West Australia’s heats of the Rapdivite national Distance Championship, although few in number, were stacked with ability.
The two heats saw the old guard of WA staying, Elektra and Speedy Lino, taking on young up and coming stayers, Tayza and the highly impressive Big Loose Buddy.
Heat one looked a nice race for the Pete Sayer trained Tayza, who had led throughout at the track and distance just one week earlier running 41.60 at her first run back from a satisfactory trial.
Whilst the good thing got home in the end, the race wasn’t run the way many had foreseen. Tayza after beggining well from box 7 ended up posted 4 wide to the first corner and then found her way back to last about 12 lengths from earyl leaders Hi Barbara and Evenly Split.
As they entered the back straight the second time, Blue Hammer had found the lead after missing the start by about 4 lengths from his box 8 draw. Tomkat, Tahitian Dancer and Speedy Lino were all pluggin away in behind, although none ever looked a serious threat of winning the race.
As Blue Hammer tired in the home straight Speedy Lino and Tomkat were grinding away to get past the leader, but Tayza had made up a conservative 10 lengths to be just behind the leading pack. When a gap opened to her outside, the brindle bitch literlaly opened the “turbo’s” and shot away to put a 2.25 length gap back to 2nd in the last 15 metres, winning in 42.51.
Speedy Lino plugged away in to 2nd and Tomkat managed to hang on for 3rd in front of Blue Hammer.
The second and last heat of the Rapidvite National Distance Championship West Australian Heats saw evergreen stayer Elektra lining up at her 96th start. The Group 1 Sky Channel Galaxy winner back in April had slipped in form more recently but still boasted the good record of only ever being unplaced twice at the Cannington 715 metre journey from 26 attempts.
Her main opposition and favourite to beat her was a black dog only having his second start at the distance, Big Loose Buddy. The Trendy Leigh ~ Abbadale Gold dog had previously won 8 from 20, with 6 of those at Cannington and had shown good form over the 642 metre journey before stepping up to a 4th grade event over the 715 metres and blowing the opposition away, running 41.96 and winning by 8.5 lengths coming from off the pace to win just the week prior to the heat.
Unfortunately for Elektra’s supporters the match race never ensued and Big Loose Buddy made a one act affair of the Heat leading almost from box to post and running a slick 41.78 and although getting tired on the line, beating Key Card by 2.5 lengths.
Elektra, who at one point was further than 20 lengths from the leader; finshed 3rd beaten 10.5 lengths but left her run way too late, and while she was right on the winners heels 50 metres past the post, she was never in the hunt and will need to take closer order in the final to be any threat to WA’s new rising distance star.
Given the improvement shown from his staying debut to the second run, it would be hard to foresee anything beating Big Loose Buddy in the Rapidvite National Distance Championship West Australian Final, provided he gets a little room to move early as his first section split is a good 8 lengths quicker than anything else in the final. Elektra has drawn the red box for the final, which will definitely see her a long way behind early, with Tayza likely to cover her up in the run to the first corner.
4Speedy Lino37446241.8142.66Keith Harding
5Blue Hammer44723442.2142.73Jimmy Lee
6Big Loose Buddy33411141.7841.78John Vuletich
8Key Card24113241.8441.95Pete Sayer
9Hi Barbara23144542.1142.82Linda Smithson
10Molly Dolly44438542.4443.01Michael Gordon