The Group 2 Brandon’s Electrical Queensland Derby heats attracted a number of quality fields of local and interstate chasers, all vying to run there way into the $40,000 to the winner final. With a hot track and many chances in each heat, racing was at its best as the 5 heats winners and 3 fastest seconds would qualify for Thursdays rich final.
Heat one produced a great training performance from Sandra Hunt as she brought local hope Top Story back from injury and a 3 month layoff to win impressively first up. Top Story (Knocka Norris – Bomber Babe) was too strong in the end running over the top of Fast Archer with Rush Of Power third. The winner ran a moderate 30.41 to win by 3/4 of a length with another 3/4 to third to bring up win number 9 from 16 starts. Top Story is surely to be improved by the hit out and will be a strong chance next week as he already has a personal best 29.77 at the track and distance.
It’s not very often the Kel Greenough comes to town but when he does punters listen and it was the case in heat 2 when Hello Good Bye started favourite from box 6. Favourite backers wouldn’t have worried as he exploded from the boxes leading from start to finish in a very impressive victory. Hello Good Bye (Bombastic Shiraz – Hello Siena) stopped the clock in a quick time of 29.84 to win by 4 and a half lengths over Flying Tee with another 4 and three quarter lengths to Kenso Karoo in third. The winner has clocked some impressive times already in his young career including fast times at Cranbourne and The Meadows. He was very strong running home in 12.63 as he bought up win number 7 from 14 starts and after the look at the track will be one of the favourites for next weeks final.
Appin trainer Mark Azzopardi headed north with Racing blue blood Transcend Time who started favourite from box 4 in heat number 3. Exploding from the boxes and through a flying first split of 5.57, which was just outside the record, the son of Bombastic Shiraz was never headed stopping the clock in a quick 30.16. Transcend Time (Bombastic Shiraz – Elite Oriental) scored impressively by 5 lengths over Rozelle Flash with another 1/2 length to Schroder Bale in third. It was the first look at the track for the October 2010 prodigy and overall he has the impressive record of 19 starts for 10 wins and 3 placings.
Derby Dog Jagger Swagger bought up a back to back race double for Azzopardi as he too exploded from the boxes to lead from start to finish in heat 4. Already with the National Derby at the Gardens and the Richmond Derby trophies in the cabinet, Jagger Swagger will look to make it a third derby win in next weeks final. Starting from box 2 the black son of Premier Fantasy ran 5.58 to the first mark before going right in with it stoping the clock in BON 29.82. Jagger Swagger (Premier Fantasy – Surpassing) was too good winning from Veyron Bale by 2 and a half lengths with a further 7 and three quarter lengths to Jepelli in third. Veyron Bale’s performance was very good as he raced with the leader for most of the 520m journey and with both having now had their first look at the track they will improve for next weeks final.
The final heat of the night was a local affair as Captain Clarrie produced a strong front running performance to win by 3 lengths over Pharmacopia with another 1 length and three quarters to Stolen Lollies in third. Captain Clarrie (Elite And Classy – Where Are You) stopped the clock in an impressive 30.16 for trainer Peter Ruetschi and owner Kenneth Crawford. The November 2010 whelping brought up with number 10 from just the 22 starts and took his career prizemoney to around the $20,000 figure.
With many winners having their first look at the Albion Park circuit, the final is set to be a hotly contested race with the all runners expected to go into big things.
The box draw for next weeks Group 2 Queensland Derby final is: 1. Hello Good Bye, 2. Transcend Time, 3. Flying Tee, 4. Captain Clarrie, 5. Top Story, 6. Veyron Bale, 7. Jagger Swagger, 8. Pharmacopia. Reserves: 9. Fast Archer, 10. Rozelle Flash.