Good Odds Harada and Veloce Nero will represent New South Wales in the Crocmedia National Championship Finals in Perth later this month, after each took out their respective State finals at Wentworth Park on Thursday night.
It was a stunning win from Good Odds Harada - a litter brother to cult hero Feral Franky - to take out the Sprint final.
Drawn the one box, he was expected lead and be hard to chase down, but the Frank Hurst-trained sprinter dwelt at the start and was second last, stuck in traffic at the winning post the first time.
Heading up the back, Good Odds Harada had worked his way up into fifth, but looked as though he may be giving the leaders, Nangar Kash, Cawborne Marty and Miley Nismo, too big of a start.
On the top turn, Good Odds Harada was still in fifth and four lengths off the leader.
But he hooked out wide, steadied swinging for home, and rattled down the outside to score a remarkable win in 29.87s. Nangar Kash held on for second ¾ length away, with Cawborne Marty a further ¾ length away in third.
“I was a bit worried actually,” said Hurst when his runner was slowly away. “I was looking at him and he was second last, and then he pulled out and three wide, chasing strong dogs. I gave him no hope.
“He’s never been known as a strong dog. He’s sort of been a lead and win (type of dog). I didn’t think he could come from behind and win a race especially against that quality of dog.”
In the other feature on the night, it was one of the five runners trainer John Finn had engaged, Veloce Nero, taking out the NSW Distance Final.
The daughter of Chica Destacada, will now head to Perth - the place where her mother won the National Sprint Championship for NSW back in 2014 – for the National Distance Championship final on August 24.
While away well, she didn’t have the speed of her sister Poco Dorado, who led to the first turn. But swinging into the home straight the first time, Veloce Nero railed under Poco Dorado, and took up the running, and from that point, it was catch me if you can.
Her rivals couldn’t, with Veloce Nero holding on for a half length win in 42.21s, over the fast-finishing Kanzan, with another sibling of the winner, Blue Moon Rising, finishing a half head away in third.
State Heats of the Sprint and Distance Championships were held around the country on Thursday night.
State Sprint winners who have now qualified for the National Final on August 24 were: Black Opium (Victoria), Ebby Lamar (South Australia), Hello Rhonda (Tasmania), Silver Stunner (Queensland), Premium Share (Western Australia) and Dyna Dave (New Zealand).
State Distance winners who have now qualified for the National Final on August 24 were: Rajasthan (Victoria), Sale Graze Bindi (South Australia), Bronelly Jacob (Tasmania), Miss Gingin (Queensland), Reidy’s Runner (Western Australia) and Opawa Hilary (New Zealand).
Two wildcards will make up the final: Orson Allen (Sprint) and Tornado Tears (Distance).