The “Mexicans” will represent half the field in next week’s $25,000 to-the-winner final and look to hold all the aces for the big race.
Here’s how the two heat’s panned out;
The Rob Britton trained bitch Born Ali (4) led from pillar-to-post in the first heat in a stylish exhibition of front-running. Beginning flawlessly from box four, the daughter of Velocette and Born Princess (Whiskey Assassin – Born Lucky) quickly put a space on the field, carving out a first section of 16.16.
If there was any worry for Born Ali, it was the fact that event Group One winner Destini Fireball (5) was parked on her hammer and poised to strike. Everywhere that Born Ali went, Destini Fireball followed just a length behind. As they swung for home, it looked as though the old-stager may overhaul the leader, but the Group One Galaxy winner found too much, railing well and finishing the race right off to win by 1 3/4 lengths in 42.41.
Suits Us (2) made terrific ground mid-race to land third place, with Cawbourne Looney (6) finishing strongly in fourth to secure a spot in next week’s final.
Favourite, Dyna Kayla (8) was last away and took a long time to find the fence, covering plenty of extra territory. She could only manage a tiring fifth and is second reserve for the final.
Classy stayer Dyna Willow (7) was simply too good in the second heat, winning by 2 3/4 lengths and setting the time standard of 42.04 in the process for trainer Steve Collins.
Eleazar (1) found the early lead from Avondale Maurick (2) with Dyna Willow working her way to third. Down the back it looked a race in two with Eleazar giving Dyna Willow plenty to catch. But the class of Dyna Willow became more evident as the race wore on and she looked to have it won as they headed for home.
If there was any danger, it was her fellow Victorian Lucy Wires, who is known for her withering finishing burst, who started to emerge from the pack. But Dyna Willow staved off the challenges, holding them all at bay in a polished performance.
Lucy Wires rattled home for second giving Rob Britton two finalists, while Eleazar clung on to third place. Avondale Maurick managed to keep fourth position and gain a start in next Saturday’s final.
The box draw for the final is as follows;
1 – Lucy Wires – Rob Britton
2 – Cawbourne Looney – Jodie Lord
3 – Born Ali – Rob Britton
4 – Eleazar – Dean Swain
5 – Avondale Maurick – Ron Bell
6 – Dyna Willow – Steve Collins
7 – Destini Fireball – Norm Rinaldi
8 – Suits Us – Ken Burnett
9 – Shoe Laces Lady – Lesley Green
10 – Dyna Kayla – Andrea Dailly