One of three Seona Thompson trained runners in the race, Midnight Starlet caused a minor upset in the semi-final when proving too strong to claim victory and relegate the odds on favourite Dyna Patty to 4th position. Thompson sent the dog to David Pringle to target the Regional finals of this series at Dubbo where Midnight Starlet duly saluted and broke the track record in the process. The son of Buck Fever was then sent back to Thompson to continue the Million Dollar Chase. Consistent thus far in his career, this will be his biggest test to date, however is 3 from 3 when wearing the red vest. His chances rest on not getting too far back in the early stages as he is not overly brilliant at box rise.
Having only started twice from box 2 in her career, one of those was a victory just two starts back and importantly was here at Wentworth Park. Crossed early when out of box 1 three starts back, she chased valiantly but proved no match for Poke The Bear. From 12 starts at the Wentworth Park 520m trip she has been able to score 8 victories. In her semi-final when starting out of box 6, she flew the lids and once in front was never in danger in scoring a comfortable victory. A quick beginner if she is first to the rail they may be hard pressed catching her.
Starting from box 2 in her semi-final, Dyna Harpa was quickly into rhythm and from the front was able to cause a boil over when winning at huge odds. West On Augie was expected to dominate from the red, however the Andrea Dailly trained bitch had other ideas and stole the show from the front. That was her 4th Wentworth Park outing and became her fist ever victory at the track, breaking a run of outs at the Sydney headquarters. The chances of Dyna Harpa rest with her start- she has never missed a placing if able to be in front through the first section in her 40 career starts.
Taking on the semi-final at just her second ever run at Wenty, Azkaban wasn’t considered a chance in betting markets, running a $16 chance from box 4. Cleanly away, although not the quickest she was able to get plenty of space through to the first turn. Chasing hard she had worked into 2nd heading off the back and sticking to the rail she was too strong down to the line to score the win. That was the first victory when wearing the blue vest and she will have to repeat the dose, again starting from 4 in the final.
The fastest semi-final winner, Poke The Bear will need some luck in the run after drawing the squeeze box. In the semi from box 7 he was able to avoid any impact when there was some early scrimmage and driving to the front underneath Benali out of the first turn, he was able to make the most of the early advantage. Keeping the advantage he was too strong for the favourite and scored in great style. Not only was it the fastest of the 8 winners, the son of Fernando Bale also has the quickest 520m of any of his competitors at Wentworth Park in 29.51. The big query is the box.
The Black Bitch is in great form and has put together 4 successive wins including the second quickest of the eight semi-final victories last week. With a great start from the boxes, True Talent in the green rug was able to drive underneath to hold them out and with Hecton Bale slicing in-between, Big Butters was soon back to the rails in 3rd position. As they swung for home it looked like Big Butters was out of it, however she drove hard and running between True Talent and Hecton Bale was able to finish best. The ‘veteran’ of the field with 56 career starts, she is a four-time winner at Wenty.
The daughter of Barcia Bale has won her past 3 starts over the 520m at Wentworth Park to take her record to 3 wins from 6 attempts over the trip, with all coming from wider boxes. Starting from the pink in the semi-final, she flew the lids to be in front and once out in front just extended the margin, recording the biggest margin of the 8 semi winners. A brilliant beginner, it makes for an intriguing run to the first turn if she is able to use the width to gather the momentum to get across. A winner from her only start from box 7, that win came here 2 starts back when putting down a slick 29.59 in scoring- a time quicker than any of the semi-final wins.
The second of the two runners in the race for trainer Andrew Crouch, Jamella Jet looked out of commission in the semi-final when there was a strong pack leading into the first turn. The widest runner out of that turn as they entered the back, he stuck to the task wide out and kept coming to score a big win, after being wide throughout. Landing the same box here, a similar run will certainly bring him into contention, especially the amount of speed engaged underneath should that lead to congestion. The ‘novice’ of the field with just 14 career starts, he has been able to win half of those and can announce himself in a big way here.