It was a ‘mixed bag’ for Victoria as the G1 Brisbane Cup (520m) and G1 Queensland Cup (710m) series kicked off at Albion Park last night.
We had ‘eight wonders’ engaged in five Brisbane Cup heats but only Shima Shine, Equalizer and Music Event progressed to next week’s $250,000 to-the-winner final. (Do It is the first reserve.)
Going by the wayside were Victorian speedsters the calibre of Tiggerlong Tonk, Qwara Bale, Yozo Bale and Aston Fastnet.
The Jason Thompson-trained Equalizer was the fastest qualifier, producing his paralysing finishing burst to take out Heat 5 in 29.93sec. He also won the Super Sprinters at Albion Park last week.
Now a four-time G1 finalist, and dual G2 country cups runner-up, Equalizer will exit box four in the final.
Superstar Shima Shine, trained by Andrea Dailly, clocked 29.96sec in Heat 2.
A dual G1 winner (including the Gold Bullion at Albion Park) and triple track record holder, Shima Shine has drawn box seven in the final.
And G3 Cup Night Sprint winner Music Event has come up with box six in the final courtesy of finishing second in Heat 1.
TAB’s fixed odds market for the Brisbane Cup has Shima Shine a raging hot $1.80 favourite, with Equalizer at $4.40 and Music Event at $9.
Victoria was represented by Five Star and Hank The Hustler in three Queensland Cup heats but only the former made it through to the $100,000 to-the-winner final.
Five Star, who has drawn box six in the final, finished a gallant second to SA star Sir Truculent in Heat 3. However, Hank The Hustler could only manage fourth in Heat 1.
Our latest staying sensation, Five Star won the G3 Lizrene Speed Star and was runner-up to Hank The Hustler in the G3 Cup Night Stayers prior to finishing fourth in the four-dog G3 Super Stayers at Albion Park last week.
Five Star is a $3.60 equal second elect for the Queensland Cup, behind local idol Maggie Moo Moo at $3.20.
Meanwhile, ‘Team Delbridges’ juggernaut was bitter-sweet in the G2 McKenna Memorial heats (595m) at Sandown Park last night.
The all-conquering Balliang kennel had a ‘fab four’ engaged with Christo Bale and Jarick Bale reaching next week’s $40,000 to-the-winner final.
But, in a shock result, G1 Sandown Cup winner Zipping Rambo failed to ‘make the cut’, while Graclyn Bale is the first reserve.
Jarick Bale clocked a sensational 33.81sec (Best) victory in Heat 3, scoring by 7L. Christo Bale finished third in Heat 2, beaten 4.2L, to the Andrea Dailly trained Drako Bale in 34.07sec.
Christo Bale (Box 2) is TAB’s $2.50 favourite for the final, with Jarick Bale (Box 8) second in line at $3.60.