The final of the Great Western Derby is to be run at Ballarat on Wednesday night and shapes as a terrific contest, with every runner capable of taking out the affair without surprising.
The Great Western Derby, despite only being in its infancy, has already unearthed some huge talents in the three years it’s been conducted, with Stagger and Whata Good Size winning the past two years. This year shapes as no exception and after eight exhilarating heats, the final looks to be an absolute clinker, with some of the best up and coming young dogs set to do battle in the $20,000 to the winner event.
There were no more impressive runs in the eight heats than Hooksy for Tatura based husband and wife training duo Tanya and Jimmy Auld. Hooksy is a son of American bred sire Hondo Black and Uno Witch and resumed from an injury enforced layoff to scorch around Morshead Park in a brilliant 24.94 seconds, eclipsing the previous track record of 24.96. Exiting the red alley, Hooksy showed great acceleration to burn off his rivals and, despite drawing awkwardly in box four in the final, must be the testing material based on his heat performance.
Jason Thompson is no stranger to big race wins, and his charge Zulu Zircon was also super impressive in his heat victory. Showing dazzling pace off the inside draw, Zulu Zircon raced away from the Kelly Bravo trained Take Charge to record a solid 25.10 seconds in his heat. Perhaps not ideally drawn in box seven for the final, Zulu Zircon is sure to make his presence felt with an even amount of luck.
The Glen Rounds trained duo of the unbeaten Bottom Dollar and the highly talented Waymore Blues also look right in the mix to figure prominently in the final. Bottom Dollar took out his heat in a quick 25.22 seconds while his kennel mate Waymore Blues ran his heat in a fast 25.24 seconds. Both chasers have heaps of ability and have drawn boxes six and eight respectively in the final.
The other four finalists also will have their admirers to take out the event, with all four demonstrating enough talent to deserve consideration by punters, especially with the good prices which may be on offer.
The Michelle Mallia-Magri trained See Him First has drawn the red alley in the decider and this brings him into the race with some chance. A winner of 11 from 28 starts, this son of Bit Chilli finished strongly in his heat and rates at least an eachway chance.
Darren McDonald has There’s A Earn in the race who ran his heat in 25.10. Darren Brown has Ride The Rails, who posted an equally impressive 25.01 in his heat win. Both are quality chasers who could take out the race without surprising.
Last but not least of the finalists is the Owen McGovern trained sprinter Yellowrock Magic. The son of Magic Sprite is a former New South Wales chaser who has built a terrific record on the provincial circuit in Victoria, winning ten of his eighteen starts. Although he doesn’t have the same profile of some of the bigger names in the race, he has brilliant early pace and could be leading the race at the first turn.
The Ballarat Club must be thrilled with the quality of this year’s Great Western Derby Final as it has bought together a star studded field. Potentially these young dogs are the best in Australia, with no doubt several going on to compete at group level in the near future.
The Great Western Derby Final will at 9.28pm on Wednesday night.