Beginning from box six in the third of four qualifiers, the front running stayer uncharacteristically missed the kick and was at the tail of the field in the early stages.
But the daughter of Magic Sprite and super producer Regal Silver was not done with, producing a gutsy run to weave her way through the field, levelling up with the leader, Ring The Bell (box seven), on the home turn and grinding away in the home straight, eventually sticking her head in front to score by a head in 42.12 – the fastest time of the night.
Trained by Bill Elson, it was the fifth straight win for the black bitch who has been a model of consistency throughout her career, with 23 victories from 75 starts and over $175,000 in prize money earnings.
No Donuts was all the rage in the opening heat at $1.30, with the Anthony Azzopardi-trained stayer working to the front soon after box rise and sprinting clear. Down the back and despite leading clearly, the dual group 1 winner started wobbling out in front and soon drifted back towards his competitors.
On the point of the turn Kilkee Flex (box one) had reached the frontrunner, but the Peter Dapiran-prepared bitch ducked wide entering the straight, bumping with No Donuts.
Despite regaining her balance in the run to the line, the brindle bitch had lost momentum, with the in form My Boy Brodie (box two) swooping in the closing stages to assume the lead, drawing clear to win by half a length in 42.14.
My Boy Brodie, a blue fawn son of Radley Bale and Giggling, has now won 13 races from 56 outings including his past four in succession.
Recently crowned Sandown Cup champion, Bells Are Ringin’, was the dog to beat in the second heat of the night, with punters sending the daughter of Kinloch Brae and Absolute Stunna to the boxes as a narrow favourite over promising NSW stayer Cardiology (box four).
Jumping swiftly from box three, Bells Are Ringin’ was able to roll straight to the early lead, with fellow Victorian Dublin Bull (box seven) racing up on her outside to apply some pressure in the run to the line the first time.
Despite Bells Are Ringin’ kicking clear again heading through the catching pen, Dublin Bull was not going away, with the Jeff Britton-trained powerhouse switching to the inside to hit the lead in the run past the 600m boxes on the second occasion.
Swinging for home and the leader raced wide, allowing another NSW campaigner in Lovelace (box eight) to rail through along the fence, however Dublin Bull was able to produce one last surge right on the line to land the win by a nose in 42.32.
Lioness Lulu (box eight) was the class campaigner in the fourth and final heat of the night, but the fawn bitch wasn’t able to find the bunny and finished in sixth spot.
Instead taking the lead was Abby’s Magic (box one), a litter sister to Cyndie’s Magic, with the black bitch high-balling out in front for the majority of the race before tiring in the final stages when swamped by Obi Kenobi (box two) and Tambay Bale (box six), the former going home the better to record a one length victory in 42.34.
Abby’s Magic rallied late to hold on to second, with the erratic Tambay Bale filling the trifecta back in third spot.
The Group 1 Gold Cup will be run at Albion Park next Thursday night, with the winner pocketing $84,700.
Group 1 Gold Cup – box draw
Box 1 – Kilkee Flex
Box 2 – My Boy Brodie
Box 3 – Abby’s Magic
Box 4 – Obi Kenobi
Box 5 – Dublin Bull
Box 6 – Cyndie’s Magic
Box 7 – Lovelace
Box 8 – Ring The Bell
1st Res – Vegas Bound
2nd Res – Bells Are Ringin’