Can NSW Prize Back The Egg?

VICTORIA’s nine year dominance of the Golden Easter Egg is showing some signs of abating after NSW-trained runners cemented five of the eight final berths at Wentworth Park on Saturday night.

Adam Dobbin

13 April 2019

VICTORIA’s nine year dominance of the Group 1 Ladbrokes Golden Easter Egg is showing some signs of abating after NSW-trained runners cemented five of the eight final berths at Wentworth Park on Saturday night.

On a frenetic night of racing, the time-standard for next Saturday’s $250,000 to-the-winner finale was set in the last of the semi-finals, with Victorian powerhouse Blue Striker getting the better of Miss Splendamiro late in 29.58.

“He’d never been beaten out of box four so I was pretty confident tonight – both his previous runs at Wentworth Park have been very good,” said trainer Peter Akathiotis.

Miss Splendamiro’s second placing sees the Dave Geall-trained galloper qualify for a second consecutive Golden Easter Egg, with her Lara conditioner eyeing back-to-back triumphs in the Easter Saturday showcase, following Up Hill Jill’s resounding victory in 2018.

Rounding out Victoria’s three pronged attack on a tenth straight Golden Easter Egg title is the Seona Thompson-trained Black Opium, a last stride winner of the opening semi-final in 30.03 over Black Forge.

Winner of the 2012 Easter Egg with Don’t Knocka Him, the all-conquering Thompson kennel is one step away from landing a deserved group 1 breakthrough with the daughter of Black Magic Opal, after the Melbourne and Australian Cup runner-up drew ideally in box one for the final.

Heading the NSW brigade for Easter Egg supremacy is the Peter Lagogiane-trained Federal Lilly, the daughter of Dyna Double One a scorching 29.65 semi-final winner over Banjo Tifia.

Unbeaten in three appearances for her new kennel, a Golden Easter Egg victory would cap off what’s been a remarkable 12 months for Lagogiane, following Mystic Riot’s triumph in the inaugural Million Dollar Chase at Wentworth Park last October.

While the Golden Easter Egg semi-finals were the headline act at Wentworth Park on Saturday night, the standout performance of the evening was recorded by champion stayer Tornado Tears in the opening Group 1 Association Cup heat, lowering Sweet It Is’ 41.52 track record with a mind boggling 41.38 gallop.

The box draw for next Saturday’s Group 1 Ladbrokes Golden Easter Egg Final is: 1. Black Opium 2. Irinka Lizzy 3. Black Forge 4. Banjo Tifia 5. Federal Lilly 6. Zipping Bailey 7. Blue Striker 8. Miss Splendamiro.