Surprise packet Mr. Speaker gave young Anakie trainer Josh Formosa and his large group of owners a huge thrill when producing the standout performance in Saturday night’s heats of the Group 1 Hume Cup (600m) at The Meadows.
A son of 2013 Melbourne Cup winner Black Magic Opal, Mr. Speaker came into the heats with an unremarkable six from 29 record and had been beaten at his last nine starts, his most recent win coming at Sandown Park back on July 1.
Mr. Speaker was a $13 outsider in the third of six heats, where his opposition included $2.20 favourite King Of Calypso, Knicks Bale ($3.60) and Fernando Cazz ($5.50), winner of the G1 Rookie Rebel over course and distance.
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Fernando Cazz led Knicks Bale, while Mr. Speaker found himself second last with a lap to go, but improved into a threatening position approaching the home turn and powered to the line, grabbing Knicks Bale in the shadows of the post, clocking a slick 34.32sec.
After winning two heats of the G2 Cranbourne Cup on Friday, Andrea Dailly claimed another feature heat double courtesy of Westmead Hawk x Dyna Gypsy litter sisters Gypsy Urana (34.39sec) and Gypsy Wyong (34.53sec).
Dailly bookended the heats, with roughie Gypsy Urana ($16.90) running down Mirror Illusion in the opening run-off, with series heavyweight Zipping Rambo finishing fourth.
Course specialist Gypsy Wyong ($2.40), winner of the G3 Top Cat Video Cup over 725m at The Meadows in September, claimed her fourth win from five starts over the 600m course and 13th from 23 overall in the final qualifier.
2021 HUME CUP HEATS
The hottest trainer in the land, David Geall, who also claimed a Cranbourne Cup heat double on Friday, demonstrated he’s just as adept in distance events when Bounce Back was an all-the-way winner of heat four.
Runner-up to Zipping Rambo in the G3 Racecallers Speed Star (595m) at Sandown and a finalist in the G2 McKenna Memorial, Bounce Back ($4.30) speared out from Box 5 and kept going strongly in 34.46sec.
G1 Sale Cup placegetter Bobby The Brute ($6.40), trained by Brendan Pursell, railed strongly in the home straight to prevail in a tight finish to heat two, posting 34.61sec.
Jeff Britton’s Mepunga Warrior ($1.90), runner-up in the G3 Speed Star (600m) at The Meadows in August, and a G2 McKenna Memorial and Warrnambool Cup finalist, finished strongly to take out heat five in 34.55sec.
Knicks Bale, trained by Samantha Grenfell, and Kate Gorman’s Mirror Illusion joined the six heat winners in the $75,000 to-the-winner final as the fastest two seconds.
The G1 Hume Cup final and G3 RSN Silver Bullet (525m) will highlight The Meadows’ traditional Melbourne Cup Eve meeting on Monday, November 1.
GROUP 1 HUME CUP (600m)
The Meadows, Monday 1 November
1 GYPSY WYONG (Andrea Dailly, Anakie)
2 MR. SPEAKER (Josh Formosa, Anakie)
3 MIRROR ILLUSION (Kate Gorman, Tanjil South)
4 GYPSY URANA (Andrea Dailly, Anakie)
5 KNICKS BALE (Samantha Grenfell, Anakie)
6 MEPUNGA WARRIOR (Jeff Britton, Anakie)
7 BOUNCE BACK (David Geall, Lara)
8 BOBBY THE BRUTE (Brendan Pursell, Lara)
9 UNTAPPED (Dustin Drew, Dennington)
10 GRACLYN BALE (Mark Delbridge, Balliang)
(Fastest to slowest):
- 34.32sec Mr. Speaker
- 34.39sec Gypsy Urana
- 34.46sec Bounce Back
- 34.53sec Gypsy Wyong
- 34.55sec Mepunga Warrior
- 34.61sec Bobby The Brute
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