Despite the absence of the state’s superstar sprinter Ernie Bung Arrow, the Group 3 Gawler Gold Cup heats still had plenty of depth and class to offer last night.
The fastest qualifier was the Kathleen Johnstone-trained Encosta Kahn who dominated the first heat after beginning well from box eight. The son of Bombastic Shiraz speared out of the boxes from the wide draw before crossing to the rails on the first turn and shooting away. The black dog maintained his composure throughout the entire run, hitting the line very strongly three and one quarter lengths ahead of the consistent Just Shine in 30.84s. It was win number 15 for Encosta Kahn last night, which had been racing without luck in his last few starts against some top flight performers.
Lewiston trainer Ben Rawlings notched up two winners, with both Bogie Magic and Bogie Prince taking out their respective heats.
Bogie Magic scored in the second heat, race four. After beginning flawlessly from the pink, the black speedster had to do some work going around the first turn as the Lisa Rasmussen-trained Cacia Bale punched up to hold the rails in the run to the line on the first occasion. Heading through the pen, Bogie Magic slipped into another gear and dashed clear of his blue-rugged competitor, with the only danger looking to be Benchmark for Peter Jovanovic. However, as he turned for home, Bogie Magic drifted off the rails and out into the centre of the track, allowing Cacia Bale to have one last crack at the win. Luckily for Rawlings, Bogie Magic had done enough throughout the run to hold on to the lead and win by a length on the line in 31.11s.
Rawlings’ second winner saluted in the final heat, race eight. After an average beginning from box seven, Bogie Prince got plenty of room to move in the early stages and mustered enough pace to swoop around the outside and into third position around the first turn. In a tightly run race down the back, Bogie Prince managed to find the front and from that point he was never behind another runner, kicking clear to win by one and three quarter lengths in 31.31s.
One of the most impressive winners of the night was Victa Victoria who put in a massive run in the third heat at the generous odds of $10. The field was led early by frontrunners Fire Tyson (box two) and Chemical Maker (box eight), with the latter pushing up to assume the lead down the back straight. From box five Victa Victoria was shuffled back into fourth position and looked a place chance at best heading towards the 600 boxes. Entering the straight, the leader started getting weary and was tackled by Senni Tony (box seven) and Fire Tyson but it was Victa Victoria, which was putting in massive strides down the outside, that found the front right on the line in 30.95s. The dark brindle bitch trained by Ron Schadow has now won 17 races with a further 21 placings. The daughter of Surf Lorian possesses a powerful closing kick and should not be ruled out of this Sunday’s $25,000 to the winner final
The complete list of heat winners is as follows:
Heat One- Encosta Kahn- 30.84s
Heat Two- Bogie Magic- 31.11s
Heat Three- Victa Victoria- 30.95s
Heat Four- Right Time- 30.95s
Heat Five- Kalden Kurageous- 30.97s
Heat Six- Bogie Prince- 31.31s
2013 Group 3 Gawler Gold Cup
Box 1 Victa Victoria- Ron Schadow
Box 2 Encosta Kahn- Kathleen Johnstone
Box 3 Bogie Prince- Ben Rawlings
Box 4 Bogie Magic- Ben Rawlings
Box 5 Right Time- Cameron Butcher
Box 6 Senni Tony- Colin Swain
Box 7 Kalden Kurageous- Troy Murray
Box 8 Kaylarikki- Raymond Burgess
1st Res Kalden Kapone- Troy Murray
2nd Res Just Shine- Robyn Mackellar