However track specialist Free Will took centre stage with an impressive all the way display from box one in a sizzling 29.59.
Not to be disgraced Got A Moment with her first ever look at the track also clocked a flying 29.66 with both dogs drawing side by side in boxes three and four respectively. As expected trainer Anthony Azzopardi was thrilled with the run.
‘He loves Gosford, he is such a good quiet kennel dog and has won some handy races, and I just hope he can get a clear run in the final’.
Anthony has had to settle for second best on several occasions as of late with his most recent, Dark Assassin who was a gallant runner up in the Dapto auction puppy classic final.
‘I’ve been running so many seconds lately hopefully this will be the one that turns it around. It would be a great way to start the New Year’ said Azzopardi.
Despite Got A Moment being the early pre-race favourite, Azzopardi concedes Little Ed from box one is also a prime danger,
‘Little Ed ran great last week and can post a good time. His drawn the perfect box and is another strong contender alongside Got A Moment’.
Heat two went to finishing specialist Tifia who produced a traditional come from behind win scoring by a head in a respectable 30.12. After trailing the fast beginning Armenra, the Magic Maiden winner mowed down the leader in the latter stages with Suits us for Ken Burnett flashing home from back in the field to claim a spot in this week’s $40,000 to the winner final.
Heat three saw the return of Mr Clydesdale after a one month spell to do what he does best and lead from start to finish in a flying 29.76. Cruising along from box eight, the Hunter Valley trained speedster gapped his rivals to cement a place in this week’s final. Despite drawing box seven, if handled similarly will see him a heavy contender. Second place Cadence stuck with the winner the entire way and was gallant in defeat with a more preferable box two draw this week.
With so much early speed and determination, the first turn on Tuesday night will not be for the faint hearted with the coveted $40,000 prize highly sought after and has been claimed by some of the best in the past including; Tuiaki, Elite Blue Size, Prince Diablo and Missy Elly Mint. One thing is for sure that whoever the winner may be will be adding a truly prestige race to their resume.
The full box draw for the final at 8.58pm is:
2013 Gosford Gold Cup
1. Little Ed Barry Evans
2. Cadence Francis Harris
3. Free Will Anthony Azzopardi
4. Got A Moment Jason Thompson
5. Amadeus Strikes Steven White
6. Tifia Chris O’Brien
7. Mr Clydesdale Robert McColm
8. Suits Us Kenneth Burnett