Shepparton pacer San Carlo put in a strong finishing burst in the first round heats of the Inter Dominion in Perth on Friday night to ignite confidence for a big run from a favourable barrier draw in the second round of heats at Bunbury tonight.
The Steve O’Donoghue-trained and Bec Bartley-driven San Carlo gave seven rivals a start turning for home and powered to the line to grab fifth spot behind the winner and red-hot favourite Chicago Bull.
Bartley was able to position San Carlo three back on the outside from a tricky barrier six in a good piece of driving, but was never a chance of winning the heat.
But in the second round of heats tonight San Carlo has drawn well in barrier three.
The favourite for the series Lazarus is in the same heat and has drawn barrier six.
Lazarus lost few admirers in finishing second to the local hope Soho Tribeca in the first round of heats.
While there was an 11m margin between the winner and Lazarus at the finishing line, the New Zealand champion was not pushed out over the concluding stages.
The other district hope in the Inter Dominion, Lennytheshark, as expected, led from barrier two in his heat for Avenel trainer David Aiken and star reinsman Chris Alford and in typical style looked to be struggling in the back straight.
But he rallied as usual when challenged to fend off all challengers.
Lenny has drawn the second row in arguably the weakest of the second round heats tonight, so will be hard to beat again and should book his place in the final on Friday night week.
The third and final round of heats return to Gloucester Park, Perth, this Friday night.