Previous winners of this exciting feature have included TOPGUN hero Lindale Blue, Victorian Our Spence and the evergreen Zini’s Gump. Some may remember Eye Marunna, who won the event in 2007, defeating a great field which included the likes of Miss Slick and the all-conquering El Galo.
The 2010 version has great depth of talent, and should provide a launching pad for the next crop of top grade chasers. Beginning with heat one, where recent W.A Oaks winner Rock Pool looks the class runner of the field. Having won eleven from eighteen over the 530m layout, and a recent winner over the longer trip, Ben Abercrombie should have this bitch right in the mix, despite drawing the ‘squeeze’ box five.
Dan Biddle has Pillow Torque exiting the six alley in this opening heat and is looking to atone for its defeat in the Group 2 South Australian Oaks. Having lost to its kennel mate Kalden Athena on that occasion, Pillow Torque has returned home for two consecutive wins. If there is running room early, she has the ability to be successful at this level.
It wouldn’t be a feature race without a Paul Wheeler runner, and Crystin Bale may just be the x-factor. With slashing wins around NSW, including a 9-length BON run at Richmond, Crystin Bale should make her presence felt. Having only five starts to her name and drawn out in seven, experience may be the only query.
The rest of the opening heat runners appear fairly even, although Surf A Coin for John Crossley comes into calculations and will be wearing the white rug.
Moving on to heat two, where a very even field is presented. Secret Queen appears to have the best chance, having won five out of nine at the track and placing on every other occasion. Her recent wins from inside draws have been sound although she goes into box seven here.
Mighty Elite is a recent NSW acquisition who won impressively last week in 30.51 from box two. She has the same draw again and looks a real threat if the dose can be repeated. Booming Action was second behind Mighty Elite last week, and has been a costly favourite of late. He’s a better dog than his past few runs and will make a real show of it if he can handle box six.
Other chances include Battsy Monelli for the ever-present Quinsee team and Kalden Mayhem out wide. Either way, punters are sure to find value in this second heat.
There appears to be only two main hopes in heat three however, being the book-end runners drawn one and eight. Bramley has the rails and has a best time of 30.33 which is lengths better than any of his opposition. His form line comes through the recent All-Stars Sprint where he was placed, and this should it make another feature final for Bramley.
Out in box eight is Zorro Mac for owner-trainer Patrick Mcmanus. Having won eight of his ten career appearances, Zorro Mac clearly possesses ability. He faces a pretty steep rise in class as he has been running at super-short odds around Northam, but does look the clear second pick. High Beamer and Red Ninji look the best rough chances for the race.
Finally, heat four will see the final two qualifiers progress. It seems Kilty Lad will be the most likely to fill one of those spots, after stringing together a hat-trick of crushing wins in Victoria. Having now won ten from seventeen, Kilty Lad should be able to win away from home this time, after tasting defeat to some handy chasers during the South Australian Oaks series at Angle Park in late September.
Kenzie Monelli will be the main local trying to make life difficult for the visitors, particularly as she has the rails draw. She’s won 3 races but they have all come in her past four starts, with a luckless eighth splitting the victories.
Waroo Bale for Paul Stuart has drawn poorly in box four, but has looked promising ever since it debuted in September and should be a real chance. The baby of the race is Big Jo King. He hammered a field at the track on November 3 in 30.69 and will be right in it with a similar effort.
The final of the Group 3 Young Stars Classic will be staged at Cannington Saturday Week, with $25,000 going the winners’ direction.