While first place has been decided, we have a real horse race for second and third place as four drivers are within nine points of each other. France's Tony Le Beller moved into second place while Tim Tetrick dropped into third place. Currently in fourth place is Finland's Mika Forss while thanks to tonight's performance, Jody Jamieson moves up into fifth place. So while the champion has been crowned, it will be a real horse race in the final heat as these four will be looking to take up residence in the place and show spots.
Tonight, all three races were contested at 2,125 meters (approximately 1 1/3 miles) and Jamieson drove Strawberry Courage NZ to catch Emerging Art at the wire in 2:38.6 (2:00.1 mile rate) over a track listed as 'good'. Finishing third was Just Pit Boss NZ driven aggressively by Dexter Dun from the fifth position in the second row (saddle cloth #11). If you watch the video watch the bold move he made going into the backstretch the first time.
Just an observation here. If anyone says racing extended distances with a second tier (the place and show horse both come from the second row) is boring, they need to watch the race above. This is a race which is far more exciting than what we currently produce in North America
In Heat 18, Knud Monster from Finland won with Midnight Lights in 2:37.4 (1:59.2) from the second slot in the second row to defeat Lombo Final touch by 2,4 meters. Monster was able to take benefit of a fast early pace by staying back until they hit the backstretch the final time where he made a bold move from eighth place, going four wide on the turn before setting his sights on the eventual second place finisher.
The final heat of the night was won by Jamieson driving Katsidis to a half neck victory in 2:37.4 (1:59.2). Katsidis briefly held the lead at the start of the second lap before giving it up to take the pocket trip, only to find himself sitting fourth before getting free to throw on the thrusters to catch the leaders at the wire.
The final heat will be contested at Menangle Sunday as the first race on a card which features the Inter-Dominion Final as well as other stakes races. The WDC final will be contested at 2,400 meters.
The standings going into the final heat:
Point Score After 19 Heats
Tony Le Beller