As expected, the Victorian trainers dominated, taking out five of the heats. Western Australia, Tasmania, New South Wales and Queensland trained dogs will also feature in the semi-finals.
Keybow was the fastest heat winner, flying around the Glebe circuit in 29.45.
Heat One – Golden Easter Egg
Class prevailed in the first heat with Western Australian superstar Dyna Nalin (1) taking advantage of a rails draw to duck through into second spot around the first turn. He was last away but had room as Pride Of Mykonos (2) was off and gone. Once Dyna Nalin got into second it was only a matter of when, not if, he would run down the early leader Pride Of Mykonos. Dyna Nalin hit the front rounding the turn into the home straight and the champion dog trained by Paul Stuart drew away by seven and a half lengths in 29.69.
Fast Archer (7) and Chica Destacada (4) were both in the market but failed to run a place. Fast Archer didn’t show his customary early zip and went extremely wide around the first turn. Chica Destacada was in the hunt early but checked off Make A Fifty (3) rounding the turn and fell back in the field. Shadow Lane (5) got up to run third after suffering interference at the first turn, flying home to miss second spot by a head.
Heat Two – Golden Easter Egg
Frank Sidrak’s Iona Tokyo (3) displayed her blistering early pace to take out the second heat from Where’s The Surf (7) and Varcoe (8). She controlled the race from start to finish and was never troubled in 29.78. Where’s The Surf (7) and Varcoe (8) were able to cross the field safely at the turn as first reserve Hurricane Beccy crashed across from box six, interfering with Yogi Blue (5). Iona Tokyo’ winning margin was two and a half lengths lengths and just a neck separated Where’s The Surf and Varcoe.
Heat Three – Golden Easter Egg
Rue De Kahn (1) started as the favourite but wasn’t a factor after she was swamped by dogs crossing to the rail. The surprising leader was Easton Bale (5), who had been coming off a number of runs over the 595 metres at Sandown. That strength held the Andrea Dailly trained chaser in good stead as he was able to stave off a challenge by Edge (7) to win by four and a quarter lengths in 29.83, recording just his second win from seven starts at Wentworth Park.
Edge tried his heart out and was rewarded a place in next weeks semi-final by finishing second. As usual, Gradence (2) came from nowhere to finish third. He got the space he needed down the back to wind up his motor and power over the top of Crash Model (8) and Apollo Reign (4) down the home straight.
Heat Four – Golden Easter Egg
Warrior King (5) built on his good second in a Prelude a fortnight ago and went one better in the fourth heat. He obviously gained plenty from the look at the track in the Preludes as he jumped well to contest the lead with Mexico City (1). Mexico City gained a slight upper hand down the back but Warrior King was too strong at the end, winning the race in 29.91 by one and three quarter lengths for trainer Brooke Ennis.
Mexico City could only manage third as Bessy Boo (7) put in a massive run to rattle home for second. Jordan Allen (2) looked like he was going to run a slot rounding the home turn, but he checked off the back of Warrior King and in turn surrendered ground to Bessy Boo.
Heat Five – Golden Easter Egg
Keybow (2) set the track on fire to win by panels (well eight and a quarter lengths) in 29.45. Darren McDonald had given Keybow a short let-up and it didn’t hurt, as he was in front by the first turn and once in that position, nothing would or could catch him.
Dyna Beth (3) and Stilton Blue (5) found themselves in their own race against each other down the back, with Dyna Beth eventually prevailing to finish second while Stilton Blue fell back to fourth. The strong Romantic Affair (1), who turns four in August, kept her good record at Wentworth Park intact, filling third place. She has only been unplaced once now from 13 goes at the track.
Heat Six – Golden Easter Egg
The Dailly’s bought up a double for the night with Ollie Bale (3) showing great tenacity to win heat six. The 2014 Group One Silver Chief winner had a good run from box three to lead. Once he was in front it was always going to be a tough task to run him down. The hard luck story of the race was Ritza Hattie (2) who kept trying and kept finding trouble. Without the interference, it would be fair to say that she would have won the race. She wound up in third and will see her way to the semis next week where she may get more luck. Tee Brady (1), after beginning well, stuck on well for second.
Ollie Bale won by four lengths and recorded 29.96 for his first win at Wentworth Park.
Heat Seven – Golden Easter Egg
Unfortunate events unfolded in the seventh heat after the lure broke down in the back straight. The heat contained greyhounds the calibre of Walk Hard (5), Innocent Til (8) and Evil Punk (4). As a result of the incident, Evil Punk fell but was able to get back on his feet.
The lure looked to momentarily lose power down the back, allowing the leader Evil Punk to pounce on it. The lure kept up momentum, albeit slowly, and the dogs were pulled up near the 520 metre boxes.
The race was declared a no race. A ballot is normally undertaken in these circumstances but the stewards elected to exercise their discretion to excuse Evil Punk and Fort Allen (6) from the ballot on the basis that they were likely to finish in the top three and they will now go into next weeks semi-finals. Lach’s Wish (7) was picked from the ballot for the third placed spot
Heat Eight – Golden Easter Egg
Ted Medhhurst’s Australian Cup champion Buckle Up Wes (3) got his Easter Egg campaign off to a great start with a personal best win in 29.56, running a smart 5.35 to the first mark. Victorian chaser Musquin Bale (7) was also impressive running second as he was only beaten by two and three quarter lengths. Tonk (1) duelled with Buckle Up Wes for the early lead and wound up in third. Crump (6) wasn’t done any favours by the box draw and finished sixth.
Heat Nine – Golden Easter Egg
Magic Display (3), a $21.00 chance, convincingly won the ninth heat for trainer Evelyn Harris. Magic Display demonstrated that it’s always handy to lead at Wentworth Park, as all sorts of things can happen around the first bend. Favourite Red Road (6) blew his chances when he began badly and was then twisted sideways at the first turn.
Hurricane Rino (8) used box eight to perfection to find himself in second and avoid the strife at the first turn that affected many of the others in the race. Hawk Alone (1) was extremely unlucky, copping a check that meant he had too much ground to make up, but he still got into third. Magic Display won by four lengths in 29.94. The margin between the two minor placegetters was five and three quarter lengths.
Heat Ten – Golden Easter Egg
The final heat was extremely messy and it was Dark Warrior (4) that emerged as the eventual winner for Darren McDonald in 30.29. Prelude winner Woods (2) was just three quarters of a length away in second and veteran Ritza Ryder (1) ran on well for third. It was the slowest heat win of the night and indicative of the trouble in the race, with each dog suffering varying degrees of interference at different times over the course of the 520 metre journey.