Kiranna sets the standard in 2016 Group 2 Laurels Classic heats

THE regally-bred Kiranna stole the show at Sandown Park on Sunday afternoon, producing a breathtaking run to take out her heat of the Group 2 Laurels Classic (515m).

Stepping from box three in the eighth qualifier, the black bitch stopped the clock in a nippy 5.02 to the first mark, a time which saw her lead clearly in the run around the first turn.

Heading down the back the daughter of Cosmic Rumble and It’s A Neveelk burst clear of the pack, striding to the line to score by 5.66 lengths in an airborne 29.20.

A half-sister to Group 1 Australian Cup winner Luca Neveelk, Kiranna is trained by John Paraskevas and has now won eight of her 18 starts, with Sunday’s victory her first success at Sandown Park.

Running on well from the back of the pack to finish second was What’s In Store (box one). Andrea Doria filled the trifecta in third.

Seven other heats were run on Sunday, with the opening qualifier taken out by Rob Britton’s Fanta Bale.

The star bitch was well away from box one, but was out-paced in the run to post the first time, however a scrimmage around the first turn saw the 29-kilogram powerhouse drive through to take the lead.

Once out front it was a case of times and margins, with the Group 1 Hume Cup winner drawing clear to defeat Billiluna (box two) and Miss Morrisset (box eight) in a speedy 29.49.

Heat two saw WA sprinter Pepper Fire, now in the care of Jeff Britton, start as the odds-on favourite from box seven and when the lids flew open she didn’t disappoint, landing straight on the bunny and bounding clear.

Swinging for home and the daughter of Spiral Nikita and West On Bluebird was in a race of her own, crossing the line 7.73 lengths clear of Rock Away (box three) in 29.50.

The two-and-a-half-year-old has now won both of her starts in Victoria and 11 from 35 overall.

Cavalcade (box seven) and Jacqui Blax (box three) started as the equal favourites in the third qualifier, however when the lids flew open it was Flyrite (box five) which raced through to take the early lead.

Jacqui Blax managed to find a nice spot on the fence in the early stages, stalking the frontrunner through the first turn before switching to the outside down the back and surging to the lead.

Once out in front the Keith Hellmuth-trained bitch took off, crossing the line 3.71 lengths ahead of Flyrite and Cosmic Odette (box eight) in 29.47.

Striker Light came within a length of Fernando Bale’s first section record in the fourth heat of the day, recording a sensational 4.97 to the first mark from box two.

Trained by Brett Bravo, the speedster had too much pace for Princess Pout (box one) around the first turn, assuming the lead and setting up a break from her opponents.

Despite a late challenge from Princess Pout, Striker Light had too much fuel in the tank, scoring by 1.81 lengths in a fast 29.37.

The fifth heat of the day was yet another one-act affair, with Donald Hay’s Fearless Swan leading from go to whoa in 29.39.

The daughter of Collision and Audacious Elle made it eight wins from just 12 starts with the speedy victory, defeating Quina Bale (box one) and Rock Me (box six).

Shez Sublime exploded from box three in the sixth heat of the day for Kel Greenough, however the 26.9-kilogram pocket rocket got tired in the run to the line, with Fair Of Face (box seven) going home too strong.

Trained by Peter Craig, Fair Of Face recorded a handy 29.78, with the black bitch now having won five of her nine starts with an additional two minor placings.

The remaining heat of the day saw a rough result for punters, with Brooklyn Skye (box three) leading all the way at odds of $15.

The Craig Hughes-prepared chaser defeated another double figure runner, El Mirage (box two), by 2.59 lengths, with odds on favourite Sarah Swift finishing third.

Four semi-finals of the Group 2 Laurels Classic will be conducted at Sandown Park next Sunday, with the final to be held on Thursday December 15 and worth $50,000 to the winner.