Zulu Zues (Sprint) and Smart Valentino (Distance) both recorded near track record runs in winning their respective NSW State National Finals at Wentworth Park on Saturday night (August 10).
The winner from both the State Sprint (520m) and Distance (720m) National Finals will now head to The Meadows, Victoria on August 24 to take part in their respective Group 1 AGRA National Championships.
With the sprinters starting proceedings, it was Frank Hurst prepared Zulu Zues which fired off box eight in the State Sprint Final to lead all the way. Impressive in full flight, the son of Where’s Pedro x Fancy Jaffa stopped the clock at 29.32, just five hundredths outside the 520m track record.
Finishing over six lengths ahead of Zipping Willow and Watto Lotto, Zulu Zues will pose a real threat at The Meadows on August 24, if drawn favourably.
Following the race, trainer Frank Hurst said that Zulu Zues was up there with one of the fastest going around and was capable of giving the Championship title a shake.
Two races later it was the stayers on show with an even final drawn. The runners did not disappoint.
As expected, Proven Stellar, which had lead all the way in her heat seven days prior, jumped smartly and led proceedings with Set To Shine. Making a move down the back Smart Valentino emerged from the pack along with renowned finisher Gradence. With the scene set for a good finish, it was Smart Valentino which railed under a tiring Proven Stellar to claim victory in 41.96.
Showing the form which had him tipped as NSW’s next best stayer, three months ago, Smart Valentino recorded a 1 ¾ length victory for Lithgow based owner-trainer Mark Swift.
Both winners are now expected to travel to Victoria to trial on Saturday, August 17, prior to the $75,000 to the winner finals a week later.
Further inquiries can be made with the NSW GBOTA, Operations Manager, Ellen Dwyer on 02 8587 1210