Britton’s Anakie kennel will supply four runners in total with both Angela Langton and Jeff Shaw also qualifying dogs for the world’s richest staying event that boasts a massive $175,000 to the winner.
Here is how the four heats panned out;
Tarks Nemesis (5) picked herself up off the canvas to win the first heat in a superior display of staying for trainer Angela Langton.
After spearing the lids from the centre, the daughter of Velocette and Skrat (Big Daddy Cool – Dash Of Burgundy) quickly opened up a lead. Racing wide, she managed to maintain her ascendency to until the catching pen where she was overtaken by the speedy Allen Deed (3).
He raced away to a three length lead and it seemed a case of whether he would stay the trip at his first attempt or if something would run on from further back in the field.
Swinging for a home, a tiring Allen Deed still held the lead, with the favourite Zipping Joe (4) and Heaps Of Ability (2) running on strongly while Tarks Nemesis kept battling away back on the fence.
The last hundred metres got the better of leader Allen Deed an Tarks Nemesis overhauled him on the fence to race away and salute in a dour effort from the fast finishing Zipping Joe and Heaps Of Ability.
The striking blue bitch stopped the clock at 42.41, winning by three-quarters of a length. It was her second win over the distance at Sandown and she could well improve on the run given that it was her first 700 metre race this preparation.
Kiwi stayer Know Class (6) arrived in the nick of time to take the second heat by a head for Anakie trainer James Shaw.
Beginning moderately, the son of Willy What and Blue Fern (Shining Kev – Casual Wave) worked to third by the post the first time. Meanwhile, Supersonic Hawk (1) had opened up a handy lead up front and declared himself as the one to catch.
Halfway down the back straight, it became evident that Know Class was going to be the only real challenger to Supersonic Hawk as he emerged from the pack with intent, just two lengths behind the lamp-lighter.
Down the straight it was a tooth and nail battle as Know Class looked to be struggling to pick up the leader. Yet inch-by-inch, he slowly got there and claimed Supersonic Hawk right on the line.
The 33kg blue dog registered a time of 42.62 winning his second race from four starts since coming to Australia. Supersonic Hawk advanced to the final finishing second while Arejay Smokey grabbed third place.
Butterfly Bling (3) caused a boil over of gargantuan proportions in the third heat when she upset some big names at $40.00, scoring in 42.71 for David Phillips.
The daughter of Bit Chili and Miss Bling (Spiral Nikita – Skullring) is a sister to Warragul Cup winner Walk Hard, but had only been moderately performed in recent times and had not won a race in 2014.
Paris Sparks (5) was the early leader with Rocky Bale (1) right on her hammer. Butterfly Bling was fifth away and settled midfield while the favourite Sweet It Is (8) was finding a world of trouble at the tail of the field.
Rocky Bale had opened up a big break by the post the first time and being a dog known for his strength, he looked to be a massive winning hope, particularly given that his main rival Sweet It is was still doing a pinball impersonation back in the field, some 20 lengths away.
Down the back Rocky Bale put five lengths on the field and Infinite Wish (4) moved strongly to second with Butterfly Bling working to third but still eight lengths off the leader.
As the field rounded the home turn, Rocky Bale got tired in a hurry and and was collared by Infinite Wish. But her lead was only fleeting as Butterfly Bling flew past them both to claim victory by three-quarters of a length.
Sweet It Is ran home like a hungry school kid to claim second in an amazing effort, with Infinite Wish in third.
The upsets continued in the fourth and final heat when Jeff Britton’s Mepunga Tiara (6) made her own luck in front to score in a time of 42.46.
When favourite Xylia Allen (5) began only fairly, Mepunga Tiara wasted no time in racing up to join the early lead with Destini Gold (2). Xylia Allen and Break O’ Day (1) were in third and fourth respectively but engaging in a bumping duel which did little for either runners chances.
Heading out of the straight and into the back straight, the daughter of Premier Fantasy and Mepunga Opal (Hallucinate – Mepunga Spark) took over and quickly opened up a margin on Destini Gold.
All eyes were on Xylia Allen who had still not managed to get clear of Break O’ Day and was struggling to make any ground, when she did get some leeway, she again found trouble.
Mepunga Tiara held on to score easily by 3 3/4 lengths and when Break O’ Day finally got clear he ran on well for second to qualify for the final, with veteran Mimicking finishing third.
The box draw for next week’s Group One RSN Sandown Cup will be announced next Monday at 8am.