Three of the sport’s biggest names have set the Bendigo Cup series alight, taking out the final three heats with mind-blowing runs this afternoon.
Tiggerlong Tonk and Hard Style Rico took the racing action to a new level when they won heats six and seven, but then Shima Shine took it one step further in the final qualifier, setting a new track record for the 425m trip with an eight-length romp in 23.35sec.
The previous record was 23.37sec, held by Jim Zarr Dashian.
Shima Shine was the $5.50 favourite to win the Bendigo Cup prior to the heats, and he’ll now aim to capture the first group win of his career in Friday night’s final.
The runner-up in last year’s Million Dollar Chase in Sydney, Shima Shine is a son of Geelong Cup winner Shima Song, and this was his second track record, to go with his 450m record at Ballarat.
Hard Style Rico, the Shepparton Cup winner, ran 23.37sec, while Tiggerlong Tonk clocked 23.45sec.
Friday night’s final boasts a $50,000 first prize.
HEAT WINNERS (fastest to slowest)
23.35sec – SHIMA SHINE
23.38sec – HARD STYLE RICO
23.57sec – TIGGERLONG TONK
23.66sec – SLINGSHOT TITAN
23.78sec – SPEED STAR
23.79sec – MIDNIGHT MONARCH
23.79sec – YOZO BALE
23.88sec – ASTON PERONI
WATCH: SHIMA SHINE (8) cruises to a breathtaking win in a track record 23.35sec.