Two heats of the Launceston Middle Distance Championship (600 metres) were conducted at the Tote Racing Centre on Monday night with the first four place getters progressing to next week's final.
Fastest heat winner was the Brendan Pursell prepared bitch Cheetah Zorro ( Bombastic Shiraz – Fallen Zorro), which recorded 35.41 in scoring by three lengths and paying a win dividend of $5.10.
Cheetah Zorro has improved greatly in recent months, having won four of her last seven outings including her last three in succession and is finally living up to her impeccable breeding.
Fallen Zorro (Lilli Pilli Lad – Chinatown Babe) needs no introduction as the winner of 20 of 52 outings and stakes of $229,000, but the best of her progeny to date has been the Ted Medhurst prepared Zorro's Legacy, a full-brother to Cheetah Zorro with nine wins to his credit.
“Cheetah Zorro gave no indication early in her career that she had any ability, but she has now hit her straps and looks quite promising,” part-owner Barry Heawood explained this week.
“Her previous trainer Brian Barker was always of the opinion that she would make the grade and it appears that he was on the right track.”
The Tea Tree based Heawood, a prolific owner – breeder and leading bookmaker, races Cheetah Zorro in partnership with Hobart's Colin Gerrity.
The remaining Middle Distance Championship heat was won by the Robin Stocks prepared bitch Disney Bound (El Galo – Dark Marne), which recorded 35.54 in scoring by a length and paying $5.80.
Brighton based trainer Brendan Pursell, who has enjoyed remarkable success since switching racing codes, qualified two runners for the Championship, when the former Victorian chaser Side Com (Vapour Whirl – Kirabilli Jessie) filled second placing.
Meanwhile the classy Rewind ( Collide – Ricky's Angel) once again displayed his liking for the Devonport Raceway by blitzing his rivals in Tuesday afternoon's Furniture City Invitation Stake (452 metres).
The 2012 Devonport Cup winner flew the lids and led throughout, scoring by eight lengths and recording a fastest time of the meeting 25.74 as a heavily supported $1.60 commodity.
It was the Maurie Strickland prepared chasers fourth win in succession, taking his lifetime tally of victories to 42 and increasing his purse to $170,205, the majority of which has been earned in Tasmania.
Richmond trainer Margaret Rossendell prepared two winners on the NWGRC card, when firstly Franklin Bluboy (El Galo – Franklin Delight) and then Sonorous (Bombastic Shiraz – Bounty Lass) greeted the judge in their respective races.
The latter has now won two races in succession and despite being described by his trainer as a difficult chaser to prepare, is obviously possessed of plenty of ability.
LAUNCESTON MIDDLE DISTANCE CHAMPIONSFIP FINAL (600 METRES)
1. Surf Osti
2. Din's Chappi
4. Disney Bound
5. Western Ruby
6. Side Com
7. Cheetah Zorro
8. Buckle Up Myke
9. Wynburn Jet
10. Daintree Lover