Series favourites Outside Pass and Cyndie’s Magic both recorded dominant heat wins to progress safely through to the Queensland finals of the UBET National Sprint and Distance Championships at Albion Park on Thursday night.
Bill Elson’s versatile star Cyndie’s Magic got the ball rolling in the opening distance heat over the 710m, showing all of her trademark strength to claim the lead leaving the back straight, scoring by two and a half lengths in 42.20 seconds. Outsider Treblig Lucia for Garry Gilbert closed off well late to claim second from the Peter Ruetschi-trained Got A Brother.
Last year’s Queensland Distance representative Mullaway (Joanne Price) started a short priced favourite in the second heat, but was well back early and could only manage third place, still good enough to qualify for next Thursday’s Final. Second favourite Big Easy Red, trained by Rusty Dillon, took full advantage, outstaying early leader Smashniak Marcy to claim an authoritative three and a half length victory in 42.21.
Tony Apap’s Outside Pass, second in last month’s Group 1 Winter Cup, continued her scintillating form, clocking a career best 29.61 victory in the opening heat of the sprint series. Early leader Zabdon Ferrari burned through startlingly quick early splits of 5.45 and 11.53, with Apap’s chaser stalking him most of the way. The margin of victory was a widening six lengths at the finish, with Peter Ruetschi’s Flying Circus grabbing second late on from the weakening Zabdon Ferrari.
$1.50 favourite Thirty Talks gave punters heart palpitations in the second heat, jumping only moderately and finding early trouble. Using all the track sense that had seen him record fourteen wins in twenty starts, the brindle chaser found himself a passage around the field and chasing leader Macnivek approaching the home turn. He powered away to score by three lengths in 29.98, with Macnivek battling on gamely for second ahead of Swap Ya, who gave Tony Apap a second finalist.
The final heat was billed as a match between Sheza Keen Size and Fabulous Bill, with whoever jumped the cleanest likely to record a victory. It was Sheza Keen Size who began best of all, clocking a 5.46 early split in an impressive all of the way 29.94 victory. Fabulous Bill, not at his brilliant best out of the boxes, was a five and a quarter length second, with Black Casper a further two lengths back in third.
It was a good night for Tony Apap and Brisbane’s leading trainer Bill Elson, who each recorded three finalists across the two series. Tony Brett and Peter Ruetschi also performed well, both qualifying two greyhounds for the final of the sprint series.
Each State Final is worth $19,000 in total prizemoney, with the winners going on to represent Queensland at the National Grand Finals at Adelaide’s Angle Park on August 27.
The box draws for the two State Finals are as follows:
Queensland National Sprint Final (520m)
- Sheza Keen Size (Peter Ruetschi)
- Zabdon Ferrari (Tony Brett)
- Macnivek (Kevin Ellis)
- Swap Ya (Tony Apap)
- Thirty Talks (Tony Brett)
- Fabulous Bill (Bill Elson)
- Flying Circus (Peter Ruetschi)
- Outside Pass (Tony Apap)
- Black Casper (Serena Lawrance)
- Master Corsair (Sid Goodwin)
Queensland National Distance Final (710m)
- Vegas Bound (Tony Apap)
- Got A Brother (Peter Ruetschi)
- Cyndie’s Magic (Bill Elson)
- Mullaway (Joanne Price)
- Smashniak Marcy (George Kadniak)
- Treblig Lucia (Garry Gilbert)
- Big Easy Red (Rusty Dillon)
- Abby’s Magic (Bill Elson)
- Mr. Cody (Travis Elson)
- String Quartet (Allen Fitzsimmons)