Five Star Performance Leads Cup Charge

CLASSY stayer Five Star has dispelled any concerns about his effectiveness at The Meadows with a commanding Top Cat Video Cup heat win.

Adam Dobbin

5 September 2021

CLASSY stayer Five Star has dispelled any concerns about his effectiveness at The Meadows with a commanding heat win in the Top Cat Video Cup (725m) on Saturday.

The Paul Abela-trained son of Fernando Bale roared into next weekend’s Group 3 finale with a flying 42.41 heat victory when defeating runner-up Knicks Bale by just over five-lengths.

It was a performance that quashed any concerns about the Group 3 Speed Star winner’s ability to produce his brilliant best at The Meadows which before Saturday hadn’t been at the lofty heights witnessed at Sandown and provincial tracks.

And while the inaugural Pink Diamond Championship winner heads into next Saturday’s $25,000-to-the-winner finale as comfortably the fastest qualifier, he’ll need to overcome a horror box six draw to claim victory.

Sitting up in box one for the decider is the Jeff Britton-trained Mepunga Ruby which continued her tantalizing form with a 42.96 heat success on Saturday – albeit in bizarre circumstances.

The last start Group 3 Speed Star winner won what can be best described as an unorthodox race which saw chopping and changing throughout the 725 journey.

Mepunga Ruby had appeared to lose her chances with a check off the top corner before making the most of a wayward Tomato Tears turning for home which quickly changed the complexion of the race.

At her last 12 appearances Mepunga Ruby has won on nine occasions with a further three seconds and from box one in the finale she’s without doubt the one to beat.

The Jeff Britton-trained stayer is joined in the final by kennelmate Hank The Hustler which won the first qualifier in 42.73.

Delivering champion sire Fernando Bale a clean-sweep of the three heats, Hank The Hustler will be eyeing a second Group 3 staying title at The Meadows in the finale after annexing the Destini Lodge Fireball (725m) in June.