Bunyip trainer Stephen Whyte holds all the aces heading into Friday night’s Group Three 2014 Darwin Cup final after the regally bred Clash Of Kings (1) qualified fastest in the three heats held at Winnellie Park on Monday night.
Whyte will have plenty of challengers with three trainers managing to qualify two dogs each for the final. Robert Britton, Darren McDonald and Tom Tsouvelis all qualified a pair for Friday’s $25,000 to-the-winner event.
Class Of Kings is a son of Fear Zafonic and 2009 Darwin Cup winner Queen Lauryn (Token Prince – Cheeky Sprite) and he took out the second heat in emphatic fashion, scoring by 7 1/2 lengths from Rumbling Rick (2) and Engine Alley (8) in the time of 31.33.
It was Clash Of Kings’ fifth win from just nine starts and he will be a force to be reckoned with after drawing the coveted rails alley for Friday’s final.
Earlier in the night, Robert Britton justified his trip north when Highbury (7) took out the opening heat. The son of Collision and Apology (Bond – Temperance) stopped the clock at 31.63, defeating Where’s The Surf (4) by a head with Tee Brady (8) filling third place.
The final heat of the night was taken out by Rumble Street (7) for Queensland mentor Jeffrey Cumming. The daughter of Hallucinate and Rumble Charm (Spiral Nikita – Rumble Spirit) registered the time of 31.67 en route to defeating Le Sirenuse (2) by four lengths with Saleen (1) in third.
The box draw for the Group Three 2014 Darwin Cup is as follows;
1 – Clash Of Kings – Stephen Whyte
2 – Rumbling Rick – Darren McDonald
3 – Le Sirenuse – Tom Tsouvelis
4 – Where’s The Surf – Darren McDonald
5 – Tee Brady – Tom Tsouvelis
6 – Highbury – Robert Britton
7 – Rumble Street – Jeff Cumming
8 – Engine Alley – Robert Britton
9 – Saleen – Graeme Ferns
10 – I’m Ziva – Kerry Perrett