Shoulders started from box four as the $2.30 race favourite and began well to sit in second position behind early leader Lacy Louis. The 33kg son of Cosmic Rumble and Bit Stressed took the lead at the top of the home turn and accelerated away to score comfortably at the finish by five and half-lengths. Lacey Louis was gallant in defeat and finished second, whilst Woods finished in third position.
Even more pleasing for Azzopardi is Shoulders drew the one box last night and will go into next week’ final with a strong chance of claiming his first Group One final.
Three of the five invited finalists performed exhibition trials at Dapto last night, with Queensland chaser Flash Reality clocking an impressive 29.78, whilst recent Group One National Sprint Champion Chica Destacada clocked 30.18 and multiple Group winner Ritza Hattie clocked 30.26.
The box draw for next week’s $75,000 to the winner final is:
1 – Shoulders – Anthony Azzopardi
2 – Chica Destacada – Doreen Drynan
3 – Tommy Brislane – Steve White
4 – Flash Reality – Tony Brett
5 – Woods – Marie Burton
6 – Ritza Hattie – Mark Gatt
7 – Zipping Willow – Jason Mackay
8 – Lacey Lois – Peter Acers