The Robert Britton trained Mimicking provided one of the biggest upsets of the 2013 Nationals series, powering his way home to score a triumphant victory in the Victorian Distance Final at a massive $32.60.
The race favourite for the event was Graeme Bate’s super stayer, Irma Bale ($2.00), who surprised many punters when tiring after leading. Beginning beautifully from box two, the daughter of Bartrim Bale and Amelia Bale was a dominant leader going past the judge on the first occasion. From there the race appeared at her mercy as she stretched out well in front of her competitors.
Running down the back on the final occasion, the legs of the rising four year old started to get weary and upon entering the home straight she was bombarded by the backmarkers, finishing in fourth position.
Dashing past the four time group winner was Set Sail South( box four), Mimicking (box one) and Gold Affair Two (box five) who all showed an exhilarating burst of staying power however, it was the cherry rugged runner who had the final say, scoring a narrow victory over Set Sail South in a handy 42.75 seconds.
It was the 12th win for the son of Flying Penske from 69 starts on the race track. Prior to Saturday night, Mimicking had not won a race since the 11th April and had been mixing his form against some tough Victorian company over the middle and staying trips.
Although he may have been overlooked throughout the Nationals series, the 33 kilogram powerhouse was a proven group winner after taking out the group three West End Draught Distance Championship at Angle Park, defeating quality group one winning bitch, Proven Impala. Before his group victory in South Australia, Mimicking had contested the group one Solo Bold Trease at Sandown Park, finishing fifth behind Miata, and the group one Macro Meats Zoom Top at The Meadows, finishing sixth behind Destini Fireball.
Set Sail South was gallant in defeat and made it a great duel between the two black chasers in the run to the finishing line. The son of Westmead Hawk will be given the chance to go one better when he lines up for the National final next Saturday night from box seven whilst Mimicking is drawn awkwardly in box six.
Destini Fireball was disappointing in his efforts, finishing seventh. However, the white and black dog already had his ticket in the national final booked regardless of his performance in the state final.
Whilst the Distance series delivered a shock result, punters anticipated Tomac Bale as the winner of the state sprint, sending him to the boxes as the $2.70 favourite. The son of Dyna Lachlan was beaten for speed in the run to the first turn by Kel Greenough’s Paw Licking and had to settle for second position racing into the back straight. With great determination, the red fawn flash knuckled down to the task and dashed passed the tiring leader to bring up his 11th career win in a sizzling 29.83 seconds.
The group two Launching Pad winner qualified for the state decider courtesy of a scintillating 29.67 seconds heat triumph last week. The best of the night effort from box two was enough to ensure that the Mark Delbridge trained speedster started as the favourite in the event last night and although moving into a horrible box five draw, his class ultimately prevailed.
Amazingly, Tomac Bale has been racing in elite group company for the majority of his short career and can never seem to draw a decent box when it counts. A true testament to this is his draw for the $75,000 to the winner decider next Saturday where he has drawn out wide in box seven however; he does have speed drawn directly on his inside which may actually assist his pursuit to find the rails when the lids fly open.
Clinging onto second position was Paw Licking, who once again weakened on the run home. Nevertheless, Kel will have him in tip top shape to contest the final next week in what is sure to be a thrilling event.
Xylia Allen was third all the way after being beaten for speed in the early stages before kennelmate Imry Bale pipped her for the top three placing just before the line. The daughter of Turanza Bale will still line up for the National feature being the wild card sprinter in the series.
The final box draws for the AGRA Nationals series are as follow:
AGRA National Distance Championship 725m
1. Smart Valentino
2. Destini Fireball
3. Wag Tail
4. Lashing Jill
5. Kalden Mayhem
7. Set Sail South
8. Magpie Bob
1st res Gold Affair Two
2nd res Irma Bale
AGRA National Sprint Championship
1. Xylia Allen
2. Zulu Zeus
3. Rumbling Rick
4. Hope’s Up
5. She’s All Class
6. Paw Licking
7. Tomac Bale
8. Innisplain Jet
1st res Imry Bale
2nd res Dyna Oats