After winning the 2020 Group 3 TAB Great Chase with star sprinter Dr. Tucker, a finalist in Saturday night’s G2 Bendigo Cup final, Bill McMahon is eyeing off back-to-back victories in the community-focused feature with fastest semi-final winner Ridge.
Six semi-finals were held at The Meadows on Wednesday afternoon, with Ridge, a son of Fernando Bale and Annasay, bred and raced by Jennifer Gill, producing the standout performance in the fourth run-off.
Ridge contested the previous week’s heats at The Meadows, coming into the 1-5 win Victorian-bred-and-trained series having won his previous two starts at Cranbourne and Sandown Park (29.47sec) in impressive fashion.
Chasing a hat-trick, Ridge, the joint $2.70 favourite from Box 8, looked to be in all sorts of trouble when at the tail of the field of six but finished strongly to grab second behind 29.95sec winner Snapper Smith.
WATCH: Ridge (7) ran down leader Reloaded (5) in 29.99sec to set the pace in Wednesday afternoon’s G3 Great Chase semi-finals at The Meadows.
Ridge again drew wide in Box 7 for Wednesday’s semi, where he started $5.90, with Angela Langton’s rails runner Osprey Phantom the $2.20 favourite.
Ridge settled much closer than the previous week and set out after leader Reloaded ($4.90) in the back straight, finishing the better to score by 1.21 lengths in a slick 29.99sec.
After winning only two of his first 18 starts, Ridge has now won six from 26 with 14 minor placings.
The second fastest semi effort came from Andrea Dailly’s upset $33 winner Indy Fido, which led all-the-way in the second run-off, defeating joint $2.50 favourite Substantial by 3.16 lengths in 30.02sec, with the other fancied runner Paddy Wants Pats running sixth.
2021 TAB Great Chase Grand Final – 525m
Wednesday 20 October – $47,000 to the winner
1 INDY FIDO (Andrea Dailly, Anakie)
2 HAMILLSON (Richard Hill, Frankston)
3 HUSHING DUSK (Ian Garland, Longlea)
4 RELOADED (Glenn Rounds, Devon Meadows)
5 TRUE COLLINDA (Jason Thompson, Pearcedale)
6 IDOLIZE (Peter Presutto, Devon Meadows)
7 RIDGE (William McMahon, Darriman)
8 WEBLEC RANGER (Angela Langton, Anakie)
HEAT WINNERS (fastest to slowest)
30.02sec Indy Fido
30.33sec Weblec Ranger
30.46sec Hushing Dusk
Idolize, trained by Peter Presutto, was an impressive all-the-way winner of the opening semi, assuming control with a flying 4.97sec first split en route to a 30.08sec success, her fifth win from seven starts.
There was great interest in the third – and arguable toughest – semi, where Hamillson ($9), trained by Richard Hill, ran down $2.20 favourite Revolution in 30.13sec, his sixth win from 11 starts, with the previously undefeated Old News running fourth.
Angela Langton’s $2.70 favourite Weblec Ranger held off Sierra Foxtrot ($3.50) to win semi-final five in 30.33sec, while National Draft graduate Hushing Dusk took out the final semi in 30.46sec for Ian Garland.
The G3 Great Chase final will be held next Wednesday afternoon, October 20.
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