STAR South Australian sprinter Fabregal stole the show at Angle Park on Thursday night, recording the fastest win across the three Group 3 SA Oaks heats over 515m.
Starting from box five in the second heat, the Robyn Mackellar-trained bitch speared the lids, crossing the inside division and holding out a determined Shelley Keeping (box seven) in the charge to the first turn.
Heading down the back and the local greyhound was able to kick clear from her Victorian opponent which refused to go down without a fight, surging once again in the closing stages to reduce the margin to just three quarters of a length on the line.
Bel Air Mist ran a nice race at her debut over the track and trip for Glenn Rounds, qualifying for the final five and a half lengths behind the winner.
Fabregal’s victory was her first since scoring in 29.55 at Sandown Park back in July, with the daughter of Fabregas and Allinga Aye Jay taking on some top sprinters at her most recent starts, including last Saturday at Angle Park where she finished down the track behind Worm Burner in the Group 1 National Sprint Championship.
Brett Bravo, the trainer of Shelley Keeping, will be represented by two greyhounds in the final, with the top conditioner also putting the polish on Andrea Doria which took out the opening heat of the night.
Despite a fair beginning from box two, the daughter of Collision and Ritza Flare was able to take advantage of the inside draw, railing into second spot behind fellow Victorian Wynburn Toozie (box one) in the early stages.
Heading off the back straight and the black bitch was still giving the leader a big start, but knuckled down to the task at hand, railing along the fence to assume the lead half way down the home straight and surging clear to score by one and a quarter lengths in 30.00.
Despite tiring over the final stages Wynburn Toozie was able to hold on for second and book her spot in the final for Kel Greenough, with Times Square (box six) filling the trifecta back in third.
The third and final heat of the night loomed as the most exciting, with terrific Victorian youngsters Cavalcade (box one) and Fanta Bale (box three) tipped to battle it out.
When the lids flew open Fanta Bale was only fair to begin and wanted to get off the track slightly in the early stages, while Cavalcade began well from the cherry and was able to slot into second spot behind WA sprinter Pepper Fire (box seven).
Down the back and Pepper Fire was still leading the way, with Cavalcade right on her heels back in second spot, with Brazen Bomber (box five) and Fanta Bale both starting to wind up in third and fourth spots respectively.
Swinging for home and the leader started to get weary, with her competitors coming from everywhere in pursuit of the prize, with Brazen Bomber going home the best to claim the victory by a head in 29.85.
Pepper Fire was able to hold on for second, with just one one hundredth of a second splitting Fanta Bale and Cavalcade for third and fourth, the former getting the nod from the judges and a spot in next week’s $25,000 to the winner final.
Trained by Jeffrey Guy, Brazen Bomber has now won eight of her 37 career starts with a further 14 minor placings, while she is sure to improve heading into the final after debuting at Angle Park on Thursday night.
The final of the Group 3 SA Oaks will be conducted on Thursday September 8.
Group 3 SA Oaks – box draw
Box 1 – Shelley Keeping
Box 2 – Andrea Doria
Box 3 – Pepper Fire
Box 4 – Brazen Bomber
Box 5 – Bel Air Mist
Box 6 – Fabregal
Box 7 – Wynburn Toozie
Box 8 – Fanta Bale
1st Res – Times Square
2nd Res – Cavalcade