Kiwi raider Stent stamped himself as the nominal harness racing Pryde’s EasiFeed Great Southern Star favourite with a comfortable win in the first elimination heat.
Beginning swiftly from barrier one, he held the early challenge of Tender Don at bay before trotting strongly throughout to hold Aleppo Midas who sat parked for the last lap.
The quinella cleared out from Cold Sister who ran home into third to secure her place in the final while I See Icy Earl rattled home into fourth after having a soft run.
In an almost track-record time, Stent rated 1:56.0 for the mile having completed quarters of 29.1secs, 30.6secs, 28.9secs and 27.6secs.
With the win comes the added bonus of first choice of barriers for the final, as long as the second heat winner doesn’t equal or break the time recorded by Stent.
Keystone Del charges into final
The second of the Pryde’s EasiFeed Great Southern Star heats went to Keystone Del in what was a slower time than Stent but no less impressive.
From the one by one position, Blake Fitzpatrick simply sat and waited as Flying Isa lead from the pole with My High Expectations parked outside him.
The pair turned it on off the back and when the gaps came for Keystone Del he loomed up and charged to the front halfway down the straight, racing to victory in a time of 1:56.6.
My High Expectations battled on for second while Zedalite was produced along the sprint lane to snag a certain position in the final.
The barrier draw for the final will be conducted at around 8pm on track.
by Blake Redden
Harness Racing Victoria