Boom youngster Shima Shine will spearhead Andrea Dailly’s assault on the TAB Million Dollar Chase at Bulli and Richmond over the weekend.
On Saturday night at Bulli, Victorian sprinters dominate the field for the Regional Final over 472m, remarkably supplying seven of the eight contenders.
Team Dailly has Shima Shine, the winner of six of his eight starts, highlighted by the Ballarat 450m track record, and dual Group 1 winner Dyna Patty engaged, while Jeff Britton also has two finalists in recent National Sprint hero Premium Share and Western Envoy.
The other three Victorians are Slingshot Hammer and She’s Gifted, trained by partners Rob Camilleri and Deb Coleman, and Whiskey Riot, which is prepared by Kylee Osborne, partner of leading mentor Anthony Azzopardi.
While the Victorians hold a distinct numerical advantage, the lone NSW finalist, Bulli specialist Pindari Express, is TAB’s $2 favourite.
A half-brother to 2016 Melbourne Cup winner Ando’s Mac, the Tracey Scruse-trained Pindari Express has won nine of his 11 starts at Bulli, including the Group 2 Bulli Gold Cup (472m) and the 400m course record.
Pindari Express was the quicker of Monday’s two heat winners, running down Premium Share in 26.07s, while Slingshot Hammer defeated Whiskey Riot and Shima Shine in 26.13s in the other run-off, with just three-quarters of a length separating the first three.
Wing runners Premium Share (box 1) and Shima Shine (8) are the most fancied of the Victorian contingent at $3.70 and $4.40 respectively.
“Shima Shine is only a baby and he’s still learning,” co-trainer Tom Dailly said.
“He had to go around them in his heat but was probably doing his best work on the line.
“He’s a little bit tardy early so drawing the pink again should suit him and I’d say he’s our best chance.
“After Bulli we’ll take him to town over the 500 and see how he measures up.
“Dyna Patty is good as gold. She jumped really well in her heat but then she couldn’t go with them and got squeezed up.
“We probably jumped the gun a bit taking her to Bulli because the Richmond 535m might have suited her better but we were taking Shima Shine to Bulli so we took her along too.
“The objective is to finish in the first four and get through to the semi-finals.”
The Bulli Million Dollar Chase Final will jump at 6.59pm on Saturday.
The Dailly kennel will also be strongly represented in Friday night’s Million Dollar Chase heats at Richmond.
They’ll have eight runners in the three heats; Dyna Unther, Lektra Spring and Reiko Ablett ((heat 1), Reiko Boss, Lektra Zephyr and Rockstar Beav (heat 2) and Jaro Bale and Rockstar Fletch (heat 3).
“There are no absolute superstars but they’re all city class dogs,” Tom Dailly said.
A huge weekend for the Daillys will continue at Sandown Park on Sunday when $4.60 outsider Lucy’s Milo tackles NSW sensation Feral Franky, the $1.20 favourite, in the final match race of the Group 3 Speed Star over 515m.
“Lucy’s Milo has drawn on the inside and he’s desperate for the rail but Feral Franky is flying so we’ll just see what happens.”
Speed Star edition of the Whisper, click here.