The local greyhound fraternity of Bendigo will have three runners to cheer on in this Sunday’s $10,000 to the winner Polaris Gold Rush Maiden Final with Axedale trainer Brian Brown qualifying two runners, Knocka Express and Special Lies and Pauline Patterson from Bet Bet (located close enough to be claimed as a local) qualifying Little Miss Rush.
While the Gold Rush Maiden looks an even contest after the four semi finals, the local hopes will need to be at their best to keep the trophy in the region after Lady Deedee, Rockafonic and Nelly Allen recorded impressive heat victories.
Rockafonic was impressive in scoring a strong come from behind win in the opening semi final in 24.12 after gaining a run as a reserve. By freshman sire Fear Zafonic, Rockafonic was unlucky in his heat last week and is still learning about racing but hit the line hard and is a youngster with plenty of ability. Rockafonic defeated early leader and $20 outsider Little Miss Rush by a length and they have drawn boxes three and two respectively in the final.
Knocka Express caused a boilover in the second semi final when he crossed the line two lengths clear of odds on favourite Machete Cortez in 24.07. Starting at $24.90 on the TAB, Knock Express did everything right and earned his spot in the final and will make his presence felt from box one while Machete Cortez appeared to have every chance and has come up with box seven in the decider.
The likely favourite for the Gold Rush Maiden final, Lady Deedee, stepped out in the third semi final and showed brilliant box manners to lead throughout and clock the fastest semi final time of 23.99. As she did in her heat, Lady Deedee registered slick sections of 6.52 and 11.30 and after drawing box eight in the final she looks the runner to beat.
Diamond Chisel chased home Lady Deedee to give trainer Mario Briganti a two pronged attack in the final but after finishing five and a half lengths adrift of Lady Deedee in the heat it is hard to see him turning the tables from box six on Sunday.
The last semi final was taken out in fine style by the Graeme Bate trained Nelly Allen who led throughout to score in 24.06 over Special Lies. Nelly Allen struck trouble when defeated as a favourite in her heat last week but she gained clear galloping room tonight and was never in doubt.
The $10,000 to the winner Polaris Gold Rush Maiden final is race five on Sunday evening at 7.09pm.
The box draw for the Gold Rush Maiden Final is: 1. KNOCKA EXPRESS 2. LITTLE MISS RUSH 3. ROCKAFONIC 4. SPECIAL LIES 5. NELLY ALLEN 6. DIAMOND CHISEL 7. MACHETE CORTEZ 8. LADY DEEDEE 9. HONDO SUPABOY 10. RIPPLEBROOK JAN