The hot favourite for the final – and arguably the best credentialled entrant – Tickets Please made no mistake in advancing to the December 13 final.
Trained at Portland by Robert Halliday, Tickets Please ran 30.89 seconds for the 512m journey in the first heat, beating home Camo’s Buster, which is trained at Penshurst by Michael Cameron.
Third home was the Captain Abbott trained Rellim Trev, which will take his place in the final after being one of the two fastest minor placegetters.
The second heat was won by Call Me Shelly in the best time of the day, 30.28 seconds.
Call Me Shelly is trained by D. M. Daly of Crossley and was well ahead of Glenville Jet (Richard Clayfield) and another of Halliday’s kennel runners, Balmoral Jill.
Portland trainer Cassandra Billington prepared the winner of the third heat, Swarming, which ran 30.81 seconds and held of Call Me Princess (Josie Kelly) and Ella Rule (Robert Halliday).
Three heats of the Millicent Business House Open Maiden were also held at Tara Park on Saturday.
Unique Diva (Lee Bartholomew) was the opening heat winner in 31.26 seconds, followed by Lila Mackenzie (Neville Blackett) and Staralise (Tracie Price).
The second heat was won by Madison’s Gift for Koroit trainer N.D. Sheehan in 31.05 seconds.
Next in line was Call Me Wayne (Josie Kelly) and Natural Queen (Tracie Price).
The final heat saw Casterton trainer Neville Blackett have better luck than the first, when Jack Wilds saluted the judge.
Jack Wilds was timed at 30.97 seconds, the quickest of the three maiden heats. Second home Camo’s Sparkle (Michael Cameron) and third was Miss Bomb (B. R. Weis).