Golden Easter Egg winner Zipping Bailey cemented favouritism for next week’s Group 3 Evans & Son Jewellers Ladies Bracelet Final (520m) with a stunning 29.59s heat victory at Wentworth Park on Saturday night.
Powering to the line with a flying 11.52s run-home, the daughter of Barcia Bale offered trainer Jason Mackay and owners Martin and Fiona Hallinan some form of consolation after the devastating news on Friday morning that their unbeaten galloper Zipping Garth had been retired due to injury.
Victory in next Saturday’s Bracelet will see Zipping Bailey follow in the footsteps of her dam Zipping Willow, winner of the event in 2014, while in 2016 Mackay also landed the feature with Zipping Lilly.
The opening Bracelet heat on Saturday was annexed by Frank Hurst’s promising bitch Good Odds Meghan, defeating a fast finishing Princess Nala in 29.86s. Heat two was won by Another Grey for Warren and Jill Harper in 29.98s, while the third qualifier was won by Brad Field’s exciting type Sunrise Flame in 29.87s, edging out Little Jebrynah in a thrilling finish.
Earlier on in the program, four heats of the Bob Payne Sprint (520m) were run and won for the boys, with time honours shared between Jamella Jet and Slingshot Hammer, each landing their qualifiers in 29.64s.
Jamella Jet was most impressive in the opening race of the night for Adam and Andrew Crouch, the recent Group 3 Ambrosoli winner powering to the line in 29.64s to defeat fellow finalist Zipping Falcon by 4 ¾ lengths.
Slingshot Hammer was equally impressive taking out his qualifier over Good Odds Harada on what was a big night for Victorian trainer Rob Camilleri, landing the Puppy Classic at Nowra earlier in the evening with Zipping Leroy.
The second Bob Payne heat was won by Tap Out Dusty for Rod Metselaar in a gritty 29.88s, while the final heat of the night went to ever-consistent galloper Sunburnt Highway for Judy Richardson in 29.79s.
As mentioned, down south at Nowra on Saturday night the final of the Group 3 Puppy Classic was staged, with victory going the way of outsider Zipping Leroy for Victorian duo Rob Camilleri and Deb Coleman.
Starting from box one, the son Barcia Bale and Tricky Rose scored by 1 ¾ lengths in 30.16s at odds of 16/1, defeating rank outsider What Time Smoko for Jeff Alaban.
The box draw for next Saturday night’s Bob Payne Sprint (520m)
1. Jamella Jet 2. Sunburnt Highway 3. Kiarni Tiger 4. Slingshot Hammer 5. Aston Duke 6. Zipping Falcon 7. Good Odds Harada 8. Tap Out Dusty.
The box draw for next Saturday night’s Ladies Bracelet Final (520m)
1.Princess Zesta 2. Princess Nala 3. Goods Odds Meghan 4. Zombie 5. Zipping Bailey 6. Sunrise Flame 7. Another Grey 8. Little Jebrynah.