Anthony Azzopardi will have numbers on his side in Thursday night’s $25,000 to-the-winner Group 3 Dean Industrial Dapto Maiden.
Londonderry-based Azzopardi will have three runners in the feature maiden, with his assault headed by exciting youngster Dark Assassin, which has set the pace in both the heat and semi-final rounds.
A superbly bred son of Collision and Group 1 winning bitch Daydream, Dark Assassin made a brilliant debut in the heats of the Dapto Maiden when running a flying 29.91.
On the strength of that sizzling first-up performance, Dark Assassin started at a prohibitive $1.40 in last Thursday’s night’s second semi-final and the December ’10 whelp once again broke the 30-second barrier, this time clocking 29.98.
Azzopardi then secured a semi-final double in the third qualifier when Fancy Choice, a son of Premier Fantasy and Flash Fancy, led throughout in 30.11.
Like kennelmate Dark Assassin, Fancy Choice will also go into Thursday night’s lucrative decider undefeated in the opening two rounds of the series, having won his heat in 30.23.
Two previous defeats over 400m at Bulli could turn out to be blessings in disguise for Azzopardi and his good mate Terry Kingcott, who races Fancy Choice, if the June ’10 whelp is successful on Thursday.
Dark Assassin shared semi-final honours with Jason Magri’s Rebel Vigilante, a well-related daughter of Bombastic Shiraz and Ferly Gain.
After winning her heat in 29.98, Rebel Vigilante produced a carbon copy of that effort in the fourth and final semi-final to advance to the rich finale.
Anthony Azzopardi’s Nick’s Pinch (Thai Alert x Sweet Lesson) finished second to Rebel Vigilante to join kennelmates Dark Assassin and Fancy Choice in the final.
The opening semi-final was won by the Margaret Morris-trained Kelmatt’s Fantasy, with the son of Give Me Five and Choc Chip following up an impressive 30.15 heat victory with a strong-finishing 30.41 success in a roughly run affair.
With a young and inexperienced field to do battle, today’s box draw will obviously have a huge influence on how the Dapto Maiden market is shaped, although the numbers are very much on Anthony Azzopardi’s side as the affable young conditioner hones in on another feature trophy.
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