MISS Splendamiro kicked off the Ladbrokes Million Dollar Chase series with a bang on Monday by bolting to a comfortable victory in the opening heat at Kennerson Park.
The opening heats of the Million Dollar Chase drew trainers from across the state to Bathurst, including Berkshire Park trainer George Borg and his star Miss Splendamiro.
Current Bathurst Gold Cup champion Miss Splendamiro ($1.20) was backed by punters to take her opponents apart.
Once the Barcia Bale x Splendourous bitch reached the first turn in the lead she soon showed why she deserved such short odds.
Miss Splendamiro blasted away to a seven length victory in a time of 29.68 seconds.
Rohan Hill ($28.30) was a surprise second place finisher to book the remaining spot in next week’s regional finals.
Miss Splendamiro now boasts a perfect four from four record at Bathurst.
In Monday’s race she made her return to Bathurst for the first time since taking out the $15,000 top prize in February’s Gold Cup.
And she looked as sharp as ever.
Miss Splendamiro picked up her 24th in her 42nd career start.
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“It’s an especially proud moment for us to win the first heat with a bitch of her quality, which I think bodes well for the series,” Borg said.
“We freshened her up especially with Bathurst in mind. Let’s hope she can continue it next week and into the final.
“She’s four from four here now and coming along very nicely.”
Miss Splendamiro did herself plenty of favours thanks to a quick start in Monday’s heat out of box three.
Rohan Hill also got away strongly from the six to pass the winning post for the first time level with Miss Splendamiro.
Once the pack made the bend left Miss Splendamiro began to put distance between herself and everyone else.
At that stage most eyes would have turned their focus towards the furious battle for the coveted second spot.
Outsider Nangar Kash ($40.30) had avoided an early tangle up to draw level on the inside of Rohan Hill.
Nangar Kash faded on the final bend but Rohan Hill faced a new challenger in Splinters.
Splinters ($19.60) was producing a remarkable rescue effort after taking an early knock but fell a length shy of catching Rohan Hill.