Fernando Blaster, who went into his heat without the benefit of a race or even a trial at Wentworth Park, stole the show at Friday night's Ladbrokes National Derby & National Futurity meeting.
Trained at Ettrick in the NSW Northern Rivers by Terry Jordan, Fernando Blaster (pictured) rocketed out of box six in heat four and steamrolled his opposition to win by just over 15 lengths, covering the 520m in a sensational 29.61sec.
After the race owner Merv Papworth said: "Terry Jordan bred this dog and sold him to me when he was a week old puppy.
"When he stepped onto the track tonight it was the first time he had ever seen Wentworth Park.''
Fernando Blaster is likely to start favourite in next Saturday's $75,000 to the winner final as he has drawn box one.
The other Derby heat winners on Friday were the Jeff Britton-trained Axel Footluce, who ran down Fantastic Yankee to score in 29.78, Richmond dog North, who led throughout in 29.98, and Feral Franky, who took 30.13 to win but put up an amazing performance after being skittled at the first turn.
Melbourne trainer Jeff Britton had a field night as apart from qualifying for the Derby with Axel Footluce, he took out all three heats of the group 1 bitches' classic, the Ladbrokes National Futurity.
Britton's winners were Oakvale Magic, who led throughout in 29.69, Circle Of Dreams, who dwelt at the start but railed to the lead at the first turn and scored in 29.93, and the speedy Flossing, who led all the way in 30.13.
Box draw for the Futurity final favours Oakvale Magic, who has drawn box three, while Circle Of Dreams has drawn four and Flossing came up with box six.
Sydney's best hope in the Futurity, Sorry Scott, who chased home Circle Of Dreams in her heat, drew box seven while Queensland-trained Dam Slippery, owned in Sydney by Michael Phillips, got box eight.
Dam Slippery, who prefers an inside draw, exited box eight in her heat and ran a gallant second, chasing Oakvale Magic all the way.
Adam Crouch, whose father Andrew trains Sorry Scott, was disappointed with box seven in the final, but said: "Our hope is for Flossing, who has box six, to begin fast and give us a good cart across in the run to the first turn.''
While Fernando Blaster looks boxed to win the Derby, Rio Brave's trainer David Geall was delighted with his dog's box two draw.
Rio Brave trialled solo in a sizzling 29.61 at WP before coming from box seven and finishing strongly when second behind tearaway leader North in his heat.
"Rio Brave has a big motor and he is far better positioned in box two in the final than he was when he had box seven in his heat tonight,'' Geall said on Friday.
"And I think he will be all the better for Friday's hit-out.''
Box draw for the National Futurity is 1 Boxcar Bella 2 Furious Not Fast 3 Oakvale Magic 4 Circle Of Dreams 5 Family Spirit 6 Flossing 7 Sorry Scott 8 Dam Slippery with reserves Galaxy Banner and Start A Riot.
Box draw for the National Derby is 1 Fernando Blaster 2 Rio Brave 3 Fantastic Yankee 4 North 5 Axel Footluce 6 Feral Franky 7 Cawbourne Madox 8 Famous Lee with reserves Gharb and Crackerjack Skip.