Beginning well from box 2, Mr. Moorooduc ($3.90) was never threatened, racing away to defeat fast finishing favourite Birthday Boy ($3.70F) by five lengths in a stunning 29.57 seconds.
Joining the white and brindle speedster in the $250,000 final is dual country cup winner Remo Rubik.
Trained by Geoff Mitchell in Keysborough, Remo Rubik ($3.30) was flawless from box 1, going on to win his heat by a length from the gallant Dawbillows Heaven ($15.90) in 29.72 seconds.
Geelong based trainers will again be well represented in Australia’s richest greyhound race, with Jamie Ennis’ Octare causing the upset of the night when she defeated recent Geelong Cup winner Gripen Bale and three-time Group 1 winner Cindeen Shelby in a slick 29.66 seconds.
Sent to the boxes a $33 outsider, it was Octare’s first win in 11 attempts at the Lightwood Road circuit. She was a finalist in this month’s Group 1 Macro Meats Crown Classic, and will be looking to secure her first feature win in 63 career starts in next week’s $175,000 to the winner final.
Fellow Geelong greyhounds joining Octare in next week’s final are Andrea Dailly’s six time Group race finalist Dyna Lachlan which was far too good in his heat, winning in 29.64 seconds, and Robert Britton’s Prankster which won its sixth race from 10 starts at Sandown Park.
Take The Kitty is the sole interstate representative in the 2009 final. Ken Cheetham’s Sky Racing Topgun finalist overcame the dreaded box 6 to win in 29.79 seconds, defeating the well fancied Flash Of Light by one length.
But all eyes will be focused on Turanza Bale for master trainer Graeme Bate.
Bate is a three time Solo Melbourne Cup winner and has prepared over 20 Cup finalists in his long and distinguished career.
His 2009 year has been one of his finest; winning 15 Group races across the country with seven different greyhounds, and will have eyes set firmly on the nation’s biggest prize with one of the country’s fastest greyhounds.
After setting the Meadows track record in the recent Group 3 Silver Bullet, Turanza Bale was a brave second behind kennelmate Velocette in last week’s Group 3 Macro Meats Shootout, and overcame a strong challenge form Queenslander Robo Raptor to win his heat by 2 ½ lengths in 29.78 seconds.
The boxdraw for the final of the 2009 Solo Melbourne Cup will be conducted at the Melbourne Cup Ball at Sandown Park on Saturday night, and will be available on from approximately 10.00pm.
The final of the $250,000 feature will be run at Sandown Park on Thursday 26 November. An action packed night is planned both on and off the track, with free entertainment, the chance to meet Greyhound Racing Victoria ambassadors Archie Thompson and Bianca Chatfield, and the chance for patrons to win one of 8 x $1000 bets on a Solo Melbourne Cup finalist in the Big Punt competition.