JOHN Mccarthy has qualified four runners through to next weekend’s Group 3 Ipswich Auction Series (520m) semi-finals after a successful night at the track on Saturday night.
Mccarthy’s first youngster to qualify was Oh Golly Gosh (box seven) in the opening heat of the night, running second to Must Be Max (box six).
When the lids flew open, the pair matched motors for the first few strides before Must Be Max gained the upper hand, sprinting clear to go to the lead in the run around the first turn.
Oh Golly Gosh was able to slip straight into second spot behind the leader, which never looked in danger, scoring by four-and-a-half lengths in 30.51.
Trained by Tom Tzouvelis, Must Be Max has now won 10 of his 18 starts with an additional five minor placings.
Mccarthy turned the tables on Tzouvelis in the third qualifier, with the promising Aza Zeus beginning flawlessly from box four and giving nothing else a chance – defeating Tzouvelis’ Saludos (box two) by three-and-three-quarter lengths in a slick 30.70.
The black and white dog has always shown plenty of potential, having recorded a fast 30.50 at Ipswich last month.
Slick, another John Mccarthy-trained chaser, took time honours in the fourth heat of the night, recording a sensational 30.27 over the 520m-trip.
Despite only beginning fairly from box two, the 33.4-kilogram powerhouse was able to muster plenty of pace in the run to the first turn, surging to the front and kicking clear.
Once on the bunny it was a case of times and margins, with Slick extending his lead to 10 lengths on the line.
Running on well to grab second was another Tom Tzouvelis-trained greyhound, Del Rey (box one), however the daughter of Milldean Panther and National Diamond was no match for the winner.
Heat five was another case of déjà vu for punters as Mccarthy and Tzouvelis once again nabbed the winning quinella.
This time it was Tzouvelis who prepared the winner, with Maurice Minor (box two) using the inside draw to perfection after a poor beginning, pushing up on the first turn to go to the lead.
Despite the best efforts of Mccarthy’s Rather Dapper (box seven), which missed the kick, Maurice Minor was off and gone out in front, crossing the line five-and-three-quarter lengths in front of Rather Dapper in 30.59.
Maurice Minor, a son of Cosmic Rumble and Shabeky, has now won two of his five starts with a further three minor placings.
The remaining heat of the night was taken out by leading conditioner Tony Brett who put the polish on Lantana Lass.
The 26-kilogram pocket rocket exploded from box one, racing straight to the front of the field. Despite the best efforts of Windy Girl (box six), Lantana Lass was too classy, recording her fourth win at start five in a nippy 30.69.
The first four from each heat, as well as the first four from the three heats on March 4, will now progress through to the semi-finals at Ipswich next weekend before the $70,000-to-the-winner final on March 25.