By Isaac Murphy
With the Listed Carnival Chase heats over the middle-distance scheduled for next week, the big guns came out to play in the free for all over the 600m at Albion Park on Thursday night.
There was plenty of intrigue around who would prevail in the key lead up race and the contestants didn’t disappoint.
The first four consisted of Sequana (pictured), Pump It, Waikarie Bell and Ava Wine, who all have winter aspirations.
Sequana was the story of the night.
Selena Zammit elected to step the dynamic bitch up to the 600m for the first time this prep and when she hustled her way to the front from box eight, she was always going to be too tough to catch, clocking 34.87 seconds.
“She got knocked around in the Winged Runner Trophy last week and we didn’t want to put her back in a sprint field and risk denting her confidence, we know she’s proficient at 600m, so we stepped her up,” Zammit said.
“She’s been jumping well over the sprint and got out nicely tonight, we expected her to feel the pinch a bit late and she did but that’s more than a pass mark.
“If she can find a way through her heat next week and into the final, she should be hitting full fitness when it matters, we’ve decided we’ll push on the 700m later in the carnival, as well.”
Mark Saal was rapt with the run of Group 2 Queensland Oaks winner Pump It, who came home like a train to just miss nabbing the win on the line.
It was a huge run given her limited preparation.
“I’m over the moon with that she’s at least a couple of weeks short coming into this race and to make up the ground she did tells me she’ll run over the 600-700m in the next couple of months," Saal said.
“She’s had two trials and one sprint race since returning from season, once I get some serious work into her, I think she’ll measure up to anything.”
Waikarie Bell is a mercurial bitch for Karen Kleinhans but her talent is undeniable at her best.
Kleinhans was more than pleased to see her charge home into third.
Waikarie Bell will step straight to the 700m next week, she says.
Peter Lagogiane sent star prospect Ava Wine for a look at the track before last weeks heats and he’ll be better for it.
Ava Wine looked a little lost in the run but it’s sure to do him the world of good when he backs up next week.
All Hands Off and Sequana have owned Best 8 races at headquarters over the past couple of months.
But, they haven’t had to contend with Mitch Northfield’s Kooringa Lucy, who was on season and while she’s still feeling the effects was good enough to claim the Legacy Classic final in 29.84 seconds.
“With the depth of the Winged Runner last week and only being third up while racing through her season it was just a bit too big an ask from box seven, she needs the fence and got that tonight,” kennel representative Craig Mcphee said.
“It looks like she was able to clear All Hands Off before the turn and she checked off our heels, she’s the one we would have been worried about late, so the race worked out well.
“I know Mitch (Northfield) is happy with her, she won a really good race down at Casino and now an open company race at Albion Park, she’s headed in the right direction Brisbane Cup wise.”