Australia’s best sprinters lined up on Thursday night at Sandown Park and they did not disappoint with four spectacular heats of both the group one Sapphire Crown and the group two Harrison-Dawson staged on an action packed twelve race card.
The girls where the first to hit the track with the brilliant El Brooklyn taking out the first heat of the Sapphire Crown for Jason Thompson. The three year old sprinter is still racing in fantastic style as shown when taking out the event in a slick 29.53 seconds over Jason Mackay’s flyer Sometimes Speedy who will also go into the final on Thursday. The daughter of E Galo and Dark Marne now holds the imposing record of 42 starts for 24 wins and eight placings with almost $275,000 in stakes money.
The second heat gave Jason Mackay his second runner in the group one event with the freakish Punch One Out dominating the race from box eight. Starting at an ominous $1.70 the NSW sensation gave her opponents a rattling, clearing away from Graeme Bate’s Desalle Bale to score by four and a half lengths in a blistering 29.32 seconds. The Knocka Norris bitch looks the one to beat in next week’s final after drawing the coveted rails alley. Gallant in defeat was Desalle Bale who just found the winner too strong. The classy Victorian has come up with box two on the outside of her heat rival for Thursday’s decider.
Heat three went to rails competitor Xylia Allen who put in a tenacious chasing effort to take out the race. In what was the run of the night, the daughter of Turanza Bale overcame moderate getaway and found all sorts of trouble before regaining momentum to rocket away with a five and a quarter length triumph in a sizzling 29.51 seconds. Tricky Jade ran a race full of merit behind Xylia Allen and in doing so brought Jason Mackay’s tally to three finalists from three heat starters into the Sapphire Crown.
The fourth and final heat went to the in-form Evie’s Entity for trainer Lyn Smith. The daughter of Mogambo has won her last four starts with Thursday’s win her fastest triumph recording a red-hot 29.48 seconds for the 515 metre distance. With ten wins from twenty starts, the 29 kilogram youngster is improving each week and should run a competitive race in the final. Also with three runners in the final is Graeme Bate with Orthia Bale making the cut when finishing second to Evie’s Entity. Her heat time of 29.73 seconds was also the Dyna Lachlan sprinter’s best at Sandown although she has drawn awkwardly in seven on Thursday underneath lid pinger Sometimes Speedy.
Moving onto the Harrison-Dawson where the boys were equally impressive. In the first heat Warrnambool Classic winner Premier Event proved he is a force to be reckoned with when scoring decisively from box two in a quick 29.54 seconds. The Premier Fantasy two year old has come along in leaps and bounds and looms as a big threat for the final. Chasing him home in second was Kevin Bale for Graeme Bate who ran his usual honest race for his Lara mentor.
Heat two went to the big odds performer Garrick Bale who put an end to Ronan Izmir’s winning streak when claiming the race in a zippy 29.61 seconds. Paying a massive $19.90 for the win the 15 race winner was all class for Andrea Dailly and ensured he won’t start at such lucrative odds for a while. Warrnambool Cup runner up Schroder Bale put his name in the field when finishing second just over three lengths off the winner.
Heat three went to the exciting proposition Clone Your Own who made it two in a row at Sandown when running an electrifying 29.41 seconds over the track and distance. The former New Zealander by Droopys Marco is right in contention for the $100,000 to the winner event particularly after drawing the cherry for Thursday night. Irmy Bale finished close behind the winner for Graeme Bate and in doing so will join his litter brother Kevin Bale in the decider, with the son’s of Amity Bale certainly doing their mum proud at present.
The last of the qualifiers to be run and won for next week was Harrison-Dawson heat four which was taken out by grand old campaigner Glen Gallon who made it his 34th race success when claiming the event. The son of Flying Stanley has been a terrific dog for Tony Brett with over $500,000 in his race account after Thursday’s win. His time of 29.39 seconds proved that the rising four year old still has the same zest and talent for racing as when he was just a pup, with a win in the final well within reach for this once in a lifetime racer. Outsider Hurricane Isaac injected value into the quinella when finishing in second position with the son of Paddy’s Flame facing his acid test when he lines up next week.
The group one Sapphire Crown and group two Harrison-Dawson will be the highlight of a brilliant night of racing at Sandown on Thursday. Both races have attracted the best of the best and are truly the premier male and female races in Australia.
The complete box draws for the finals is as follows
GROUP ONE SAPPHIRE CROWN FINAL
1 PUNCH ONE OUT JASON MACKAY
2 DESALLE BALE GRAEME BATE
3 TRICKY JADE JASON MACKAY
4 EL BROOKLYN JASON THOMPSON
5 EVIE’S ENTITY LYN SMITH
6 XYLIA ALLEN GRAEME BATE
7 ORTHIA BALE GRAEME BATE
8 SOMETIMES SPEEDY JASON MACKAY
9 HOT IRISH STEVEN CLARKE (1ST RESERVE)
10 GOT A MOMENT JASON THOMPSON (2ND RESERVE)
GROUP TWO HARRISON-DAWSON FINAL
1 CLONE YOUR OWN ROBERT BRITTON
2 IMRY BALE GRAEME BATE
3 GLEN GALLON TONY BRETT
4 SCHRODER BALE GRAEME BATE
5 PREMIER EVENT ANGELA LANGTON
6 HURRICANE ISAAC ANTHONY FLORES
7 GARRICK BALE ANDREA DAILLY
8 KEVIN BALE GRAEME BATE
9 NIKITA’S ELITE LISA COCKERELL (1ST RESERVE)
10 BORIS FIELDS JASON THOMPSON (2ND RESERVE)