Exiting from box one, the Robert Britton-trained chaser stepped beautifully from the inside alley and led throughout in a blistering time of 41.93. Fittingly, the previous record of 42.03 was held by another talented Robert Britton stayer, Nellie Noodles, recorded back in April of 2010.
The son of Bekim Bale and Tonto Tears scored by twelve-and-one-quarter lengths at the finish and justified his skinny odds of $1.20 with most totalisers. Outside runner Berry Blitz for Angela Langton made up good ground to finish in second position and, after being up with the leaders early on, Peter Dapiran’s Zipping Felix just held on for third place.
In an amazing training feat, Lara mentor Brooke Ennis now has a chance to claim her third Group One final for the month of February, after Lady Toy was extremely impressive in taking out heat two. After a moderate getaway from box one, the daughter of Our Toyman and Railway Shiraz took advantage of a glorious rails run, sitting behind early leader Footluse Diva turning for home the first time. After taking the lead in the back straight, last week’s Zoom Top finalist bounced back to the winners circle, saluting by six lengths in a time of 42.58. Beks for Patrick Bouchier made up a stack of ground to finish second from box eight and Andrea Dailly’s Starc finished third.
Opec Bale for Mark Delbridge was a short-priced favourite in heat three at $2.60, however got a poor start from box five and was never in contention on a heavily drenched Meadows surface. Nicki Fields and Mepunga Hayley were best away at box rise, with Mepunga Hayley a clear leader heading past the winning post the first time. Brooke Ennis was looking to notch up another heat win as Blinker’s On wasn’t far away turning for home, however had to settle for second best, as Nicki Fields snuck along the rails to steal the win for Gerard O’Keefe, by three quarters of a length in 42.91. Blinker’s On flashed home for second, whilst Mepunga Hayley was gallant in defeat and held on for third.
In a depleted final heat, punters couldn’t decide on a definite favourite, with good support for Andrea Dailly’s Evie Jane at $3.10. After a rough start, Coulta Rock got the fly down the outside from box eight, leading comfortably around the home turn the first time. Zipping Maggie and Ralphy Cinel made their move in the back straight, with eventual winner Luna Jinx still eight lengths away in fifth position. With all six greyhounds in contention on the home turn, Luna Jinx for trainer Len Ketelaar went between runners to score by a length in 42.93. Echelonic Action put in a brilliant effort to finish second and early leader Coulta Rock finished third.
Next week’s final will see successful connections receive $100,000 in prize money.
Group One Superstayers Box Draw – The Meadows – 725m
1. Lady Toy – Brooke Ennis
2. Berry Blitz – Angela Langton
3. Blinker’s On – Brooke Ennis
4. Echelonic Action – Deborah Coleman
5. Luna Jinx – Len Ketelaar
6. Space Star – Robert Britton
7. Nicki Fields – Gerard O’Keefe
8. Beks – Patrick Bouchier
9. Zipping Felix – Peter Dapiran
10. Mepunga Hayley – Jeffrey Britton