BAGDAD trainer Rodney Walker won his fourth state title when Gold Lenny produced a huge upset in the Tasmanian final of the National Sprint Championship at Mowbray on Monday.
Walker also won the state sprint title in 2005 with Blackberry Moss after winning two distance titles with Bold Tarmoor (1986) and Lemon Moss (2004).
Despite Gold Lenny starting at the massive odds of $50.50, Walker said the box draw had boosted his confidence as he headed into the 52nd edition of the sprint feature.
“I was certain Gold Lenny was a huge chance after his effort in the heats – the dog just seemed to change his running action at the wrong time going through the first turn,” the trainer said.
“I thought he could get a clear run in the final coming from out wide on the track.”
Punters had pinned their faith in the Brett Bravo-trained Manila Dawn who started $1.90 favourite.
Manila Dawn led as expected but Gold Lenny was hot on her hammer all the way and railed through to take the lead on the home turn.
He went on to score by a neck with the fast-finishing Zulu Knock’s cutting Manila Dawn out of second place in the last few strides.
Gold Lenny will now represent Tasmania in the national final in Queensland on August 25.
“I will make plans in the next few days then we’ll make our way up to Albion Park and trial before the race,” Walker said.
“It’s a hard race to win but anything can happen.”
WELL-BRED staying prospect Shima Sun also delivered a knockout blow to punters when he won the state final of the National Distance Championship.
In a career-best performance, Shima Sun led all the way from box 7 for his ninth victory in 23 starts.
Richmond trainer Margaret Rossendell described it as one of her greatest moments in the sport.
Rossendell scored her biggest win in the 1990 Hobart Thousand with Bacchant.
“Rocky’s Agent won the Devonport Puppy Championship in 2009 and Magic Magnet won the Launceston Gold Collar in 1986 and I’ve had plenty of other handy dogs,” the trainer said .
Shima Sun ($14.80) held out a late challenge from defending champion Mahalo Miss ($1.70 fav) to score by a half head.
Rosie Oh Rosie was a half length away third.