Over half the field for the 2014 Group One Golden Easter Egg final will be trained by two trainers. Andrea Dailly has qualified three runners for the final (Ollie Bale, Jordan Allen and Hawk Alone) and Brooke Ennis has qualified two runners (Warrior King and Tonk).
The final field is now known after four semi-finals of the rich Group One race were completed at Wentworth Park on Saturday night. The fastest semi-final winner was Evil Punk, who recorded 29.70 for the 520 metre journey. Overall, there wasn’t much difference amongst the other semi-final winning times; 29.80, 29.81 and 29.83.
Here’s a look at how each of the semi-finals panned out.
Semi-final One – Group One Golden Easter Egg
The Dailly’s kicked off the semi-finals with a bang, qualifying the first two runners into the Easter Egg final next week. Everything went the way of the Silver Chief winner Ollie Bale (3), as he lead all the way in 29.83, recording sections of 5.46, 13.94 and an 11.74 run home.
The race favourite, Keybow (7), came undone by the box draw, finding all sorts of trouble trying to get across from the outside and he finished down the track in seventh. Where’s The Surf (1) looked well-suited by the draw but didn’t fly the lids and had to do a mile of work to get himself into a handy position around the turn, but he couldn’t hang on for a place, finishing fourth.
Fort Allen (8) crossed beautifully from box eight to land in second behind Ollie Bale but it was kennel-mate Jordan Allen (5) that displayed blistering mid race pace to finish six and a quarter lengths second behind Ollie Bale. It was a top run as he was only average away and had to negotiate a tricky passage into the race. Romantic Affair (4) finished strongly for third.
The first two 2014 Easter Egg finalists are Wheeler bred. Ollie Bale is a black dog by Go Wild Teddy – Zambola Bale (Collision – Maple Bale) and Jordan Allen is a black dog by Fear Zafonic – Dyna Celeste (Awesome Assassin – Jindara Bale).
Semi-final Two – Group One Golden Easter Egg
Evil Punk (5) took out the second semi-final in a victory that no one could begrudge him of. It was a gutsy effort by the James Coyle trained dog who was desperately unlucky in the heats, falling after striking the lure down the back straight. The stewards wisely used their discretion to advance him through to the semi-finals and avoid the ballot. He ran away with a four and a half length win over Warrior King (4) in a time of 29.70. He recorded sections of 5.48, 13.84 and 11.73 run home.
Brooke Ennis’ Warrior King (4) began well from box four but switched off the back of Evil Punk rounding the turn, losing momentum. This allowed Lach’s Wish (1) to move up into second behind Evil Punk on the rail. However, Warrior King quickly balanced back up and swept past Lach’s Wish down the back. Dyna Nalin (6) stormed home for third, after rounding the first turn in fifth position.
Richmond Derby place-getter Evil Punk is a black dog, bred, owned and trained by James Coyle and is by Collision – Punk Angel (Addis Boy – Dos Santos). Horsham Cup place-getter Warrior King is a red brindle dog by Turanza Bale – Flamenco (Where’s Pedro – Zarbo).
Semi-final Three – Group One Golden Easter Egg
Luckily, greyhounds don’t know what odds they are when they jump from the boxes. Magic Display (3) was rated a $31.00 chance when the lids opened but she didn’t run like a longs odds shot. She pinged the lids to record the best first section of the semi-finals, a fast 5.36. Buckle Up Wes (4) tried to go with her but she stuck to her guns to get the all important lead around the first turn.
Down the back, she was nearly four lengths clear of Australian Cup winner Buckle Up Wes and Ritza Hattie (1), who began well from box one. Buckle Up Wes had to do a little bit of extra work as he was stuck outside Ritza Hattie down the back and could only cross her heading into the final turn. It was a mad dash to the finish line with Buckle Up Wes in hot pursuit of Magic Display and Ritza Hattie chiming in down the middle of the track.
Magic Display crossed the finishing line with half a length to spare in 29.80. Buckle Up Wes finished second, with just half a length separating him and Ritza Hattie in third. Magic Display, trained by Evelyn Harris, recorded sections of 5.36, 13.74 and 11.92 run home.
Magic Display is a black bitch bred by Evelyn Harris. She is by Magic Sprite – Display Bonus (Elite State – All Display). The Ted Medhurst trained Buckle Up Wes is a black dog by Collision – Everlong Bale (Primo Uno – Shique Bale).
Semi-final Four – Group One Golden Easter Egg
Brooke Ennis qualified a second runner for the Easter Egg final after Tonk (2) put on a great chasing display to hunt down Hurricane Rino (5) and run away to score in 29.81, running home in 11.87. The first two sections of 5.38 and 13.76 were credited to Hurricane Rino, who speared the lids from box five to lead the field around the Glebe circuit.
Tonk railed beautifully and chased the leader hard down the back. He poured on the pace up the home straight to zoom past the tiring Hurricane Rino to score strongly by three and a half lengths.
Rookie Rebel winner Hawk Alone (7) unleashed a withering finishing burst to grab Hurricane Rino in the shadows of the post to secure second spot and a place in the final.
The fancied Iona Tokyo (1) began well from box one, but after being crossed by Hurricane Rino going into the turn she shifted wide and that ended any chance she had of making the final.
Tonk is a fawn dog by Bartrim Bale – Coulta Gold (Bombastic Shiraz – Coulta Tess). Hawk Alone, trained by Andrea Dailly, is by Westmead Hawk – Glamorous Jade (Brett Lee – Glamorous).
The all-important box draw for the final next week is:
1. Buckle Up Wes – 29.84 (Ted Medhurst)
2. Tonk – 29.81 (Brooke Ennis)
3. Ollie Bale – 29.83 (Andrea Dailly)
4. Warrior King – 30.02 (Brooke Ennis)
5. Magic Display – 29.80 (Evelyn Harris)
6. Evil Punk – 29.70 (James Coyle)
7. Jordan Allen – 30.27 (Andrea Dailly)
8. Hawk Alone – 30.05 (Andrea Dailly)