The fuse will be relit this Saturday night as the Mercury80 fires up for another spectacular summer’s racing.
A hit as part of last year’s TAB Summer Of Glory, when the aptly named Always Fast claimed the inaugural series, the Mercury80 will unfold across four heat nights ahead of the $50,000 final at Tabcorp Park Melton on February 6.
The first swift steps will be taken at Lords Raceway as part of Garrards Horse And Hound Bendigo Pacing Cup night, when a capacity field of seven will jostle in the $20,000 first heat, to be run over 1150 metres.
Run at 8.03pm as race four on Saturday’s program, heat one features trainer Kima Frenning’s recent addition Yorkshire, who last start led and won the Group 3 Gordon Rothacker Memorial Championship with a 27.7-second final quarter.
The five-year-old’s drawn gate one, inside Franco Jolto, who sat on Yorkshire’ back in that race and finished second beaten only a neck.
Konan (gate three) and Maestro Bellini (gate six) are both having another dip, having finished a close third and fourth respectively in last year’s first heat to narrowly miss finals spots, while Marg Lee’s Change The Print (1:53.2), John Justice’s Joe Nien (1:53.3) and John Nicholson’s Bullys Delight (1:53.1) complete the field and all boast impressive best winning mile rates.
The first two home in the heat will advance to the final on Del-Re National A. G. Hunter Cup night, where they will take on the first two home in the Mercury80 heats to follow at Shepparton on January 16, Ballarat on January 23 and Melton on January 30.
And all eyes will be glued to the final, when a $20,000 bonus will be paid to the winner’s connections ($10,000 to the winning owner, $5000 to the winning trainer and $5000 to the winning driver) if they can break the 80-second barrier.
RELIVE LAST YEAR'S INAUGURAL MERCURY80 FINAL