After Thursday’s running of six heats of the Fast Forward 1-4 wins series over 400 metres at Tara Raceway’s time-graded meeting there wasn’t a lot separating the eight finalists.
And given that the finalists are determined by their race times, and not finishing positions, only three of the six heat winners – Kinlock Blazer, Cadillac Patch and Late Mail – actually made their way through to next week’s added money final.
Kinlock Blazer, a son of Mepunga Blazer and Mossy Girl, took the time honours with a run of 23.22 seconds in the final heat, the Rocks Tavern Stake.
The black dog, who had won two races at Horsham, is another one to have found his way over to Compton trainer Tracie Price’s kennels after previously copping a couple of failing to chase tickets at Warrnambool and Geelong.
But Kinlock Blazer, raced by the trainer’s son Ben, certainly didn’t look to do too much wrong after taking the lead down the back and then running away to a 3¼ length win over Venetian Jet – also through to the final.
Cadillac Patch, trained at Edenhope by Captain Abbott, led all the way from box one in heat three, the Klaassens Contractors Stake. He defeated kennelmate and fellow finalist Cadillac Lloyd – racing in Kerry Hawker’s name – by a length in 23.39 seconds.
Chasing his first win since July, Cadillac Patch is by Aussie Infrared out of Lady Bang Bang who raced on 100 occasions for 12 wins on Victorian provincial tracks.
The Abbott-Hawker team ended up with three finalists after Cadillac Rocks dead-heated for second with Honey Rocks – also through to the final for Price – behind $61 chance Late Mail in heat five, the Greg Martlew Autos Stake.
Owned and trained at Berringa since the end of August by Michael Niele, Late Mail’s strong finishing win in 23.46 seconds was the son of Bekim Bale x Baurna Sal’s second consecutive success at Tara Raceway.
Also through to the final is Cawbourne Shiny, third in 23.52 seconds behind Cadillac Patch and Cadillac Lloyd for Tarpeena owner-trainer Dita Mitchell.
Back at Tara Raceway on Thursday for the first time in 22 years was Adelaide trainer Mick Taylor of Windsor Gardens.
“Yes, I still remember coming down here in January 2020 with a fawn dog called Debt Free. He was by Jurassic Vapour out of Humble Pie and was actually having his first race start that day,” Taylor recalled.
“And what a thrill it was when he won, defeating a dog called Henry Sheldon over 512 metres in 30.89 seconds.”
Unfortunately, there was no such luck on Thursday for Taylor whose best result was a third placing with Gable in the Ary Sports Bar & Bistro Maiden Stake (305 m).