Victorian trainer David Burnett had a runner in each heat and in the first run off he lined up Shunted from box 1 at 7/2 behind equal favourites Like Iron Mike box 3 and Queen Rose box 8. Ronray Express box 7 was well in the market at 11/4.
This race was won in the fastest of the heats with Queen Rose recording an emphatic 7 ½ lengths win for Fred Didic and his trainer Kristy Sultana. John White ran second with Raw Character and Ronray Express was third. The Victorian visitor did not figure after being last away, finishing fifth.
Heat 2 saw Tian Hao Lee start 7/4 favourite for owner Dongwei Wang and trainer Ray Steele in front of David Burnett’s Freddy Flathead at 9/4 with Wild Nimuay for Owen Langley next at 5/2 in a five dog field. The favourite after being last away steadily improved to lead for home to win by 3 ¼ lengths in 30.40 from Wild Nimuay. Again no luck here for the Victorian with David Burnett’s charge finishing at the rear. Mighty Mantra for Mark Arncliffe got into the final as the fastest third.
In heat 3 David Burnett had another box 1 with Eighth Wonder at 5/2 behind favourite Sydney Vella at 13/8 for owner Laurie Vella and trainer Hank Vanderburg. From box 2 Jane Carruthers’ Compact Journey (Brett Lee x Long Journey) led all the way for a 2 ½ lengths win from Tian Hao Miss (Brett Lee x Thai Again) with Sydney Vella third. The winner gave the connections their second finalist (from the same litter) while Sydney Vella went through as the second fastest third.
The winner’s time was the slowest of the heats but with box 1 in the final Jane Caruthers’s well bred bitch will be a big chance. Queen Rose has the form on the board and with an even run will go close but has to contend with box 5 in a race where it is not easy to predict with confidence who will take home the $15,000 winner’s purse.