Seona Thompson looks a strong chance of claiming a second Ballarat Cup in succession after qualifying two greyhounds for the group 2 feature.
Thompson, who is originally from Ballarat, produced Spring Bridge and Aston Kimetto to win heats of the series on Saturday night.
Spring Bridge won the first of the eight heats in a time of 25.193 seconds. The dog was slowly away from box four, but settled midfield before running home strongly to beat early leader and race favourite Beast Unleashed.
The son of My Bro Fabio has drawn box seven for the final and is rated a $12 chance with the TAB.
In heat three, Thompson’s Aston Kimetto showed some of his best form to win in a speedy 24.956 seconds.
A son of KC And All, Aston Kimetto was slow away, but gained clear running and weaved his way through the field. He easily hunted down front-runner Startron to win in brilliant fashion.
The dog was one of only two to break the 25-second barrier on Saturday night, doing so alongside Neville Wakefiled-trained Fully Loaded.
Aston Kimetto is the $3 favourite for the final after drawing box three.
Thompson now trains in Pearcedale, but declared herself a born and bred Ballarat girl when winning the cup with Aston Dee Bee in 2017.
Andrea Dailly also has two dogs in the final, with Speed Star and Dyna Patty both winning heats on Saturday night.
Belt Up Bubbs (Brooke Ennis) is second favourite following victory in heat seven and after drawing nicely in box one for the decider.
Other Volkswagen Ballarat Cup finalists include Shadale (Robert Redenbach) and Dyna Hunter (Steven Collins).
Rixy Ya Pest, which ran second behind Fully Loaded, and Sanjiro, which was runner-up to Dyna Patty, are reserves for the final.
Next Saturday night’s meeting kicks off with the first race from 6.47pm. Gates open at 5.30pm.