In-form trainers Robin Grubb and Ricky Martin have set the scene for what promises to be a great Illingworth Classic final at Mowbray on Monday night.
Seven of the eight finalists are prepared in the north with the Michael Stringer-trained Le Baz the only southern runner chasing the $15,000 winner’s cheque.
Breeders Classic runner-up Fink Racer, trained by Martin, produced a dazzling career-best effort in his heat, running 29.77 seconds.
Martin was beaming after his charge's performance.
"Right from when we first started breaking in the St Pierre litter, Woosha and Fink Racer have been the standouts," he said.
"They’re both extremely keen chasers and Woosha can fly the lids – once he is on the lure not many dogs can run him down.”
Woosha made full use of the inside box draw to lead all the way in his heat and narrowly beat Stylish Nic and Penny Pop in 29.80 seconds.
Grubb produced a top class training performance to prepare three heat winners – Hello Diamond, Hello Nugget and Silver Drone.
"All three dogs have gone better than I thought they ever would on this track,” he said.
“Hello Diamond was slow to begin but showed guts to run down the leader.
"Hello Nugget was good in his win and Silver Drone is a dog that uses all the room and drawing box eight next week should suit him.”
DRAW FOR FINAL –
1 Hello Diamond, 2 Hello Nugget, 3 Luke Roman, 4 Stylish Nic, 5 Fink Racer, 6 Le Baz, 7 Woosha, 8 Silver Drone, 9 Run Jackie Run (reserve), 10 Adam's Bandit (reserve).