Down Every Road getting a great start from box six and racing to the lead in the run to the first turn. Despite Kevro’s efforts to take ground off the leader, the son of World Title and Miss Bel Air was too strong at the finish, scoring by three lengths in a fast time of 29.88. Ken Burnett should be extremely pleased with Kevro’s efforts to finish second, after finding trouble early on.

The last semi-final saw punters lean towards Marty Hallinan’s Zipping Meg which impressed on debut at Wentworth Park last week, with Mark Gatt’s Prince Omar also at short odds, exiting from box four. After an even start at box rise, Dear Darcey (box six) showed good acceleration to hit the lead at the first turn, with Zipping Meg quickly getting to second. A brilliant late surge by Marty Hallinan’s chaser wasn’t enough to snatch the win from trainer John Ayoub, who’s enjoying great success with Dear Darcey, now undefeated after two starts. The son of Barcia Bale and Awesome Star clocked a fast time of 29.89 and got the cash by a head.

Group 3 Magic Maiden Final Box Draw – Wentworth Park – 520m – 04/04/15

1 – Dear Darcey – John Ayoub
2 – Aqua Phoenix – Tia Robertson
3 – Zipping Meg – Martin Hallinan
4 – Kevro – Kenneth Burnett
5 – Black Bear Lee – Ruth Matic
6 – Kihael Kaluna – Kim Hyde
7 – Down Every Road – Melinda Finn
8 – Nit Noi – Mark Gatt

Reserves

9 – Zipping Keith – Trevor Jones
10 – Privacy – Garry Williams