The chasing action heats up this Thursday night at Albion Park with two heats of the Garrard’s Winter Chase (710m) and six heats of the Mick Byrne Memorial 5th Grade.
The Winter Chase, a precursor to next month’s Group 1 Gold Cup, has attracted fourteen stayers looking to stake their claims for the upcoming staying features.
Recent 710m winners Peter Ruetschi’s Got A Brother (Heat One, Box Two) and Rusty Dillon’s Big Easy Red (Heat Two, Box 7) will be out to add to their staying credentials and qualify for next week’s $13,000 final.
New South Wales visitor Sandave Sapphire for David Richardson, is a five time winner over the 720m journey at Wentworth Park and is sure to be the main rival to Got A Brother in the opening heat, starting from box three.
The second heat also sees Rockhampton Cup winner Cyndie’s Magic return to the staying journey after taking out a 600m event when leading almost all of the way last Thursday night. Bill Elson’s versatile chaser was a finalist in both the Gold Cup and the Superstayers over the distance last year and is likely to produce a positive showing at the maximum trip once again.
The Mick Byrne Memorial has produced six wide open 5th grade events, with notable entries Magical Yessam (Don Massey) who will start from box eight in the fifth heat, race nine and last week’s Young Guns finalist Bogie Bekim (Steven Scott) who goes around in the second heat from box six.
Each heat winner and the two fastest second placegetters will progress to Thursday week’s $14,250 final.
Also, on the program, recent Group 3 Bill Collins Memorial Speed Star runner-up Outside Pass (Tony Apap) returns to her home track after a disappointing performance in last week’s Group 1 Sapphire Crown heats at Sandown. She has the inside draw in a quality Best 8 event which includes the likes of Fabulous Bill, Lady Abigail and Norm The Storm.
The first of ten high-quality races gets underway at 6:39pm.