The age-restricted Group 3 Warragul St Leger series (460m) is renowned as a ‘nursery’ for future champions.
And the 2021 edition will prove no exception judging by tonight’s three sensational heats.
It was ‘plain sailing’ for Aston Fastnet ($2.10F) who sailed past Shima Classic ($2.80) in the home straight to win Heat 2 by 2.75L in a sizzling 25.39sec (Best).
Trained by Jason Thompson, Aston Fastnet registered his 10th win from 22 starts, including six of his past 10. His winning time was a fraction outside his 25.35sec PB here, and he’s four from four exiting the ‘white’ trap.
Aston Fastnet was also a finalist in the G1 Maturity Classic and G3 Bill Collins Speed Star, won by his litter brother Aston Rupee, and runner-up to Koblenz in the Pink Diamond Rookie Sprinter final.
And credit must be given to the Andrea Dailly-trained Shima Classic who has won 10 races from 27 starts. She finished third to Qwara Bale in the G1 Sapphire Crown and was a finalist in the G1 Australian Cup, G2 Ballarat Cup and Pink Diamond Champion Short Course.
Sprint queen Qwara Bale’s ‘royal tour’ rolled on with a command performance in Heat 3.
Qwara Bale ($3.20), also trained by Dailly, defeated the gallant Paua Of Buddy ($5.60), who was unbeaten in four starts here, by 1.2L in 25.63sec. St Leger series favourite Rebellious ($1.80F) finished seventh.
Winner of last week’s G1 Maturity Classic, along with the G1 Sapphire Crown and G2 Warrnambool Cup, Qwara Bale landed her 19th win from 32 starts. She has now won 10 of her past 14 starts.
‘Next big thing’ Koblenz was once again an excitement machine, taking out Heat 1.
Trained by David Geall, Koblenz ($1.90F) made it 17 wins from 24 starts defeating Keep It Black ($9.00) by 1.3L in a slick 25.65sec.
Koblenz – a ‘cousin’ of freakish Ferdinand Boy – has now won 16 of his past 20 starts, at one stage stringing together 11 straight wins!
Meanwhile, two heats of the Simon Benson Memorial Grade 5 (460m) complemented a stellar night of racing.
The Anthony Azzopardi-trained Derry Express wasn’t stopping for anyone in Heat 1.
Rattling out of box five, Derry Express ($2.70) ‘derailed’ his rivals with a 6.1L win over Blue Tiger ($2.60F) in a slick 25.72sec. It was his 12th win from 34 starts, including four of his past five.
Highly underrated Louie Lou went like lightning for Jason Thompson in Heat 2.
Notching his eighth win from 15 starts, including four of his past six, Louie Lou ($8.90) defeated 39kg gargantuan Aston Gigante ($5.40) – prepared by Anthony Azzopardi – by 0.8L in a smart 25.82sec.
Last week’s G1 Maturity Classic runner-up, Fernando Mick ($1.50F) – trained by David Geall – was third a further 1.1L away.
Louie Lou is now three from three exiting box four, from which he has a 25.60sec PB here.
G3 WARRAGUL ST. LEGER FINAL, 460m
Saturday 7 August
$25,000 (1st); $7,000 (2nd); $3,500 (3rd)
1 KEEP IT BLUE (Angela Langton, Anakie)
2 KOBLENZ (David Geall, Lara)
3 PAUA OF BUDDY (Steven White, Buln Buln East)
4 KEEP IT BLACK (Angela Langton, Anakie)
5 SHIMA CLASSIC (Andrea Dailly, Anakie)
6 HENNESSEY (Ashlee Terry, Nilma North)
7 QWARA BALE (Andrea Dailly, Anakie)
8 ASTON FASTNET (Jason Thompson, Pearcedale)
9 BLACK AVENGER (Joe Borg, Maryborough)
10 BAHATI BALE (Andrea Dailly, Anakie)
HEAT WINNERS (fastest to slowest)
- 25.39sec Aston Fastnet
- 25.65sec Koblenz
- 25.71sec Qwara Bale
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