It all started in the Exchange Printers Maiden Stake (305 metres) at yesterday’s 11-race meeting at Tara Raceway.
That was when Galactic Shima, a daughter of Flying Stanley and Galactic Cat, opened her winning account at start number two for Moorak breeder-owner-trainer Robert Chuck.
Last out, the white and black bitch displayed great pace to quickly take up the running before going on to a 10¼ lengths win over first starter Uncle Bob in a handy time of 17.69 seconds.
As it turned out, for the second consecutive week it was a case of the short course winner picking up the $1000 SA-Bred Maiden bonus for connections. Plus, of course, the $880 first prize.
Three heats of the Winter Classic (512 m), an age-restricted series for dogs and bitches whelped on or after July 1, 2019, were a feature of the day.
And Steve and Lee Bartholomew of Worrolong looked to hold a strong hand in the classic – first run in 2014 – with Mary Bridget and Arctic Bear, from the same litter as Galactic Shima, engaged in the first and third heats.
Both ran right up to their recent form when leading all the way, Mary Bridget clocking a best of day 29.87 seconds when defeating the Tracie Price trained Compton Crystal by four lengths.
Arctic Bear, having his first run over 512 metres, held on to defeat another Price-trained runner in Compton Ruby by 1½ lengths in 30.18 seconds.
Making a clean sweep of the classic heats for the Bartholomew team was Galactic Medusa who chased King Carey into the home straight before finishing strongly for a three-quarters of a length win over newcomer Night Patrol in 30.38 seconds.
A daughter of Dyna Lachlan x Storm Allen, Galactic Medusa is trained by Steve Batholomew for Chuck who also bred the July 2019 whelping, now a winner of four races from 11 starts.
Night Patrol, trained at Allendale East by David Peckham and raced by Ross Schurgott’s Nineofus Syndicate, is part of a recent three-dog purchase from NSW. He looks a likely improver after finding early trouble in yesterday’s heat.
Compton trainer Tracie Price will be well represented in the final with Compton Crystal, Starlight Gemma and Compton Ruby. And he’ll be looking to add to his already impressive list of Winter Classic winners – Stylish Moment, Cee Me Burst, Smart Knocka and Our Boy Thommo.
Meanwhile, the Bartholomews’ day wasn’t quite over. Lining up from box four in the Gambier Vets Mixed Stake (512 m) was Rough Pearl, trained by Lee Bartholomew who races the son of Dyna Double One x West On Jorji in partnership with her daughter Elysia.
Dropping back in distance after a win the previous week over 600 metres, Rough Pearl virtually led all the way when defeating Cash Storm by three-quarters of a length in 29.89 seconds.