By Isaac Murphy
Husband and wife team Ray and Mary Burman suit up two live chances to move on to the Nationals tonight, with the ever consistent Champagne Sally lining up in the distance final and Magic Hornet taking her place in the sprinters.
Champagne Sally has been mixing it with Australia’s best stayer’s all Winter, fronting up against the likes of track record holder Tornado Tear’s and despite not cracking a win continues to put forward brave performances.
Champagne Sally finished third in last week’s Distance Prelude to Tony Apap’s Jalapeno and Selena Zammit’s boom stayer Double Gee.
Owner Mary Burman said it was an uncharacteristic run from her stayer and was confident she could bounce back in this week’s final.
“She wasn’t able to make it to the front last week, which she usually has to do in the 710 events,” Burman said.
“She just didn’t accelerate as well as she usually does last week but we’re confident she’ll have the ability to lead from the two tonight.”
“She’s come through the run well, she’s worked up the straight here at home strongly.”
Unlike many stayers Champagne Sally is an on speed runner and Burman knows she has to bring her best to challenge the likes of Double Gee.
“To give her a realistic chance she has to run a first split of 15.60 which she is capable of, last week she ran 16.03 which was totally out of character,” she said.
“The first split last week was not indicative of what she can do, she’s done everything well since so I’m going to forgive her one and she’ll give a good account of herself tonight.”
“She’ll have to set up a big lead and hold on.”
Despite her confidence Burman admits it will be a tall task to overhaul Double Gee who last week clocked the third fastest time over the track and distance behind only Tornado Tears in 41.34.
“We’ll be hoping she can run somewhere around that 15.65 first split and set up a bit of a lead but that dog of Selena’s (Double Gee) is going very well and our girl will probably struggle to run the overall time it can run,” she said.
“Our girl’s got the ability to run 41.60 which would win most races but unfortunately that’s not quick enough to beat Double Gee at the moment.”
The Burman’s also have Magic Hornet jumping with the blue rug in the Sprint Final and unlike Champagne Sally Magic Hornet will be looking to stay close to them early rather than pinging the lids.