After beginning well from box eight and carving hard left to the rails in the third heat, the son of Bekim Bale and Size It Up (Elite State – Size ‘Em Up) exploded away mid race to win by six lengths in a swift 18.94.
He was the only heat winner who would break the 19-second barrier on the afternoon in a most powerful exhibition.
Earlier in the day, the first heat was won by the Jeff Britton trained Cosmic Wise in the time of 19.17. The 29kg black bitch made the most of box one by staying nailed to the rail and storming home from mid-field to land a two length victory.
The second heat also went the way of Britton when El Grand Seal overcame a tardy start from box four to score by the barest of margins in 19.28.
It was then Brooke Ennis’ turn to go back-to-back when, following Size Does Matter’s impressive win in heat three, Beejay The Deejay led all the way to upset his more fancied rivals and take out the fourth heat.
The promising young son of El Grand Señor and See Ya Señorita (Elite State – Bazwill) lowered the colours of big guns Walk Hard and Luca Neveelk en route to a one-length win in 19.09.
Heat five saw a boilover of gargantuan proportions when the Gary Hansen trained Call Me Hank saluted from box one at odds in excess of $36. The 35kg black dog used the rails alley with aplomb and staved off the late challengers to score in a blanket finish with the first five dogs all within 1 1/4 lengths of each other. He stopped the clock at 19.09 in an ultra competitive event.
The upsets continued in the sixth heat when Chocco Rocco ($32.20) led all the way from box six to win for Thomas O’Donovan. The regally bred son of Bombastic Shiraz and Leprechaun Chloe (Brett Lee – Glamorous) was simply too good, scoring by 2 1/2 lengths in 19.06.
Heat seven saw the third straight winner in excess of $30 win when the Peter Presutto trained Accomplished defeated some big names to advance to next week’s final.
After landing on the speed from box three, the 34kg black dog showed plenty of fight in front to take the heat by 1 1/2 lengths in 19.05. In the process he defeated the track record holder There’s A Earn and Recent Darwin Cup winner Clash Of Kings.
The final heat was taken out by Zambora Storm, who celebrated back-to-back Healesville wins by registering a personal best of 19.01. The Graham Whitford trained son of Magic Sprite and Secret Powers (Pure Octane – Witch Magic) lobbed on the bunny from box three and shot away mid-race to register a convincing 2 1/2 length victory.
The eight winners all progress to next Sunday’s $45,000 to-the-winner final with Brooke Ennis and Jeff Britton set to rug up half the field between them.
A full preview of the final, along with trainers comments will be available later in the week here on ARG.