Mepunga Daniel upstages sprint stars

Mepunga Daniel caused one of the upsets of the year at Sandown Park this evening, defeating Simon Told Helen and Shima Shine in their heat of the Victorian National Sprint Championship.

Simon Told Helen ($1.80) and Shima Shine ($2.30) dominated the market and both began cleanly before finding each other through the first turn. Mepunga Daniel swept around the pair as they engaged in a bumping dual and by the time the field had settled entering the back straight he found himself two lengths clear.

Simon Told Helen challenged off the back straight but couldn’t close the gap, Mepunga Daniel powering to the line to win by three lengths. Shima Shine overcome a chequered run to finish third with Aston Turbine also progressing to next week’s final.

Christo Bale’s continued his emergence as one of the country’s strongest sprinters with a last-stride victory in the second heat.

He began cleanly but was beaten for early speed behind Lots Of Chatter and Yindi Girl Turbo to lead the field through the first turn. Christo Bale started his move down the back, sweeping past Yindo Girl Turbo who refused to relent and retook second place behind Lots of Chatter coming off the back straight.

The pair switched out from behind the tiring Lots Of Chatter and powered home, Christo Bale proving too strong to score by less than a length.

Despite being beaten in his heat, Simon Told Helen opened the $2.20 favourite for the $17,250 Victorian National Sprint final which will be run on Thursday 13 August. Click here for the latest market from

Later in the night, track record holder Here’s Tears claimed the Distance title in a powerful staying performance.

Click here for full results.

Mepunga Daniel (7) causes an upset to win his heat of the Victorian Sprint Championship
Christo Bale (5) too strong in his heat of the Victorian Sprint Championship
Mick Floyd
About Mick Floyd - Mick is the Racing and Media Manager at Sandown Park and has 15 years of experience in the sport. He has a finely tuned talent for finding three legs of a quaddie. You can follow his ramblings on Twitter - @mickfloyd
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