Staying queen Mepunga Ruby was ‘dazzling’ in Saturday night’s Group 1 TAB Fanta Bale Super Stayers heats (725m) at The Meadows.
Trained at Anakie by Jeff Britton, Mepunga Ruby – now a five-time G1 finalist – ‘sparkled’ with a powerful 42.45sec (Best) win in Heat 4.
Installed as TAB’s $3.50 ‘All In’ favourite prior to the heats, Mepunga Ruby – which has competed in six Group race finals at her past 13 starts – notched her 18th win from 31 races. And it was her fourth win from seven outings over 725m at The Meadows.
Other highlights to emerge from this evening’s Fanta Bale Super Stayers heats include:
- Staying convert Fernando’s Quest ($10.40) – trained at Avalon by Michelle Mallia – made it four victories from his past seven starts. Mallia has been a ‘bridesmaid’ twice in the race with Mighty Galore (2002) and Slick Galore (2005) both finishing second. She also finished third with Mission Complete (2013). Fernando’s Quest was $201 in TAB’s ‘All In’ market.
- Little known Gippsland stayer Orca ($31.60) gave Traralgon trainer Steve Nagy ‘a whale of a time’ when he ‘breached’ to a 42.69sec victory in Heat 2. It was only his seventh win from 33 starts. He was a $501 chance in pre-post betting.
- SA star Sir Truculent ($34.50) qualified for his second successive ‘Fanta Bale’ final when second, beaten a length, to Orca. He was runner-up to Stanley Road in last year’s final. Amazingly, he was a $301 ‘All In’ quote for this year’s series.
- Queenslander Micks Recall ($7.20) displayed plenty of determination to hold off Flying Lantern ($15.30). A winner of 17 from 48, Micks Recall was far from disgraced in last week’s G1 Zoom Top at The Meadows.
- Lara trainer Robert Camilleri qualified two runners for the final – Beck’s Monelli and Overflow Lisa. Both finished second in their respective heats. Camilleri had Run Like Jess (5th) in last year’s final.
The G1 TAB Fanta Bale Super Stayers final – Saturday, February 26 – will carry a first prize of $100,000.
2022 FANTA BALE SUPER STAYERS FINAL (725m)
Saturday 26 February – First prize $100,000
- OVERFLOW LISA (Robert Camilleri, Lara VIC)
- ORCA (Steve Nagy, Traralgon VIC)
- FLYING LANTERN (Tim Britton, Lara VIC)
- MEPUNGA RUBY (Jeff Britton, Anakie VIC)
- FERNANDO’S QUEST (Michelle Mallia, Avalon VIC)
- MICKS RECALL (Jamie Hosking, Churchable QLD)
- SIR TRUCULENT (Walter Harkins, Jervois SA)
- BECK’S MONELLI (Robert Camilleri, Lara VIC)
- HERE’S TEARS (Robert Britton, Lara VIC)
- DRAKO BALE (Andrea Dailly, Anakie VIC)
(Fastest to slowest)
- 42.45sec Mepunga Ruby
- 42.67sec Micks Recall
- 42.69sec Orca
- 42.80sec Fernando’s Quest
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