FORMER NSW chaser Space Star made a successful return to Wentworth Park on Saturday night, taking out a heat of the Group Two Summer Distance Plate, producing a brilliant display from box eight.
After stepping well from the outside alley, the Robert Britton-trained chaser quickly sped to the lead at the top of the first turn, taking over from outside runner Big Kat. The $1.50 favourite justified his short odds, gapping rivals by nine and a quarter lengths at the finish, in a best-of-the-night time of 42.40. Space Star hasn’t raced at Wentworth Park since October of last year and notched up win number 15 from start 26. Carl Schlensog’s Big Kat produced a brave effort to finish second, while Serena Nimbus made up good ground to place third. Smooth Runner, which was up with the leaders early on, held on for fourth and qualifies for next week’s final, which offers $40,000 to the winner.
Heat one went to another Victorian chaser in Starc for trainer Andrea Dailly, upsetting $1.80 favourite Kiltah Magic, which led comfortably from box one and unfortunately tired mid-race. Starc sat in fourth position going past the winning post the first time and railed beautifully to take the lead from Pumped Up Zarr turning for home. The son of Bekim Bale and Glory Of Love saluted by two and half lengths in an impressive time of 42.47, on a very wet Wentworth Park circuit. Starc recorded his sixth career win from start number 33 and notched up his first victory since November of last year. Local chaser Pumped Up Zarr finished second for trainer Neil Staines, while Summer Cup Winner Zipping Rory flashed home for third. Andrea Dailly secured her second runner in next week’s final with Double Rinse finishing fourth.
The box draw for next week’s $40,000-to-the-winner final is:
1 – Starc (Andrea Dailly)
2 – Smooth Number (Allen Hansen)
3 – Serena Nimbus (Neville Brown)
4 – Double Rinse (Andrea Dailly)
5 – Zipping Rory (Peter Dapiran)
6 – Big Kat (Carl Schlensog)
7 – Pumped Up Zarr (Neil Staines)
8 – Space Star (Robert Britton)
9 – Raramuri (Ian Morgan)
10 – Joane (Christine Proctor)