Salad Dodger looks well placed to land his first country cup on Good Friday after clocking the fastest time among tonight’s Group 2 Ballarat Cup heats.
Anthony Azzopardi’s superstar clocked a sizzling 24.92sec, and in doing so turned the tables on Lektra Heckler, who beat him six nights earlier in the Group 2 Shepparton Cup Final.
Salad Dodger was also the fastest heat winner at Shepparton before running fourth in the final, while he was the runner-up in last year’s Bendigo Cup.
He will exit box six in the $75,000 (approx) Ballarat Cup Final on Good Friday.
Azzopardi, based nearby at Rowsley, is chasing his second Ballarat Cup after winning with Zambora Brockie in 2016.
WATCH: SALAD DODGER (B1) explodes away from LEKTRA HECKLER (B4) to take out the fifth and final heat in 24.92sec (Best).
Other highlights from Friday night’s Cup heats were:
- Four of the five heat winners exited the red number 1 alley.
- Bobby Axelrod made it 20 wins from 36 starts and will provide trainer Jess Hopkins with the biggest highlight of her career if he can win the final.
- Daniel Gibbons prepared two of the five heat winners in litter sisters Kelsey Bale and Quinlan Bale. It could be a big 48 hours for Gibbons as he has three finalists in the Group 3 Mount Gambier Cup on Sunday.
- Tom Dailly will be attempting to ‘turn back the clock’ with litter brothers Shima Shadow and Shima Dream. Dailly took out the 2002 Ballarat Cup with Knockabout Wok.
- Unleash Collinda provides champion trainer Jason Thompson with the opportunity of a third Ballarat Cup. He saluted with Whisky Assassin (2004) and Ronan Izmir (2013).
Photos by Clint Anderson
GROUP 2 BALLARAT CUP HEAT WINNERS
(fastest to slowest)
24.92sec Salad Dodger
25.03sec Kelsey Bale
25.06sec Quinlan Bale
25.08sec Shima Shadow
25.21sec Bobby Axelrod
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