If you thought the sensations were going to stop with the bizarre late scratching of Wilodious Blues, then you were sadly mistaken.
The first semi final looked like a race in which there were only four main hopes, but as the dust settled only one of those dogs was progressing to the Golden Easter Egg Final. Fawn Hustler (Typhoon Tide ~ China Cruise) blew its chances when it jumped inward at the start and had to over correct and collided with Tucklan Rebel (Hotshow Sam ~ Wally’s Cockatoo) on its outside. At the same time All Caution (Collision ~ All Ages) jumped inward but was sooner after got cut in half by Lorna Moira (Token Prince ~ Princess Tasha) who had begun quick and crashed hard left, wiping out anything in her path. The resultant interference left Lorna Moira in front with the dog boxed to miss the trouble, Persian Spy (Elite State ~ Persian Belle), given an easy run to move in to second. Back in the field, Borat (Brett Lee ~ Chloe Jones) had been slammed heavily in to the rail from the intereference amongst the inside 4 boxes and did an excellent job just to keep running. Teaman Titch (Bombastic Shiraz ~ Call Me Donna) who again had missed the start badly was the only real contender capable of running the leading two down, but was very dissapointing in the run to the line and Persian Spy collared Lorna Moira to win by a nose in 30.30, with both progressing to the final.
The second semi saw Paddy’s Flame (Larkhill Jo ~ Miss Holly) gain a run from box 3 with the scratching of Paul Lee, and she began quick enough to go up outside Cool Effort (Big Daddy Cool ~ Token Effort) in the run to the first corner and that was enough for Cool Effort; who threw his head in the air on the first corner and let Paddy’s Flame and Blazing Token get away down the back. Paddy’s Flame didn’t quite run it out and Blazing Token went on to win in 30.11 with an extremely lucky Cool Effort just managing to get back past Paddy’s Flame to claim second. True Destiny from box 8 had no luck in running and never got warm.
Semi Final 3 went the way of One Tree Hill (Gable Lafourche ~ Mockingbird Hill) who jumped inward at the start and contacted Berella Diva (Bombastic Shiraz ~ Berella Xanadu) who inturn checked Spring Smile (Collision ~ Spring Vintage), which inturn slammed Violet Crumble (Where’s Pedro ~ Belron Blue) in to the rail in almost exactly the same spot that Borat came to grief. The interference putting paid to the inside trio’s chances and leaving One Tree Hill solo trialling out in front with Lucky Alive (Excite Ability ~ Split The Mist) from box 7 trailing and that was the way it stayed, with One Tree Hill winning in 29.93
Semi Final 4 saw the appearance of the super impressive heat winner Clair Maude (Hallucinate ~ I’ll Get By) starting from box 7 but she begun only fairly and appeared to resent the runners around her through the first corner and pulled out of it down the back straight to run almost a full second slower than she did the week before. Subsequent veterinary examination of Clair Maude by order of the stewards revealed no injury. At the start Trew Millions (Brett Lee ~ Chloe Jones) again missed the jump and then run severely hard left to the rail, going in behind all the other dogs. It turned out to be a blessing for Trew Millions who found himself going under those in front of him on the first corner when they fanned off. Winoki who had begun well from box 6 was left in front running his usual honest race but couldn’t hold off the strong finish of Trew Millions nearing the post in 30.13. Mandagery Man (Token Prince ~ Eriskay) was the unluckiest of the runners when Bungendore appeared to veer out in the straight at just the same time Mandagery Man looked like making a run that would’ve seen him secure either first or second place. That interference held him up just enough to be nosed out of second place and the last Golden Easter Egg Final berth by Winoki.
2Persian Spy35123130.2130.30Carly Absalom
3Blazing Token35112130.1130.11Max Burdekin
4Cool Effort41363230.1730.17Darren McDonald
5Trew Millions31412130.1330.13Tina Womann
6Lucky Alive42153230.1030.10Col Sherwood
7Lorna Moira51244230.3130.31Ron Bell
8One Tree Hill16233129.9129.93Robert Britton
9Berella Diva41123330.1830.18Ron Ball
10Mandagery Man11112329.9130.18Sam Sultana
Given some of the inconsistent performances so far handed out in this series, and some of the racing tendancies of the ones remaining, it looks like Mr Consistency, Winoki, could be the one to stand tall for owner David Carter and trainer Peter Giles. Giles, who lost one of the pre post favourites, Mister Twink, with a fractured hock in the first rounds of the series; has so far only manged a career best 3rd placing in the Golden Easter Egg with Mabilis Babe behind Stately Bird’s 2000 Easter Egg victory.
Winoki who used box 1 to advantage to win his Golden Easter Egg Heat in a respectable 30.18, again managed to secure the lead not long from the boxes in his semi final before winning in 30.13. That determination and the aid of box 1 in the final should be enough for him to just keeping punching up on the inside and hold the lead through the first corner. With the speedy Lorna Moira boxed out in 7, it’ll be a case of look out inside and she will crash across the face of the field and negate any winning hopes of those inside her. One Tree Hill who looks ideally boxed out in 8 due to the “Lorna Moira” factor, has a terrible box 8 record and is unlikely to take advantage of the dream run she will be afforded.
One thing is for sure, the Golden Easter Egg Final is sure to finish with the same drama and sensation that has been the hall mark of the 2008 series.