Up and coming youngster Smart Missile dominated a sensational field to set the time standard in the heats of the Ladbrokes NSW States National qualifiers at Wentworth Park on Saturday night (August 8).
With four heats of the Ladbrokes Nationals NSW heats run over the sprint, some of the State's best runners had converged on headquarters to qualify for next Saturday's (August 15) $15,000 State Final. First and second from the NSW Final will then represent the State against other National qualifiers including Alex's Entity (SA), Margins (Vic), Keybow (Qld), Fernando Bale (Vic -Wild Card) and Nero Bolt (WA) on August 22.
Prepared by Jason Mackay, Smart Missile, the son of Nitro Burst x Oh Cee Ya, posted a personal best of 29.43 (520m) when he beat home Ryley Sams, Brad Hill Billy and Chica Destacada in the second of the four heats.
In the opening heat it was a thrilling affair, with a head bobbing finish going the way of Knight Sprite in 29.85. Trained by Gayle Masterson, Knight Sprite was challenged late by Uno Suzie, with Rare Pearl finishing in third.
Heat three went to outsider Tap Out Rose off box five, who was able to get on the heels of the early leader, Let It Develop, before taking up running at the home turn. The unexpected thrill a career high for trainer Rod Metselaar and family. Tap Out Rose won in 29.86 with 2014 Group 1 Peter Mosman winner Bessy Boo finishing in second. If Bessy Boo can finish in the top two on August 15, he will qualify for his second National Championships, after he received the Wild Card entry at Cannington in 2014.
The last of NSW's Sprint heats went to another roughie, Jack Kade, who stepped from box three and led throughout in 30.02 over Group 2 Maitland Cup placegetter La Grand Logie.
Accompanying the sprinters, the distance runners also lined up over two heats of their respective Ladbrokes Nationals qualifiers. The opening event saw Mark Bell trained Evidence lead all the way in 42.29, with Smooth Number finishing second and Ada Mary in third.
The second event went to classy Magic Earner in 42.15, breaking two lengths clear on the line over Raramuri, Lord Golec and Lithgow Panther.
Both Ladbrokes State Finals will be held next Saturday night at Wentworth Park, with first and second to make it through to the Championships.
Elsewhere, Sweet It Is (Vic) and Lady Toy (Vic - Wild Card) booked Distance spots at The Meadows. 2014 Nationals Champion Sweet It Is recorded a tremendous victory, and now moves a step closer to getting back to back titles. Mullaway (Qld), Psychotic Gold (SA) and Deadly Boy (WA) also booked Championship positions. Tasmania will complete their qualifiers on August 10, with a host of runners to Steward Trial at Wentworth Park on August 15.
Box draws for the 2015 Ladbrokes NSW State Finals are
Speaking after the box draw, Jason Mackay said box one now put his youngster in a competitive position.
"The dogs he (Smart Missile) beat tonight were quality dogs. Drawing box one again means he is in with a chance, but it takes a lot to continually perform at the highest level and he is still learning," Mackay said. Watch the win again of best of the night, Smart Missile from Box 1.
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