After clean-sweeping the three Cranbourne Classic heats (520m), Andrea Dailly has a stranglehold on Saturday’s Group 3 final, courtesy of Australia’s ‘sprint queen’, Qwara Bale, Shima Classic and litter sisters Lala Kiwi and Lala Ivory.
‘Team Dailly’s’ grip on the Classic was further strengthened by the midweek scratching of local star Aston Fastnet, which was chasing back-to-back feature successes after winning the G3 Warragul St. Leger.
Shima Classic (third) and Qwara Bale (fourth) both finished behind the Jason Thompson-trained Aston Fastnet at Warragul.
The main obstacle standing in the Dailly juggernaut’s path is freakish speedster Koblenz, which was runner-up in the Warragul St. Leger and has won 17 of his 26 starts for trainer/breeder David Geall.
Each of the Dailly finalists was ‘first-up’ at Cranbourne in the Classic heats, where Qwara Bale, dual G1 winner of the Maturity Classic and Sapphire Crown and the G2 Warrnambool Cup, produced the fastest qualifying performance in the final run-off, clocking a BON 29.90sec, her 20th win from 34 starts.
Lala Kiwi, a daughter of Aussie Infrared and Lala Shim, bred by Dailly Greyhound Farms, set the scene for the heat domination when upstaging odds-on favourite Koblenz in the opening qualifier, running 30.04sec to claim her 10th win from 24 starts.
G1 Australian Cup and Maturity Classic finalist Shima Classic, a half-sister to recently retired superstar Shima Shine, won the second heat, edging out Keep It Black in 29.99sec, with Aston Fastnet third.
“They hadn’t been to Cranbourne before so I was hoping there wouldn’t be too many heats and that would give them a better chance to get through,” co-trainer Tom Dailly said.
WATCH: Dual G1 winner Qwara Bale completes a clean sweep of the G3 Cranbourne Classic heats for ‘Team Dailly’, clocking a BON 29.90sec.
“They all went really well and hopefully they’ll be better this week.
“It wasn’t really a surprise that Lala Kiwi was able to beat Koblenz. She’s quite handy and can run a bit when she gets a clear run. She has more ability than Lala Ivory.
“If Koblenz had led he probably would’ve won but I was happy that Lala Kiwi kept pushing and held him out and once she was in front I thought she’d be hard to beat.”
Qwara Bale (Box 1) is $2.30 with TAB, ahead of Koblenz (Box 7) at $4 and Shima Classic (Box 8) at $5, with Lala Kiwi (Box 4) and Lala Ivory (Box 2) at $16 and $21 respectively.
“I’d say Qwara Bale would be our best chance but I’m just hoping one of them can win!” Dailly quipped.
“I don’t think it really matters where Qwara Bale draws so hopefully she can step from the ‘red’.
“Box eight will suit Shima Classic perfectly because she doesn’t ping out of the boxes and takes a couple of strides to get going.”
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