Stepping from box six in the WA final on Saturday night, Times Square was only fairly into stride with grand campaigner Thunder Rama (box three) charging through to take the early lead.
Down the back straight and Times Square was held up in traffic, with Who’s Got Snoop (box eight) and Cobra Clutch (box one) applying the pressure in pursuit of the leader, with Times Square checked as a result.
Swinging for home and it was still Thunder Rama high-balling out in front, with Who’s Got Snoop gallantly chasing him in second spot.
However, entering the straight Times Square was able to get balanced up, producing a strong finish down the outside to hit the lead, drawing clear to score by three quarters of a length in 27.55.
Having just turned two last month, the black bitch is already the winner of 12 of her 19 career starts including a commanding 29.89 personal best at Cannington.
Beginning mid-field from box four, the son of Barcia Bale and Sharon Monelli was able to punch up in the run to the line on the first occasion, finding the fence around the first turn and railing through to find the front entering the back straight.
Once in the lead it was a case of times and margins, with the black dog striding to score by five and one quarter lengths over Serena Fly High (box six) in a respectable 36.76.
Held over 647m on Saturday night, Senator Monelli will now have to rise considerably in distance for the final which will be held over 731m in just under two weeks time.
However, the 33.4 kilogram chaser does have experience over the staying trip in his home state, boasting two wins from three starts over the 715m distance at Cannington including a 42.44 personal best.
A winner of 15 of his 29 starts to date, a victory in the National Distance Championship would elevate Senator Monelli’s prize money earnings above $150,000, while he would also become the first WA winner of the race since the mighty Miata scored at Hobart in 2012.