ARG got the thoughts of some of the connections involved in tonights semis –
Semi Final One – 7.46pm
The first Laurels semi has been strengthened with the inclusion of Prue Bale after the scratching of You Say Goodbye. Prue Bale was extremely unlucky in her heat and could provide the early pace in the race. Last week’s fastest qualifier in 29.49 was Tam’s Wish, who will also be hard to beat from box three if she can get clear running early. The knockout hope could be Maximum Lil from box two. She has been in consistent form of late and if she has a little bit of early luck, will be finding the line hard.
Midnight Scandal (Jeff Britton) – “She’s good value. She has drawn her box and we are hoping for a bit of luck. She is a little below Tam’s Wish and Maximum Lil, but then again, funny things happen with red boxes in big races.”
Maximum Lil (Jordan Cooper) – “She is suited inside. We are hoping she can get a clean jump and be up on the pace. There is a fair bit of speed in the race, even more so now that Prue Bale has got a start. ”
Infinite Wish (Jeff Britton) – “She has the ability, but will be looking for a lucky run. She will be coming from behind but can hit the line hard.”
Semi Final Two – 8.29pm
Liara Allen was extremely impressive last week, running down the talented Ritza Hattie after bungling the start in a quick 29.52. She won’t be able to bomb the start this week from box eight and get away with it. If things go wrong for Liara Allen, then Mystic Twist might be the bitch best positioned to capitalise from the all important rails draw. This is a wide open heat; with most runners a chance of progressing to next week’s final. Gemstar is another with genuine claims, but she will have to jump and lead.
Peta Bale (Tammy Collins) – “She will struggle and needs a lot of luck. Probably not up to this at this stage.”
Mepunga Tiara (Jeff Britton) – “She will have her work cut out. She is improving but middle distance racing in the future will suit her better. The box doesn’t help either.”
Liara Allen (Tammy Collins) – “She will also need a lot of luck early. But with luck she will be there at the finish. If she had drawn inside we would have been very confident.”
Semi Final Three – 9.55pm
This is a fantastic race and probably the strongest of the four semi-finals. Dyna Beth was extremely impressive in her heat, and will be very hard to catch if she can lead again. She loves Sandown and was superb during the Melbourne Cup series. The form from that series carried over into last week’s heat. Ritza Hattie is another with genuine claims, especially if she can improve her early split from last week. Cosmic Wise was a quality winner of her heat, showing toughness early. If she get’s the breaks to go her way, then she can qualify into next week’s final. The knockout hope is Shall She Rock, who got into a bumping duel early last week with Prue Bale. She has shown her quality with a lightning 30.35 win at Cranbourne three starts ago.
Ritza Hattie (Mark Gatt) – “There is a bit of pace in the race. If she can begin good and gets a clean run, then she is a chance of qualifying. I’m quietly confident she will run a good race.”
Cosmic Wise (Jeff Britton) – “She is a nice bitch and loves inside. She has drawn what i thinks the hardest heat, but she is a genuine chance.”
Wise Peejay (Jeff Britton) – “She will struggle from a middle box in this class. She will head straight to the fence and will need a lot of luck to find it.”
Quell Bale (Tammy Collins) – “Again, the box doesn’t suit. She will need a lot of luck with Dyna Beth on her outside. She will need to position in the first three to do her best, but is racing consistently.”
Semi Final Four – 10.13pm
This is another extremely open semi, with all runners engaged a genuine chance of progressing to the final. Flying Twist met all sorts of trouble in her heat and was very lucky to make it to the semi final stage. If she gets a clear run then she will be very strong to the line. Steel Show and Watta Good Dee looks like the early leaders in the race from boxes two and four. With Flying Twist drawn in box three, she might get the clear running she needs to track the early pace into the race. These three runners look extremely hard to beat in what is a very hard race.
Watta Good Dee (Jeff Britton) – “She isn’t badly box. The bitch drawn outside her wants off so she should get room to move early. We are hoping she leads and can hang on.”