It was a day that saw the potential stars of the sport move straight to the top of trotting circles at Carisbrook Raceway, Maryborough.
Heats of the Blue Chip Farms Breeders Crown continued and the big guns stamped their authority on each category with future champions of the gait Im Stately, Blitzthemcalder and Spidergirl all safely through.
Blitzthemcalder was the first to put his reputation to the test, and punters supported his cause, backing him into the $1.04 tote favourite as the arm folded back.
He wasn’t the quickest to begin but he was able to use his customary mid-race power to control the race by heading off the leaders going down the back the first time.
From there he simply needed to stay in gait to take the qualifier and he did it with aplomb, scoring by over three metres from the brave Glenferrie Dreamer, who had the sit on his back, and Invasive who wasn’t far behind the quinella.
The mile rate of 2:01.0 was the quickest of any heat on the day and the winner charged home in a last half of 58.9.
Im Stately was next up and he didn’t disappoint. Backed from $1.20 into $1.15 with TAB fixed odds prior to the jump, he bullied his way to the front then took a mid-race breather before showing why he is considered the next big thing.
Ripping home in a 57.3 last half, he dashed clear of Dell Boy and Guiltless by close to 20 metres in a mile rate of 2:02.1.
Odds-on favourite Daenerys Targaryen looked to blow any chance she had at the start of the next heat for three-year-old squaregaiters.
But, with the leaders merely ambling early, she tacked on to the field and sat parked outside second-favourite Claudys Princess mid-race.
The latter being a Vicbred Super Series Champion just under a month ago, was able to hold the favourite in the run to line, finding plenty when she looked to be beaten in the lane.
Capping just her fourth lifetime start, the daughter ofhas proven that with the right run, she is a better than blowout hope of figuring in the finish against her more fancied male rivals come Breeders Crown day.
Shining Monarch loomed up halfway down the stretch and looked the winner but couldn’t match the quinella as they booted clear again on the line.
The winner ran a slower mile rate of 2:07.4, mostly owing to the muddling early pace, and came home in a last half of 60.8.
Glenferrie Typhoon made it two favourites in a row to go under in the next heat as he got the better of Our Dreamlover.
The-trained gelding found the lead from barrier five and managed to hold Our Dreamlover who sat parked for much of the race.
With a margin of just under two metres separating the quinella, Pride Of Sundon was a further 60 metres away in third.
The winner completed a mile rate of 2:01.1 with a 57.3 last half indicative of the sprint that broke most of the field up at the finish.
The final heat on the card, again for the three-year-old’s, saw the last third of the Power Trio roll home in another impressive victory.
That is of course Spidergirl and she did it in style, biding her time from the second row.
Whencut her loose off the back the final time she ranged up to leader The Boss Man and put paid to him halfway up the straight, racing on to score by just over four metres.
The Boss Man held down second comfortably from Fiftyshadesofbrown and Lochaber who both battled away valiantly.
Second-favourite Steal A Sixpence had to do much of the work sitting parked in the run but couldn’t match it with the contenders at the quarter pole.
The filly ran as good a time as any of the heats with the mile-rate recorded in 2:01.3 and the quickest last half of the squaregaiting races in 57.2.
All roads now lead toon August 18 for what could be one of squaregaiting’s landmark days in Victoria.