It was probably expected, but Xylia Allen (7) set the time standard in the heats of the Group One Albion Park Gold Cup on Thursday evening with yet another near-record run.
The daughter of Turanza Bale and Tayah Bale (Droopys Vieri – Francesca Bale) stopped the clock at 41.55, just 0.11 outside Dashing Corsair’s track record which he set way back in May of 2010.
It was not exactly a trademark run from the 31kg black bitch who actually left the boxes in last place and had to work hard early to muster up and challenge early leader Mepunga Tiara (4), which she had done by the time they passed the winning post the first time.
From that point, Xylia Allen gradually extended her lead and her victory never looked in doubt. The eventual winning margin was 6 1/4 lengths. Mepunga Tiara battled on to maintain second placing with Mullaway (5) in third.
Another Victorian, Infinite Wish (2) took out the second heat in 41.83 for Anakie trainer Angela Langton. Showing some of the early pace that she had lacked in recent times, the daughter of Premier Fantasy and Jean Jeannie (Surf Lorian – Flickering Lady) left the boxes in second place behind local hope Set Her Again (1).
The pair raced in that order all the way until they reached the 710 metre boxes for the second time, which is where Infinite Wish took over and raced away. By the time they reached the post, the Sydney Cup runner-up had put a 5 1/4 length gap on her rivals to score with ease.
New Zealander Know Class (6) made good ground, weaving a passage through the field to finish second and qualify for next week’s $75,000 to-the-winner final and Set Her Again hung on for third.
The third and final heat saw an upset when local Eleazar (7) finished strongly to take out a mixing affair at a price upwards of $17.00 for Keiron Butler in the time of 42.15. The daughter of Bit Chili and Cool Poss (Big Daddy Cool – Cool Kissy) had recently returned to Queensland after a stint in New South Wales and now finds herself in a Group One final.
Things looked to be going to plan early for punters when favourite Tarks Nemesis (2) went straight to the front with her main rival Wag Tail (6) in second. However the pair appeared to tangle and both lost ground sharply, dashing each others winning chances in the process.
Pumped Up Zarr (1) was left in front and opened up a big space from Golfing Amy (4) and Gangnam Stride (3).
By the home turn, Pumped Up Zarr was under siege and Golfing Amy took over. Just as she looked to have the race in her keeping , Eleazar found plenty in the concluding stages to jump out of the ground and salute from Golfing Amy, with Late Angel Lee (8) grabbing third.
The box draw for next week’s Group One Albion Park Gold Cup is as follows;
1 – Xylia Allen – Jenny Hunt
2 – Infinite Wish – Angela Langton
3 – Golfing Amy – Des Pollock
4 – Mepunga Tiara – Jeff Britton
5 – Eleazar – Keiron Butler
6 – Mullaway – Joanne Price
7 – Set Her Again – Bruce Linnan
8 – Know Class – James Shaw
9 – Late Angel Lee – Darren Titmarsh
10 – Auriga Doll – Geoff Draheim