Faulty gear costs Bolt for Brilliance at IDs

By Adam Hamilton

A broken string cost Bolt For Brilliance his second round Inter Dominion heat and saw his Grand Final odds drift.

Just when trainer-driver Tony Herlihy started his move and went to pull the plugs, the string broke and everything went wrong at Shepparton last night.

Only one ear plug released, the blinds malfunctioned and Bolt For Brilliance ducked-in and locked wheels briefly, losing valuable ground.

While all that happened, driver James Herbertson skipped away on the leader Nephew Of Sonoko with a big break.

Bolt For Brilliance rocketed home, but the bird had flown and he missed by a nose.

“The string broke when I pulled it, he became unbalanced and we locked wheels,” Herlihy said.

“He absolutely flew home when he got going.”

Surprisingly given the circumstances, Bolt For Brilliance drifted from $2 to $2.50 for Saturday week’s final.

The picture will be clearer when he meets local star Just Believe, who is unbeaten in his two heats, in the last round of heats over 2570m at Geelong on Saturday night.

Just Believe drew the pole and looks the leader with Bolt For Brilliance next door in gate two.

It will be a hugely decisive race for the final.

The other big player in the trotting final, the Kiwi-owned Queen Elida, led throughout to easily win her heat at Shepparton.

“She did that easily. She’s just so versatile,” driver Chris Alford said. “I wouldn’t swap her for anything else when it comes to the final.”

In the pacing series, the Emma Stewart and Clayton Tonkin continued their amazing start with tw heat wins at Shepparton after two on opening night at Ballarat.

Honolua Bay became the only pacer to be unbeaten when he defied logic to be three-wide without cover for the last 1200m and win his heat. It came after sitting parked and winning at Ballarat.

And he is a $1.60 favourite to complete a clean-sweep and win again at Geelong on Saturday night. He’s into $6.50 for the final.

Stewart and Tonkin also won with Mach Dan, who improved plenty from an opening night defeat to win last night.

Just as he was on night one, Expensive Ego was massive in defeat, sitting parked and finishing a close second to Mach Dan.

He is $5 equal favourite for the pacing final with stablemate Spirit Of St Louis, who returned to winning form courtesy of an aggressive Jack Callaghan drive last night.

Callaghan burned Spirit Of St Louis out from a wide draw to lead and he survived a protest from runner-up Beyond Delight to win.

NZ Cup runner-up and long-time pacing final favourite Majestic Cruiser followed an opening night third with a sixth last night. He will need a top four finish at Geelong on Saturday to be safely in the final. He’s out to $11 for the final.

Stewart and Tonkin could have as many as five in the pacing final. Honolua Bay, Mach Dan, Act Now and Beyond Delight look safe. And Narutac Price is close to safe as well.

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