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Shima Classic’s Ballarat Cup ‘shine’

It was a case of mixed fortunes for Andrea Dailly and ‘Shima’ siblings, Shima Shine and Shima Classic, in Monday afternoon’s Group 2 Bottle-O Ballarat Cup heats (450m).

Superstar series favourite Shima Shine was a shock elimination when beaten at $1.30 in his heat; however lightly-raced half-sister Shima Classic restored family pride with a near-record victory in the final run-off.

After being knocked out of the Golden Easter Egg in the opening round, Shima Shine (Barcia Bale – Shima Song) took aim at his second country cup title for 2021, after winning the Horsham Cup last month.

Unbeaten in five appearances at Ballarat, Shima Shine dominated betting on the fourth of six heats but after blowing the start he was always in bother, running third to Jason Thompson’s Aussie Secret ($5.60), a commanding 25.03s winner.

It was a very different story for connections in the final heat as Shima Classic (Mepunga Blazer – Shima Song) celebrated her second birthday in style.

At just her 13th start, the Group 1 Australian Cup finalist started $2.10 favourite from box eight and gave nothing else a chance in claiming her eighth career victory and improving her perfect record from ‘the pink’ to three from three.

Shima Classic clocked 24.76s, just over a length outside Silver Lake’s course record.

Less than four months after winning the 2020 Ballarat Cup, Correy Grenfell’s Yozo Bale set out to defend his crown in the opening heat, where he started at $3.90 from box one.

WATCH: Shima Classic (8) was superb in taking out her Ballarat Cup heat in a scorching 24.76sec (Best), just a length off the track record.

After beginning well Yozo Bale was headed by Bound To Succeed ($4.70), trained by Noel Massina, and outsider Pirate’s Patch ($24.20), prepared by Glenn Maxwell, which fought out a nail-biting finish.

Bound To Succeed held on in 25.12s, improving his outstanding strike rate to 27 from 44.

Chasing his fifth successive win, Dave Geall’s recent Group 2 Shepparton Cup victor Ferdinand Boy was sent out a warm $1.70 favourite in heat two and the race went according to script as he was an all-the-way winner in a slick 24.92s.

Track record holder Silver Lake was resuming from a short let-up for Graham James in heat three and started $1.90 favourite from box eight.

Oriental Amber ($4.70), trained by Rod Clark, had been beaten at her last three starts after enjoying a six-race winning streak in February/March and the daughter of 2017 Melbourne and Ballarat Cup hero Aston Dee Bee returned to winning form with a dominant front-running exhibition, posting 24.89s.

Jason Thompson’s Equalizer ($2.60) and Mark Delbridge’s Rilynn Bale ($3) battled for favouritism in heat five but they were upstaged by the Darren Fisher-trained Bulleteer ($14), which swept around the outside to score in 25.07s.

It was the well-bred son of El Grand Senor and Group 1 winner Maja Mahi Mahi’s sixth win from his last eight starts and 15th from 32 overall.

HEAT WINNERS (fastest to slowest):
24.76sec Shima Classic
24.89sec Oriental Amber
24.92sec Ferdinand Boy
25.03sec Aussie Secret
25.07sec Bulleteer
25.12sec Bound To Succeed

Friday night 9 April
$47,000 (1st); $13,350 (2nd); $6,650 (3rd)

1 AUSSIE SECRET (Jason Thompson, Pearcedale)
2 SHIMA CLASSIC (Andrea Dailly, Anakie)
3 BOUND TO SUCCEED (Noel Massina, Golden Square)
4 ASTON GWEN (Ben Magri, Avalon)
5 BULLETEER (Darren Fisher, Lara)
6 ORIENTAL AMBER (Rodney Clark, Toolleen)
7 FORTUNA BALE (Mark Delbridge, Balliang)
8 FERDINAND BOY (David Geall, Lara)
9 ULTIMATE AVENGER (Joe Borg, Maryborough)
10 WEBLEC JET (Jeff Britton, Anakie)

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About Gerard Guthrie - One of Australia's leading greyhound racing journalists since 2000 with the Greyhound Recorder and now with Greyhound Racing Victoria. Part-owner 2013 Group 1 Paws Of Thunder winner Sheikha. (The views in this article are those of the author and not necessarily those of GRV)
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