Anyone who read our Healesville Cup preview would’ve had a field day at the Healesville Cup heats last Saturday with 6 of the 8 heats running as we predicted.
Heat 1 went to Taipan Bale (Solve The Puzzle x Arivada Bale) who used box 1 to advantage to overhaul early leader Rupture (Brett Lee x Watusi Zephyr) in the fair time of 18.45 after a slow start. Heat 2 went to Top Fuel (Where’s Pedro x Brooklyn Haze) who led all the way from box 2, running 18.36.
The 3rd heat saw a runnner that really got under our guard in the preview, when Major Tsunami (Typhoon Tide x Major Break) came from behind to bolt away in a flying 18.27. Heat 4 saw the other of our unpredicted wins in the heats, when Archer’s Eleven (Spiral Nakita x Flaming Awesome) for Clarkefield trainer R. Henness sprung from box 7 and held on in a slow 18.72.
Heat 5, and our predictions were right back on track when Bounding Billy (No Intent x Reyanrd Lady), stormed over the top of early leader Hot Mikado (Hotline Hero x History Making) in a slow 18.55. Cool Temptation (Big Daddy Cool x Juma Country) took out heat 6 in the fastest heat time of 18.24 for likeable young trainer Scott Stefanos of Longqwood. Elite Saint (Elite State x Saintly Jewel) didn’t disappoint his supporters or owner Peter Byrne when he led all the way in 18.44 to take down the second last heat.
The final heat made it a Norm McCullagh training double when Sherlock Bob (Whisky Assassin x Many Tricks) showed good pace at box rise and held on to beat our bolter’s pick in the race, Super Joe Cool (Brett Lee x Foxmoor Flyer) in a handy 18.36.
The box draw was performed after the heats and the marbles were very kind to owner Paul Wheeler and trainer Graham Bate when Tapian Bale again saw red to secure box 1 in the final.
1Taipan Bale41227118.4518.45G Bate
2Cool Temptation33111118.2418.24S Stefanos
3Major Tsunami41324118.2718.27F Ryan
4Top Fuel43122118.3618.36G Rounds
5Bounding Billy16418117.9918.55M Turner
6Archer’s Eleven47124118.7218.72R Henness
7Sherlock Bob43421118.3618.36N McCullagh
8Elite Saint43612118.4618.46N McCullagh
9Super Joe Cool551122 18.38A Reid
10Bomber Lucas34321218.2218.48L Kraemer
Fastest heat winner Cool Temptation looked well boxed in the two, although had plenty of speed drawn to his outside in Major Tsunami and Top Fuel. The two Norm McCullagh runners were both well served with their outside draws and looked sure to improve after their first up runs on the track on Saturday. Bounding Billy would again be running for luck early trying to avoid interference with his box 5 draw. Taipan Bale, who missed the start in the heats, looked as though he might get crossed and bundled back in the field from box 1 with a repeat performance.
The quick backup from Saturday to Monday must’ve told on impressive heat winner Elite Saint, as he was unable to return to the track for the final due to injury, which must’ve been a real blow for connections as he did look ideally boxed out in the 8. Unfortunately the scratching came through after deadlines preventing Alec Reid’s Super Joe Cool gaining a start in the final field.
In the final both Cool Temptation and Major Tsunami missed the start and put paid to their chances and also those of Top Fuel when they all contacted each other. While this was going on Sherlock Bob had shown improvement on his 6.44 first split in the heats, to run a quick 6.35 and cross to the lead. Again Taipan Bale had missed the start, but the interference to his outside gave him the room to rail through behind the leader in company with Bounding Billy who also had benefited from gap left to his inside.
In the run to to the line is was Taipan Bale who showed the strength to overhaul Sherlock Bob and take the $12,500 first prize by 1 1/4 lengths with Bounding Billy a further length back 3rd in a quick 18.21.
The 2008 Healesville Cup win gives Taipan Bale the good record of 6 wins from only 15 starts with 7 seconds and total prizemoney of over $27,500.