Devonport Chase winner Stop Line delivered one of his best efforts to win his heat of the 2019 Ladbrokes Hobart Thousand, defeating track specialist Peco Can that led and looked home until Stop Line found a clear passage entering the home straight.
The Jillian Stamford-trained dog was strong when it counted to register his eighth win on the track and he will make his presence felt in next week’s Group 1 final.
Stamford said Stop Line was clearly the most consistent chaser she has trained, with this latest win his 31st from 50 starts.
The first upset arrived in the opening heat in which the long odds-on favourite Flynn ($1.30), a kennel mate of Hooked on Scotch, missed a place.
Leica Prayer ($4.20) chartered a course through the field from the 340-metre boxes to find the lead and once clear she powered home to score easily from race leader Black Taxi ($26.00) with Chilled Out ($18.00) and Clunes ($51.00) dead-heating for third.
Flynn, who missed the start from box eight and suffered multiple checks to the home turn, ran on to finish fifth and on the heels of the minor placegetters.
Leica Prayer gave Stamford two runners in next week’s final.
The Ted Medhurst-trained Raging Ralston ($1.65) made his way into the final when he rattled home along the rails to score comfortably from the heavily backed Atley Quick ($3.90) with outsider Speedy Denholme ($41.00) third.
The fastest seconds through to the final were Hooked on Scotch, Atley Quick and Stanley Gordon.
The box draw for the final will be held at the HGRC’s Hobart Thousand and Hall of Fame dinner at Elwick on Saturday night.