Rising-star reinswoman Amanda Turnbull combined with New South Wales harness racing trainer Dennis Picker to win the first semi-final of the Bettors Delight @ Woodlands Breeders Crown Series for three-year-old fillies tonight at Ballarat with Just Cala.
The daughter of Art Major defeated Spicy Stride by 7.1 metres in a mile rate of 1:57.0, while Ocean Diva ran third for Blake Fitzpatrick and Somedreamsomewhere ran fourth for Daryl Douglas.
Just Cala had put the writing on the wall at her previous start when she came from an awkward position to rattle home and run second behind Rocknroll Arden.
The second semi-final of the Bettors Delight @ Woodlands Breeders Crown Series for three-year-old fillies saw a major upset – with $1.20 favourite Nike Franco missing a place at Ballarat tonight.
The Belinda McCarthy trained filly galloped early and lost ground, which meant she had to use up a bit more petrol than first planned to find the lead.
Once there Nike Franco was able to get away with a 30.5-second first quarter and a 32.1-second second split, but after they sprinted up down the back straight driver Luke McCarthy was starting to wind her up as Quick Draft and Barynya were on the march.
In the home straight Quick Draft finished the strongest for Chris Alford, delivering in-form trainer David Aiken the win, with Tasmanian filly Barynya second (beaten 1.6 metres) and David Moran trained-and-driven Our Santa Catalina battling on well for third after leading early.
Nike Franco ran fourth.
The mile rate was 1:57.2, with the last half 55.6 seconds.
by Cody Winnell
Harness Racing Victoria