BLAZIN’ Bomber affirmed his title as one of the fastest greyhounds in Australia with an airborne 29.15 victory at Sandown Park in a heat of the Group 1 Harrison-Dawson (515m) on Thursday night.
Trained by Darren Pattinson, Blazin’ Bomber was fair to begin from box one but was outpaced in the run to the first turn by Alpha Hermes (box five), with the son of Kinloch Brae and Absolute Stunna pushing up along the fence to slot into second spot behind the leader through the pen.
Down the back and the black dog began making his move, with his every stride matched by Group 1 Temlee winner Dalgetty which managed to work his way into third after being posted wide through the bend.
Off the back and Blazin’ Bomber got a beautiful run through along the inside of Alpha Hermes which simultaneously got tangled up with Dalgetty, with both greyhounds loosing ground as a result.
Swinging for home and once Blazin’ Bomber found the front it was a case of times and margins, sprinting clear of Dalgetty to score by 6.26 lengths at the finish.
The second heat appeared to be at the mercy of Anthony Azzopardi’s Ultimate Magic which was drawn ideally in box eight, with punters sending the son of Magic Sprite and Daydream to the boxes as the $2.90 favourite.
Despite an excellent beginning from out wide, the black dog wasn’t able to cross Soda Man (box three) and was turned sideways around the first bend as the Corey Grenfell-trained greyhound was able to push up along the fence and take control of the event.
Swinging for home and Soda Man was still well clear out in front, with the 20/1 shot in a world of his own as he charged to the line to score by 3.59 lengths over Tiggerlong Await (box four) in a quick 29.45.
The victory was the 20th for Soda Man at start 50, with the son of Fabregas and Pure Elle set to be the first group finalist for his young trainer when he lines up in next Thursday’s $100,000 to the winner decider.
The third Harrison-Dawson heat was the hardest to predict, with each runner possessing a genuine winning chance.
Major Jackpot (box three) started the favourite and was quick into stride, however the classy Invictus Rapid (box two) was able to slot right in behind him around the first turn.
Despite setting up a three length lead down the back, Major Jackpot started coming back towards the field swinging for home, with Invictus Rapid railing through to grab the lead and dash clear.
Trained by Jason Thompson, the black dog recorded a 1.66 length triumph over the fast finishing One For Me (box four), with the time recorded being a sensational 29.20.
The fourth and final qualifier rolled around and when the field jumped it was Aston Bolero, Zambora Brockie and Dundee Osprey which gapped the remainders from boxes four, five and six respectively.
In the back straight, Aston Bolero looked to have a race winning break on his two main rivals, which both put the paw to the floor to try and catch the tearaway leader.
Swinging for home and the super strong Dundee Osprey was the only greyhound making up any ground, with the Geoff Scott-Smith-prepared chaser unleashing a powerful finishing burst down the centre of the track, hitting the front in the run to the line to score in 29.31.
Aston Bolero held on to finish second and qualify for the final, with Zambora Brockie narrowly missing out on a start when crossing the line just one length behind the runner-up.
The Group 1 Harrison-Dawson final is set to be run next Thursday night at Sandown Park and is worth $100,000 to the winner.
Group 1 Harrison-Dawson box draw
Box One – One For Me
Box Two – Dundee Osprey
Box Three – Blazin’ Bomber
Box Four – Dalgetty
Box Five – Tiggerlong Await
Box Six – Soda Man
Box Seven – Invictus Rapid
Box Eight – Aston Bolero
1st Res – Zambora Brockie
2nd Res – Both Sides Now