Beginning flawlessly from box three in the sixth of eight heats, the Steven Clarke trained chaser slipped straight to the lead and was too good for a fast finishing Kicking Rocks which was gallant in defeat, three quarters of a length from the winner.
Big Ticket, a son of Fabregas and Bella Portrait, was having his 13th start last night with the win being his eighth since commencing his career in July. He went into his heat with plenty of support, starting the $2.60 second elect following a nippy 25.96 trial the week prior. It is important for punters to note that the track was top dressed a couple of weeks ago, with the times posted during trials and heats tending to suggest that it was running a tenth or two slower than normal.
While Big Ticket was the fastest, none were as impressive as Above All’s phenomenal last to first effort in heat seven. The Rob Britton- trained former Kiwi appeared to stumble as the lids flew open, dropping back to the tail of the field early on.
Once he regained his balance, the son of Magic Sprite and Kara Janx railed underneath his fellow contenders around the turn before hooking to the outside of Wynburn Rush, which was running second, entering the home straight.
With plenty of clear galloping room, Above All effortlessly claimed the lead in the run to the line, exploding away to score by three and a half lengths in 26.16.
Melbourne Cup hero Dyna Villa will be chasing his second Group One title in just over a month after booking his spot in the final with a 25.94 heat success. It was a one act affair for the Jenny Hunt trained youngster, crossing the line a strong six and a half lengths ahead of local charge Pipstar.
Kelly Bravo will be represented by two greyhounds in the final with Blurred Lines (Heat Three) and Ride The Rails (Heat Four) clocking 26.23 and 26.05 to take out their qualifiers respectively. The latter was particularly impressive, weaving his way through the field after a moderate beginning and assuming the lead on the home turn to take out the event by just under five lengths.
While Victoria may have claimed five of the heats, Tassie was able to score in the remaining three.
Señor Slamma cemented his position as one of the state’s most consistent campaigners with a top notch effort in heat one. Starting from box eight, the Gary Johnson- trained chaser managed to find the rails and dart away in 26.23. He has now won 11 of his past 12 starts and 20 from 45 overall.
Hellyeah Bolt bounced back to his best form in heat five, upstaging local champion Buckle Up Wes to progress through to the $75,000 to the winner final. Despite leading clearly, Buckle Up Wes could not go with Anthony Bullock’s charge when challenged, with Hellyeah Bolt defeating the dual Group One winner by three quarters of a length in 25.96.
Breaker’s Tip secured the final spot in the decider when taking out the last heat. White Spyro served as the lamplighter in the race and was joined throughout by Janda. While those two went stride for stride, Breaker’s Tip got a clear run down the outside and dashed straight by them ton win in a moderate 26.37.