By Andrew Adermann
Sennachie and Sequana are set for a scintillating Golden Ticket re-match at Albion Park on Thursday night after finishing as the fastest qualifiers for the Group 3 Final.
Despite squaring off in the same heat, the two could only be split by 0.01 seconds, setting up a tantalising replay in the unique format.
During last week’s heats, Sennachie, the Albion Park track record holder, looked to be doing it easy as he approached the final turn, but Sequana who had been sitting two lengths back throughout the trip, found something late and came within a nose of taking down the $1.22 favourite.
This time around, a tantalising head-to-head match-up awaits – one of four on the night – with a berth in the Group 1 Golden Bullion Final on the line if either can secure the ‘Golden Ticket.’
As a result, Sennachie has been installed as a $1.60 favourite by TAB for the match-up, with Sequana rated a $2.30 chance.
“You could throw a blanket over the two of them,” Sennachie’s trainer Steve White said.
“Sequana is a great bitch, and she really took it up to us last week in the heats.
“We’re hoping our boy can lead and lead cleanly from start to finish but it really is a toss of the coin.
“We’ve put him through his normal work in the lead up to Thursday and taken him up the straight a few times so it’s all business as usual for us.
“We’re obviously very hopeful, and I think the Golden Ticket winner will come out of this match up.”
The Golden Ticket Final will be conducted as two-dog match races, with the fastest time recorded over the four head-to-head battles, securing the guaranteed ticket into the Gold Bullion.
Three other match-ups will feature to determine who receives the coveted slot.
Proceedings kick off with Nangar Diva ($1.20) starting a short-priced favourite in her head-to-head battle with Dynamite Lucy ($4.60).
Ash Star ($1.50) goes into her match against Cooper Dooper ($2.60) the favoured chaser after a comfortable heat win last week.
The third match-up sees two heat winners in Fernando Blaster ($1.80) and Snags McKenzie ($2) battle it out in what is sure to be another closely fought race.
Golden Ticket Final match-ups commence at 9.13pm on Boxing Day.