Punters were smiling at Albion Park on Thursday night when fancied runners took out all four heats of the Group 1 Garrard’s Winter Cup (520m).
Victorian Blazin’ Bomber ($2.30), trained by Darren Pattinson, got the ball rolling in the opening heat overcoming a moderate beginning to chase down early leader Split Image in a fast 29.71 seconds.
Series favourite Zambora Brockie ($1.20) made it five victories in a row and a perfect two for two for the Victorians leading all of the way in heat two, clocking a best of the night 29.64. The son of Nitro Burst scored by eight and a quarter lengths over Tony Apap’s Vegas Bound who got home well from the tail of the field to make her second Group 1 final this carnival.
Local star Outside Pass ($2.10) made tough work of the third heat, missing the start and getting well back in the field before charging home late to grab Anthony Azzopardi’s Master Jackpot and Tony Brett’s Zabdon Ferrari in the final strides in 30.20 seconds.
The final heat went to Tony Brett’s rising star Thirty Talks ($1.40), who will compete in his first Group 1 final at just his nineteenth start. The striking brindle chaser, winner of the inaugural Richmond Riches Puppy Auction Classic, claimed the lead from early leader Hope’s Magic down the back straight and held off a late charge from Bill Elson’s star chaser Cyndie’s Magic to score in 29.93.
Brett will be searching for a fifth Winter Cup victory in the last six years, after winning four consecutively from 2011-2014.
The box draw for Thursday’s $75,000-to-the-winner final was conducted on track and is as follows:
- Cyndie’s Magic (Bill Elson)
- Vegas Bound (Tony Apap)
- Outside Pass (Tony Apap)
- Zambora Brockie (Anthony Azzopardi)
- Master Jackpot (Anthony Azzopardi)
- Thirty Talks (Tony Brett)
- Split Image (Tony Brett)
- Blazin’ Bomber (Darren Pattinson)
- Abby’s Magic (Bill Elson)
- Cheeky Chance (Ray Burman)