The Queensland representative for the National Distance final will be decided this Thursday night when they hold their own state final at Albion Park.
The winner will earn the right to represent the Sunshine State at Cannington on August 23rd in the National final.
Queensland’s last winner of the national final was Dashing Corsair in 2011 but you have to go back a few years to find the one before him.
It was in 1999 when Kobble Creek took out the event and capped off a terrific decade for the banana benders. In fact, Queenslanders took out no less than five National Distance finals in the 1990’s with Just A Charm (1991), Billy’s Blonde (1993), Boronia Blossom (1995 & 96) and Kobble Creek (1999) all saluting.
They will be hoping to revisit those halcyon days in 2014.
This year’s final contains some of Queensland’s most consistent “half milers”, with several appearing to be genuine winning chances.
The distance final is race five on the card and is scheduled to jump at 8:05pm.
1 – Set Her Again ($9.00) – Bruce Linnan – A reasonably consistent bitch who has won three from nine over this trip and has a good record from box one. The main concern is that she has not won since May in seven starts and has only filled a placing on two of those occasions. She will need to reproduce something like her personal best of 41.83 here to be a winning chance.
2 – Seven Straight ($31) – Jeff Cumming – Is yet to win over the 710 metre trip and has also not won for over two months. He does appreciate the inside draw but looks outclassed in this one.
3 – Suspect Claims ($31) – Deborah Arnold – Has only recently graduated to the longer trips and is showing some sort of promise to reach this final. She is yet to win over the 710 metre trip and despite being a likely improver, may need a little more time to be competitive against some of these dogs.
4 – Slippin’ Nova – ($51) – Amy O’Reilly – A winner of just two from 33 who is yet to fill a placing in three attempts over this journey. He was beaten a long way by Hougenie in the heats and looks out of his depth in this.
5 – Wag Tail ($2.20) – Christina Harman – Arguably Queensland’s best stayer at the moment. She has won eight from 14 over this trip, including a best of 41.69. If there are concerns they are the facts that she has not won from box five in two attempts and that she was beaten 4 1/2 lengths by Hougenie last week. She is very short in the betting, take her on trust.
6 – Mullaway ($4.80) – Joanne Price – A consistent type who has finished in the top two at his last four outings. He has won one and been placed in four of eight attempts over 710 metres. He has finished a close second to Rain Stream at his last two starts and is not far away from another win but his place chances appear better here.
7 – Hougenie ($3.50) – Peter Ruetschi – Returned from an unsuccessful campaign at The Meadows to land her first 710 metre win here last week. She set the time standard of 41.95 in last week’s heats and has a superb record from wide draws. She looks value at $4.00 and is the obvious danger to the favourite.
8 – Rain Stream ($8.00) – Robert Handyside – Backed up her surprise Presidents Cup win two weeks ago with another win in last week’s heats. She now has an imposing 710 metre record of three starts for two wins and a third and has not missed a place in her last six races. Her best is only 42.09 but she is an improver and a definite each-way proposition here.