Grandchester trainer Tony Brett gave every impression that he could maintain his stranglehold on the Group One Winter Carnival Cup when Flash Reality set the time standard for him at Albion Park on Thursday night.
The promising son of Premier Fantasy and Orara Flash (Bond – Sweet Elite) stopped the clock at 29.71 in a dominant display.
After leaving box eight well, the 34kg black dog parked second early behind the speedy Magic Display (1) and was already cutting an imposing figure.
Half way down the back straight, he put the paw to the floor and quickly raced away putting a margin on all and sundry to win with consummate ease.
Winged Elite (2) railed hard to grab second on the line in front of Magic Display.
Earlier in the evening, the Sandra Hunt trained Gumlow Star ($24.50) caused a major upset when she led all-the-way to land heat one in the biggest boil over since Polly put the kettle on.
The race was thrown wide open when odds-on favourite Keybow left box eight a clear last.
Gumlow Star exited box two in a hurry to lead the charge to the first turn with Rose Of Galo (3) and Exhibitionist (5) racing up to make a line of three. Gumlow Star held the ascendency by virtue of the inside draw and went into the back with a length on Rose Of Galo, Exhibitionist was three lengths away in third. Favourite Keybow had made his way to fifth after overcoming trouble on the first turn.
Leaving the back straight, Gumlow Star quickly beat off Rose Of Galo and put three lengths on the field. Cyndie’s Special (1) railed up to second and ran home fairly but the result was never in doubt with the daughter of El Galo and Jackpot Return (Bombastic Shiraz – Call Me Cash) winning by three lengths in the time of 30.10. Cyndie’s Special finished second with Exhibitionist third.
Australian Cup winner Buckle Up Wes landed heat two in a go to whoa performance from box two in 30.09.
After exiting the boxes rapidly, the son of Collision and Everlong Bale (Primo Uno – Shique Bale) was always going to take some catching. Love Kills (6) got to second early with Miner’s Moss (7) in third.
The Ted Medhurst trained black dog held a one length break into the back straight with Love Kills running a solid race and applying plenty of pressure as they wound into the home turn.
Class prevailed however and Buckle Up Wes staved off the hearty challenge of Love Kills to rack up his 26th career win by three-quarters of a length. Maid For Ron (3) was doing his best work late to finish third.
Awesome Project continued his recent rich vein of form when he took out the third heat in an imperious display, registering the time of 29.82, which was the second fastest time of the five heats.
After spearing the lids from box three, the son of Collision and Honour Phase (Big Daddy Cool – Hunter Tylo) quickly made the race a one act affair en route to his third straight victory.
Chant (4) and Give You Credit (7) were the early chasers and went into the back straight some three lengths behind the leader. But Awesome Project extended his lead and quickly broke the hearts of those in pursuit of him.The 29kg dog won by a big space from Rue De Khan, with Top Story in third place.
The final heat went the way of local Yogi Blue in 30.16 for Yamanto trainer Peter O’Reilly.
After showing superior speed from the rails alley, the son of Cool Effort and Opal Assassin (Whiskey Assassin – Zane’s Girl) held out the early challenges of Abbey’s Fantasy (3) and Gimme Fuel (2).
The 31kg blue dog had a three length break down the back and maintained that margin into the straight and hung on to score. Benarkin (5) made a late challenge, sprouting wings to eat up the ground and finish second just a length behind the winner. Flick Pass finished third a further two lengths away.
The box draw for next Thursday’s $75,000 Group One Winter Carnival Cup is as follows;
1 – Awesome Project – Darren McDonald
2 – Gumlow Star – Sandra Hunt
3 – Love Kills – Brian Partridge
4 – Buckle Up Wes – Ted Medhurst
5 – Benarkin – Tony Brett
6 – Winged Elite – John Hutchinson
7 – Yogi Blue – Peter O’Reilly
8 – Flash Reality – Tony Brett
9 – Cyndie’s Special – William Elson
10 – Rue De Khan – Dean Swain