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    Local star pre-draw Derby favourite Local star pre-draw Derby favourite

    HURRICANE HARLEY - Photo Stuart McCormick

    A SUPER return to racing has Hurricane Harley installed as the pre-draw favourite for next weekend’s Victoria Derby. First-up since capturing the Breeders’ Crown... Local star pre-draw Derby favourite

    A SUPER return to racing has Hurricane Harley installed as the pre-draw favourite for next weekend’s Victoria Derby.

    First-up since capturing the Breeders’ Crown last August, Hurricane Harley completed a soft Derby heat win in Ballarat last night.

    In reaction to the colt’s performance, TAB Fixed Odds have him at the top of the table at $2.60.

    Driven by Amanda Turnbull for trainer Emma Stewart, Hurricane Harley led throughout from the pole to account for his stablemate Hardhitter and Malcolms Rhythm.

    “I knew he was ready to run a big race despite being first-up and he won well,” Stewart said. “They both did well and will be fitter again for the Final.”

    Taking his record to eight wins and a second from 10 starts, the son of Bettors Delight rated 1:56.8 over 2200 metres, with his time nine-tenths of a second slower than Im Another Masterclass in the following qualifier.

    Driven by co-trainer Natalie Rasmussen, Im Another Masterpiece began quickly to lead from the pole before being eased to take a trail behind Muscle Factory.

    Angled into the ‘death seat’ at the bell, Im Another Masterpiece forged his way to the front halfway along the home straight to score by two-and-a-half metres from Muscle Factory, with Lochinvar Art four metres away third.

    Third in the Breeders’ Crown during his previous Australian campaign, the son of Bettors Delight is a $2.70 TAB second elect to extract revenge in the Blue Riband.

    “After getting a nice trip early he did a bit of work from the bell and still hit the line well,” Rasmussen said. “That run will do him good.”

    Thanks to his success in the third heat Max Delight is on the third line of betting at $4.50.

    Trained and driven by David Aiken, Max Delight completed a clean sweep of the qualifiers for his sire Bettors Delight when he led throughout in 2:00.4 as Perfect Major and Petes Big Jim filled the placings.

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    Paul Courts

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