SHANE Whitney’s classy sprinter Two Bills surged into Group 2 Curtains & Blinds Launceston Cup calculations with a powerful all-the-way 29.62 heat victory at Launceston on Monday night.
An ambiance of local stars dominated five of the six heats, with the Spring Gun chaser continuing his trailblazing form to score a commanding 5 ½ length win from Bobby Bound and Chief Jetpilot third.
Exiting from box seven, the same trap he won the Tasmanian Derby back in June last year, Two Bills came out full of running carving splits of 5.05, 17.65 with a brilliant run-home sectional of 11.97.
In what has been an amazing twelve months, Brighton-based Whitney remains in awe of his star chaser, capturing features in the Tasmanian Derby, Hobart Gold Cup for proud owner Geoff Bailey.
“Two Bills just keeps surprising me, I can’t fault him, he’s such an honest chaser,” Whitney said.
“Hasn’t missed a beat – he’s been in work for a long time – you’d think eventually it would all stop.
A winner at 21 of his 49 career-starts, Two Bills has taken connections on a memorable thrill ride, finishing a gallant placing to Rock Up Top in the prestigious Group 1 Hobart Thousand in December.
Returning to Tasman Park’s 515m last week since winning the Middle-Distance Championship in October, Two Bills finished on running third to Woosha despite interference soon after the start.
“All things considering the dog was unlucky not win, but I was rapt in the run,” told Shane.
“Not many locals can match this bloke early and one he was on the lure it was all over. The first task of qualifying for the series is done now, next week will be down to drawing a box that suits him.
Hobart Thousand winner Rock Up Top, now in the care of Tassie-based Blake Pursell, stamped his authority by producing the same heat time as Two Bills, with a strong 29.62 victory from box two.
The son of Spud Regis held out rival Hogwash by 4 ½ lengths, delivering his 12th from 58 race-starts. Trainer Anthony Bullock tasted success in the fourth heat as Zulu Knocks railed strongly underneath the leaders on the turn, powering away to a classy 29.70 victory beating Apollo Blue by 3 ½ lengths.
Blueblood chaser Hemsworth, for trainer Mick Stringer, sky rocketed his fame to new heights, when receiving a phenomenal runs rail to score by 6 ¼ lengths over Long View Belle in a very-fast 29.76.
Queensland-based trainer Tom Tzouvelis staked his claimed into cup series, courtesy of regular Albion Park performer Soft Sand, who stormed over Country Helen scoring by two lengths in 29.94.
Dynamite sprinter She’s A Honey scooted along the wet effected surface to claim the final heat, for owner/trainer and breeder David Crosswell, to score in 30.01 boldly defeating Flamin’ Baroque.
The winners and second placegetters with two-fastest thirds from next Monday’s three semi-finals will make their way through to the final, Saturday February 17, worth $40,000 to-the-winner.