• Racing Tips
    Defending champ strikes form at right time Defending champ strikes form at right time

    MISS HALFPENNY - Photo Ashlea Brennan

    RACING slightly below her peak in recent weeks, Miss Halfpenny picked an opportune time to show a glimpse of her best. In the middle... Defending champ strikes form at right time

    RACING slightly below her peak in recent weeks, Miss Halfpenny picked an opportune time to show a glimpse of her best.

    In the middle of her New South Wales Breeders’ Challenge title defence, Miss Halfpenny upstaged her more fancied rivals to capture a semi-final of the futurity at Tabcorp Park Menangle tonight.

    As such the Australian Pacing Gold purchase will head into the June 30 Final “on a perfect note” for trainer Paul Fitzpatrick.

    “She went better than I thought she would,” Fitzpatrick said. “I had been struggling to get her back to her best and now she appears to be close to it at the right time.

    “She is certainly going into it on a perfect note, so hopefully that’s how she will stay between now and the Final.

    “At least she is there now and you never know what can happen on the day.

    “She is good enough to win if at her best no doubt about that.

    “It’s going to be a pretty open race, but with a bit of luck in running she will be in it up to her ears.”

    With Fitzpatrick’s son Gavin in the cart, Miss Halfpenny was settled in the perfect one-one position from barrier five as Our Road To Mecca led and Myra Dawn worked hard in the breeze.

    Angled three-wide at the top of the home straight, the daughter of American Ideal reached the front in the last stride to complete a half-neck win from Myra Dawn, with Sheeza Malteeza four metres away third.

    “Getting the run she did certainly helped, but she had to be good enough to take advantage of it,” Fitzpatrick said.

    “With that kind of run in any race she will be hard to hold out.

    “It’s going to be harder again in the Final with Keayang Liberty the one to beat.”

    Trained by Marg Lee and driven by Glen Craven, Keayang Liberty enjoyed the run of the race behind the pacemaker before scoring from Western Secret and No Win No Feed.

    Covering the mile in 1:52.8, the daughter of Rocknroll Heaven was 2.2 seconds quicker than Miss Halfpenny.

     

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