In the box seat
Azure Allegro, which is owned by Cheryl Beerens and trained at Alstonville by Neville Robson, will start a warm favourite.
The blue bitch, which tips the scales at a demure 24.3kg, shanghaied from box four and gave her seven rivals a thorough shellacking to score by eight lengths in her heat on Sunday.
The win was her fourth from just five Lismore starts over 520 metres and it was her first section (4.36s) which made all the difference.
Azure Allegro is not overly strong at the end of her races but she has now won 16 of 32 career outings and has drawn box one in the final.
Earlier on Sunday, the opening heat went to Side Cutter in 30.36s. The Queenslander was having his first look at the track and produced a very professional effort.
He quickly led from box eight and scored by half a length over a gallant Kulu Bunyip, which is prepared by John Clarson at Bentley.
Leading Queensland mentor Tony Brett’s lightly raced Robo Raptor overcame all sorts of trouble to get up on the line to take the second heat in 30.44s.
The winner’s effort was full of merit and he edged out Black Attack by a mere head while Captain Bravo was another three lengths away third.
Brett stuck again in the third heat with Banzai Pipeline.
Banzai Pipeline had won his only previous start at Lismore in 30.03s and all but mirrored that with an impressive 30.04s offering.
He got well back in the middle stages and was only third mid-race but he motored away late to score by 3-1/4 lengths from Club Sportz.
Club Sportz posted a quick first section of 4.36s, which ironically would be matched 17 minutes later by Azure Allegro.
The box draw for the final was held trackside after the heats with connections drawing for their boxes by lot.
With just two boxes available, Neville Robson’s daughter and Azure Allegro’s owner Cheryl Beerens had the opportunity for either box one or box eight. To the delight of the gathered throng, she snared the rails alley and a huge cheer echoed across the grounds.
The final looks something like a hunter versus hunted contest in the quest for the $30,000 winner’s purse.
Azure Allegro and Club Sportz with their brilliant early pace should lead and the chasing division will have their work cut out if Azure Allegro gets a break.
She has the time on the board to get the job done but Robo Raptor and Banzai Pipeline have the quality to cut her down if she does not open up a clear lead early.
The first of 10 races at Colemans Point is set down for 7.27pm.