Tiffany turns it around
By Adam Hamilton
A RETURN to winning form and gun barrier draw has restored Kiwi filly Our Princess Tiffany as a dominant favourite for next Saturday night's Breeders Crown 3YO fillies' pacing final.
Punters were very wary of the All Stars filly after an inglorious unplaced heat run and she eased from $1.30 to $1.80 favourite in last night's semi, but stand-in driver Luke McCarthy weaved his magic.
McCarthy surged through from the back row and took Our Princess Tiffany to the front after 500m then dictated terms before ripping home in 55.3 and 27 flat to beat No Win No Feed and another Kiwi raider, Best Western, in a slick 1min54.8sec mile rate for 2150m at Bendigo.
The other fillies' semi was much weaker and won in considerably slower time (1min56.3sec mile rate) by Our Road To Mecca, beating former Kiwi Buzinga.
The biggest shock of the semis came when Emma Stewart's star, Two Times Bettor, flopped badly behind Our Princess Tiffany and didn't qualify for the final.
Our Princess Tiffany has gate three in the final at Melton and has already firmed from $1.20 to $1.15 on the Aussie TAB. Buzinga is $9 second elect from gate two.
The other Kiwi winner on semis' night at Bendigo was Ray Green's Perfect Stride, who led throughout and just held-on by a head over Star Hunter in by far the weakest of the two semis for two-year-old colts and geldings.
"That's sort of what he's like. He just does what he has to," Green said.
Perfect Stride's final hopes were boosted with the prized pole draw for the final, but he will need to step-up again to beat Emma Stewart's young star Be Happy Mach ($1.70) despite drawing outside the back row (gate 13).
Be Happy Mach was dominant in the stronger semi, even though he was able to wok around and final the lead from stablemate Mirragon (who ran second) in his semi.
Be Happy Mach won easily in a 1min55.8sec mile rate, while another Kiwi visitor, Zachary Butcher's Zeuss Bromac, grabbed the eye in third spot.
Zeuss Bromac drew gate four in the final and has already been backed from $11 into $6.50.
The best of the pacing finals will be the 3YO colts and geldings pacing division after two stirring semis last night.
The final will be without nominal favourite Hurricane Harley after he mysteriously flopped and missed qualifying.
But Emma Stewart still holds the key with the emerging Demon Delight, who produced a monstrous run from last to win the stronger of the two semis in a scorching 1min53.8sec mile rate for 2150m.
Emerging stablemate Brevity led, copped plenty of pressure from NSW Derby winner Max Delight (fourth) and ran the race of his career for a fantastic second.
The other semi won strongly in all-the-way fashion by David Aiken's improving Malcolms Rhythm, who beat a brave and seemingly always luckless Lochinvar Art after blazing home in 26.2sec and the end of a cosy 1min56.2sec mile rate.
The All Stars' runner Jesse Duke couldn't lift of a poor heat run and missed making the final after battling into eighth in his semi.
Max Delight drew best of the big guns in the final and is a $2.60 favourite from gate four, while Demon Delight (gate 10, $3.60) and Lochinvar Art (gate 11, $3.80) look the other key players despite back row draws.