Rated the “next big thing”, Hard Style Rico (pictured) is now pressing for favouritism in next week’s Group 1 National Derby final (520m) following a stunning victory over Simon Told Helen in last night’s heats at Wentworth Park.
It was billed as a showdown between the two Victorian sprint sensations – and it didn’t disappoint!
Simon Told Helen adopted his customary catch-me-if-you-can tactics, but on this occasion his tearaway lead wasn’t big enough to withstand Hard Style Rico’s powerhouse finishing burst.
Normally prepared by Luckie Karabitsakos – but under the guidance of top NSW trainer Jason Mackay for the Derby series – Hard Style Rico ($3.80) defeated Simon Told Helen ($1.50) by one and three-quarter lengths in 29.84sec (Best).
Hard Style Rico – who finished sixth to Simon Told Helen in the G1 Silver Chief – notched his seventh win from 12 starts. He is now $2.90 on the TAB Fixed Odds market for the final, behind Simon Told Helen ($2.20F).
Simon Told Helen and Hard Style Rico have drawn boxes four and five respectively for the $75,000-to-the-winner final.
Meanwhile, a silky-smooth rising star from Victoria – Aston Silk – remained undefeated from only four starts when successful in a G1 National Futurity heat (520m).
Trained by Jason Thompson, Aston Silk ($1.80F) scored by a massive nine and three-quarter lengths in 29.98sec. She will now exit from box seven in the $75,000-to-the-winner final.
Aston Silk is $4.60 on the TAB Fixed Odds market, behind NSW pair Aston Maeve ($2.60F) and Zipping Veyron ($3.50).
Other Victorian counterparts to join Aston Silk in the final are Run Baba Run (Box 2) and Aston Perignon (Box 8).
Prepared by Jeff Galea, Run Baba Run won her heat in 30.25sec, while the Paul Abela-trained Aston Perignon finished second in her heat. Both are quoted at $8.00 and $21.00 respectively for the final.
Pawnote: In a phenomenal training effort, Jason Mackay will rug two finalists in the Derby (Hard Style Rico & Aston Sapporo) and Futurity (Zipping Veyron & Aston Maeve).
The feature racing continues at Wentworth Park tonight with heats of the Group 1 Paws of Thunder (520m) and Group 2 Summer Distance Plate (720m).
WENTWORTH PARK FRIDAY RESULTS
NATIONAL DERBY FIXED ODDS
STEVIE STEPS OUT OF SIMON’S SHADOW
TRUE DETECTIVE’S SUMMER SYDNEY TEST