CHAMPION stayer Space Star returned to Wentworth Park in style on Saturday night, clocking a sizzling time of 41.71 when winning his heat of the Group 3 Gold Cup.
In the race, Ada Mary was best away from the inside alley, with Space Star also stepping well, quickly getting into second position. After copping a check at the first turn, the three time Group 1 winner loomed up on the outside to take the lead at the winning post on the first occasion and streaked away to score by two-and-one-quarter-lengths. Fellow Victorian sprinter Sweet It Is gave the leaders plenty of start, before making up a heap of ground to finish second, with Martin Hallinan’s talented chaser Zipping Felix running third. Fourth place runner Mr Corsair also qualifies for next week’s $25,000 to the winner final.
Robert Britton’s Space Star notched up his 22nd career win from start 34 and cracked the $420,000 barrier in prize money earned.
Martin Hallinan’s Zipping Maggie was made the $2.50 favourite in heat two, however found plenty of trouble after a slow getaway, yet still managed to finish fourth and qualify for the final. Tasmanian chaser Lillycette was best away at box rise, taking a clear-cut lead at the winning post over Mullaway, which was resuming from a month spell for Joanne Price. Turning for home, Mullaway made a last-ditch effort on the line to claim victory by a head in a fast time of 42.17. The son of Velocette and Halzani recorded his first win over the 720-metre distance at Wentworth Park and is a genuine contender in next week’s final. The other qualifier was rank outsider Laugh With Mary, which finished third for trainer Harry Sarkis.
Group 3 Gold Cup Final – Wentworth Park 25th April, 2015
1 – Mullaway – Joanne Price
2 – Zipping Felix – Martin Hallinan
3 – Laugh With Mary – Harry Sarkis
4 – Space Star – Robert Britton
5 – Lillycette – Edward Medhurst
6 – Sweet It Is – Braden Finn
7 – Zipping Maggie – Martin Hallinan
8 – Mr Corsair – Michelle Shambler
9 – Bessy Boo – Christine Proctor
10 – Queen Marina – Noelene Holloway