The first heat was taken out by Julie Fletchers sensational performer Dinkum who recorded his 19th career victory when claiming the race. The black son of Bit Chilli and Meredith Grey began well from out wide in box eight and managed to work his way across to the rails, proving too strong in the end for Voltage Peak by three quarters of a length on the line in a slick 26.25 seconds. Dinkum went into the event paying the generous odds of $6.20 but had excellent form as a winner of his past two starts at Appin in quick times whilst he had also scored a nice victory in the Maitland Gold Cup consolation in April clocking a fast 25.14 seconds on the one turn track. As mentioned Voltage Peak ran on well from box three to qualify for the final for Mark Azzopardi whilst race favourite and defending champion Ritza Ryder finished well back in fifth position after a poor beginning from the cherry.
The second heat was also won from the pink with Tarks Royale taking advantage of a small field to round up his opposition in a nippy 26.41 seconds. The Kristy Sultana trained chaser was the class runner in the race with seven wins to his name after just 15 starts prior to his heat triumph. From those starts the son of Primo Uno had clocked some quick times including a scintillating 29.73 seconds at Wentworth Park and a best time of 26.28 seconds over the Bulli track and distance. Craig Treherne’s Majestic Lee also gains a start in next weeks $25,000 feature running second two and three quarter lengths off the winner. The son of Brett Lee is an above average campaigner winning ten of his 24 racetrack appearances in Victoria.
‘Mr Consistency’ Transcend Time continued the trend of the pink when taking out heat three in emphatic fashion recording 26.35 seconds for Mark Azzopardi. As mentioned in the preview of the heats, Transcend Time is an impeccably bred dog by Bombastic Shiraz and out of Reg Kay’s classy bitch Elite Oriental- a litter sister to front running champion Knocka Norris. The brindle dog tips the scales at over 34 kilograms yet remarkably handles himself very well on the track now as a winner of fifteen from 26 starts.
Transcend Time deserves to crack through for a group win after racing at the elite level for much of his career including recent starts in the group two Maitland Gold Cup(7th behind Black Magic Opal) and more recently when finishing second in the Queensland Derby taken out by the exhilarating Hello Good Bye. Frank Hurst’s young gun sprinter Zulu Zircon held his own at his first attempt in group company at only his fifth start albeit four lengths off the winner on the line. The youngster does not turn two until August but has really captured the eye at his limited starts with a blistering 26.06 seconds win at Bulli at only his third career appearance.
The fourth and final heat was also taken out by a box eight bandit with dual group winning speed machine Jagger Swagger obliterating his opposition to score by four lengths in scorching 26.13 seconds. The win by his kennel star gave Mark Azzopardi three starters in next week’s final with Jagger Swagger the standout after qualifying in the fastest time heat of the night. Jagger Swagger has now won 18 of his 27 starts including success in the group one National Derby at Unibet Gardens and the group two Richmond Derby earlier this year. Also qualifying two finalists into next week’s final is Frank Hurst with Zulu Zeus- the equally talented litter brother of Zulu Zircon working his way through the pack gain his chance in the lucrative feature. Zulu Zeus is an airborne speedster with thrilling wins at Wentworth Park(29.83 seconds), Bulli (26.20 seconds) and Richmond (30.08 seconds) and although he is only young he is certainly a dog with a very bright future. He will face his acid test next week against the big names but is not without his chance of snaring the prize.
The box draw for the Group Three Ranvet Gold Cup is as follows:
2013 Bulli Gold Cup Final
1. Transcend Time Mark Azzopardi
2. Zulu Zeus Frank Hurst
3. Majestic Lee Craig Treherne
4. Tarks Royale Kristy Sultana
5. Dinkum Julie Fletcher
6. Jagger Swagger Mark Azzopardi
7. Zulu Zircon Frank Hurst
8. Voltage Peak Mark Azzopardi
1st Reserve Knocka’s Return Mark Wilcox
2nd Reserve Free Will Anthony Azzopardi