Robert Britton enhanced his reputation as a master conditioner of stayers when Kulu Spirit ($4.30) and Gunnadoo Magic ($3.60) each won heats of the Group 2 Sir John Dillon Memorial at Sandown.
Kulu Spirit stormed over the top of Sandown Cup winner Chinatown Lad ($1.70F), upstaging the four-time Group winner in 42.57.
Gunnadoo Magic, winner of the Group 2 Maidment Memorial at Sandown Park in January, secured a start in her 11th Group race final when she found a gap along the rails to defeat Fallen Zorro ($2.90) by a neck in 42.79.
As reported here recently, the two Tasmanian champion stayers seem to be racing tired and in need of a break from the track.
Notwithstanding that, it is a testament to the high quality of both dogs that they can race below their best and still be realistic chances of winning these Group class staying races at elite level.
Both Chinatown Lad and Fallen Zorro have raced without a real break from racing since March 2008 and have dominated the Australian staying ranks, but hopefully the two will have a break from racing after the Group 2 Sir John Dillion Memorial.
The box draw for the $36,000 Group 2 Sir John Dillon Memorial Final to be run at Sandown Park on Thursday 16 October ws performed trackside last night.
Gunnadoo Magic improved her chances of a second Group race success when she drew box two for the final. Fallen Zorro also drew well in box three.
1Oodles Rock Neville Vincent$13
2Gunnadoo Magic Robert Britton$4.60
3Fallen Zorro Shane Whitney$6
4Ready To Star Kel Greenough$11
5Chinatown Lad Shane Whitney$2.25
6Kulu Spirit Robert Britton$5.5
7Break The Ice Chris Johannsen$21
8Flying Kosmas Jodie Selleck$31
9Wot Price Harold Garry DarnumReserve
10Awesimus Maximus Phyllis BrownReserve