NSW Primed To Prise Back Egg?

IF betting is any indication, NSW look poised to give Victoria’s nine year stranglehold on the Golden Easter Egg one almighty shake, beginning with Saturday's four semi-finals.

Adam Dobbin

12 April 2019

IF betting is any indication, New South Wales look poised to give Victoria’s nine year stranglehold on the Group 1 Golden Easter Egg one almighty shake, represented by a number of key chances in Saturday night’s semi-finals.

With NSW-trained gallopers Pindari Express and Federal Lilly set to start strong favourites for the second and third qualifiers, fellow NSW chasers Fernando Blaster and Mystic Riot are also the top elects for their respective semi-finals, ever so slightly ahead of Victorian stars Black Opium and Miss Splendamiro.

Victoria has enjoyed a profound dominance over NSW’s flagship event since 2010, the last NSW-trained galloper to land the Easter Saturday feature, Rod McDonald’s Dana Beatrice way back in 2009.

We run our eye over the four semi-finals in search of some winners, as we take a step closer to Easter Saturday’s blockbuster finale, with a cool $250,000 awaiting winning connections.


Betting is almost split between fastest qualifier FERNANDO BLASTER (3) for northern rivers trainer Terry Jordan and Victorian starlet BLACK OPIUM (8) for Seona Thompson. Fernando Blaster was awesome winning his heat in 29.40 but he has shown a real penchant, especially at Wenty, for wide draws. Black Opium won her heat off this draw last week in 29.84, the time wasn’t there but the effort was – she’ll improve a lot off her first look at the Glebe circuit. BLACK FORGE (7) is the only other runner under double figure odds and rightly so. He defeated the white in the Maitland Cup last month and definitely has the ability, slight concern is if he strikes the pink early carving across. But if he keeps drifting in the market certainly worth a ticket.
TIPS: 8,7,3,4


Really interesting to see what PINDARI EXPRESS (1) does from the rails. Was breathtaking last week scoring in 29.41 and if he brings those kind of box manners back to the table he’ll take any awful amount of beating. Best dog in the race but at the price…well I’d prefer him drawn 5-8. LAGOON RHETT (8) is one of the better boxed dogs of the night in the pink and I thought his heat effort was good enough to suggest he can go on with it here. There’s a few in this semi-final at decent odds that aren’t without a chance, DYNA OSCAR (5) at the 30/1 is attractive as is ZIPPING BAILEY (4) at 12/1 odd. She’s got loads of ability and if there’s a few dramas upfront and she gets a half decent crack at them, could bob up. I’m not saying the red can’t win – he’s a star – but at the price I just couldn’t take it.
TIPS: 8,5,1,4


FEDERAL LILLY (7) is airborne and this semi-final completely revolves around whether she does what she’s been doing with relative ease, beginning. Led all-the-way in 29.45 last week running a blinding 5.34 early and if she brings that to the table then a Easter Egg berth looks all but a forgone conclusion. Victorian-trained FABWICK (4) led up in her heat last week running 5.50 early and 30.00 overall. On that she’s a fair way off the black but still is under consideration, you don’t win 22 of 40 by fluke. Of the rest ever consistent galloper NANGAR KASH (2) looks next best purely from the draw. Both he and MODUS OPERANDI (6) have won nine races at the track and from an experience viewpoint are in and around the mark.
TIPS: 7,2,4,6


Last chance to qualify for this year’s Egg and for mine it’s the most engrossing. Million Dollar Chase winner MYSTIC RIOT (1) has drawn box one which for her is what kryptonite is to Superman. Yet to land a blow from inside boxes but if by some virtue she can spear and make the running, well she can make light of it. What last week showed us is that she’s racing with a heap of confidence. MISS SPLENDAMIRO (3) is eyeing another Egg berth after making last year’s finale, she’s racing with a lot more early pace in the care of Dave Geall as shown with her career best 5.42 first split last week. Both of BLUE STRIKER’S (4) Wentworth Park performances have been crackers and he’s got terrific claims, especially if the 1 & 3 cause each other dramas early. I’m not underselling CAITLYN KEEPING’S (8) chances either, she was fantastic last week finishing second first up to Black Opium and will strip fitter from the run. If she finds a way to cross she can give a great sight at double figure odds.
TIPS: 4,8,1,3