NZ OAKS FIELD FINALIZED
It was Fair Pippa who set the time standard for the $40,000 The Fitz Sports Bar NZ Oaks heats when she thumped her 520m rivals in 30.21s in the first of four Group 1 520m heat at Addington on Thursday. Pictured: Fair Pippa following her NZ Oaks heat win (pic Dave Robbie)
The result of the first heat had a very familiar feeling to it. The Dave and Jean Fahey prepared Fair Pippa cleared out from her opponents to crush them by an effortless 9.25 length margin. Leading the vain chase home behind was Bigtime OnFire who produced a determined track debut effort for Lisa Cole. The result was a continuation of the heat results from the recent Mike Stent NZ Derby heats which were completely dominated by the same two trainers. Opawa Millie pressed on stoutly a further 1.75 lengths behind to claim her third for her trainers Robin Wales and Josh Lane.
It was Eagle Tee who blasted away from the eight trap to take up the pace-making duties in the second heat. It was a tactic that carried the Ray Adcock mentored chaser to her 30.55s heat victory. Finishing gamely to book her return for next Thursday’s final was another Cole representative Bigtime Rise who closed to within three-quarters of a length on the pacemaker. Heat favourite Mandy Junior struck early traffic problems and settled towards the rear for the Fahey’s. She finished solidly to claim the heat third another 3.25 lengths astern which see her being the second reserve for the final.
The Fahey prepared Albie Punter has a touch of class about her and she has to be real smart to qualify after the noted railer was allocated the eight trap to hop away from. She wasn’t concerned whatsoever as she carved across the face of the field to secure the race lead along the rail when rounding the first turn. From there she ran away from her rivals to land her easy heat win by an 8.25 length margin, clocking 30.44s. Smash Rebel bravely led the chase after her for Malcolm Grant and she was rewarded with a final field position by holding onto second a length in front of another Fahey contender Opawa Racer.
It was the Fahey’s at it again when they produced Opawa Kim to dictate the pace throughout in the final heat. That translated into a 30.56s heat win when she scored by a length. It was a real torrid paw wrestle that developed to find the last finalist. That position went to the John McInerney trained Cosmic Odette who gamely prevailed over Opawa Denise for the Fahey's by the barest of margins. The consolation prize for Opawa Denise is that she will occupy the first possie on the reserves bench for the final.
The other three The Fitz Sports Bar NZ Oaks heat winners were (from left): Eagle Tee, Albie Punter, Opawa Kim - pics supplied by Dave Robbie - email@example.com – 021 607 869 for all your South Island race photos
By Peter Fenemor