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Last night at Murray Bridge the final of the Bayroad Queen Stayers Cup was run over the 680m. With Angle Park currently being redeveloped the staying types ventured to the Bridge and over the new distance an even field was assembled with the Ben Rawlings trained Barbados Express showing her class in leading throughout and claiming the $4,500 first prize.

With a nice crowd on hand and the starting boxes right in front of the patron facility there was much anticipation as the distance offered genuine stayers and middle distance greyhounds a great opportunity to capture a much sought after event.

Heat winners form last week, Bedrock Fred for Cherylee Barber and Oakvale Impact for Nathan Wilson were sent out as the favourites in a wide open betting affair. As the start was affected Barbados Express from Box 2 showed great speed to lead to the first turn while New Year Tears for Ryan Tugwell moved to second making full use of his inside draw. Shanlyn Charlott for Vadim Roz quickly moved up to challenge the leaders as they left the front straight with the remainder of the field jostling for positions in behind. Entering the back straight and Barbados Express was moving sweetly in the lead followed by Shanlyn Charlott in second just ahead of New Year Tears on the rails. From back in the field Shadow Burner for Tony Rasmussen was trying to wind up on the outside around Springvale Anna for Bob Fletcher.

Off the back straight and Barbados Express was giving a great display in the lead and moved away from her rivals by a length with Shanlyn Charlott moving to a clear second. New Years Tears was being strongly challenged by Shadow Burner for third place while the remainder of the field tried hard to make ground. Entering the home straight and Barbados Express skipped away from her rivals with a race winning break as she went down to the winning post a 1 length winner in a slick 39.03 which is the fastest time recorded over the 680m in its limited use so far. New Year Tears got motoring late to move to second making ground with every stride while Shadow Burner ran to the line nicely back in third place a further 2.50 lengths back.

Barbados Express is by Fernando Bale out of Sweet Barbados and is owned by Mark Watson, Craig Ahl, Tanner Ahl and Tyson Panagiotou with the owners on hand to be presented with the rug and trophy. Barbados Express has now won 8 races from her 23 lifetime starts including 7 minor placings and prizemoney of around $21,000.

The Stayer’s Cup has proven to be a very important addition to the distance racing calendar and it was great to be hosted by Murray Bridge this year. It was the sixteenth running of the Stayer’s Cup and was the fourth year it was named the Bayroad Queen in recognition of one of the State’s best stayers. Bayroad Queen competed in the early 80’s and in 1982 she won the National Distance Final breaking a 13 year dominance of NSW and Victoria. She also won the equivalent of the Association Cup at Harold Park and Sandown Cup at Olympic Park and was named the SA Greyhound of the Year. She broke the Angle Park track record on two occasions inside a month and at the peak of her powers she was considered the best stayer in the country.