The Brooke Ennis trained dog ran a rapid 26.75 to set the time standard for Saturday night’s final. The run was just 0.07 seconds outside the long standing track record, which was set by Crash way back in 2004.
The four heats served up some quality chasing and have set the stage for a great final in just four days time.
Here is how the action unfolded;
Race Five – 2014 Group Two Horsham Cup – Heat One
Warrior King (1) shaved nine lengths of his last-start Horsham victory when he took out the first heat in impressive style over a hot field.
The son of Turanza Bale and Flamenco registered a slick 26.75 en route to his fifth win from his last six outings for trainer Brooke Ennis.
Australian Cup finalist Musquin Bale (2) speared the lids and looked like he may dominate the race early. However Warrior King mustered pace and drove under the early leader to forge his way to the front.
From that point, it was a strong display of front running from the 35kg red brindle chaser who scored by 2 3/4 lengths.
Musquin Bale held onto to second place to qualify for Saturday’s final with Clone Your Own (3) finishing well for third.
Race Six – 2014 Group Two Horsham Cup – Heat Two
Crump (6) showed the benefits of a short freshen up to score a dominant win in the second heat for Pearcedale trainer Troy Iwanyk.
Recent Group One Rookie Rebel winner Hawk Alone (1) began well to lead from Campaspe Will (4), Humphrey Bale (5) and Stagger (7) early on in proceedings. Crump was last to leave the boxes in his customary tardy style.
While the battle for the lead took place, Crump balanced up and whisked around the field, going from last to first in the twinkling of an eye.
From that point it looked a question of “how far?” for the 35kg black chaser. The further they went, the further Crump got away, which is no mean feat when Hawk Alone is chasing you.
Crump saluted by a cool 6 1/4 lengths in the time of 26.89 and could well be better for the hit-out. Hawk Alone held down second place with Sisco Good filling third.
Race Seven – 2014 Group Two Horsham Cup – Heat Three
Innocent Til (8) had to dig deep to take out the third heat in a display of tenacious chasing.
Empire Allen (1) was first to leave the traps from the inside with Ollie Bale (4) very handy in second place.
Innocent Til left the boxes near the tail of the field but mustered plenty of pace to zip up to second, appearing to have the race at his mercy.
Empire Allen had no intentions of handing up the ascendency and the pair battled tooth-and-nail down the straight before Innocent Til, who had worked his way to the fence, gained the upper-hand in the last hundred metres to surge away and score by three lengths.
Empire Allen clung on to second place from a fast-finishing Ollie Bale.
Race Eight – 2014 Group Two Horsham Cup – Heat Four
Defending Horsham Cup champion Peter Rocket (8) won the final heat to ensure he had the chance to go back-to-back this Saturday night.
The Keith Hellmuth trained son of Where’s Pedro and Belron Blue registered 26.92 in a tough win.
Peter Rocket found the front early with the race favourite Evie’s Entity (4), a bitch known for her strong finish, landing in second place and looming as a large threat to the leader.
By the home turn, the pair had cleared right out from the field and settled down for a soul-stirring battle for the length of the straight. Evie’s Entity tried her heart out, but Peter Rocket fought on resolutely to hold her at bay, winning by half-a-length on the line.
Evie’s Entity secured her place in the final finishing second and Sisco Rage finished third.
The box draw for Saturday night’s big final is as follows;
1 – Hawk Alone – Andrea Dailly
2 – Musquin Bale – Andrea Dailly
3 – Warrior King – Brooke Ennis
4 – Evie’s Entity – Lyn Smith
5 – Innocent Til – Jason Thompson
6 – Peter Rocket – Keith Hellmuth
7 – Empire Allen – Andrea Dailly
8 – Crump – Troy Iwanyk
9 – Ollie Bale – Andrea Dailly
10 – Sisco Rage – John Galea