Fast Minardi completed a brilliant feature double when landing the $27,865 Ladbrokes Illingworth Classic Final over 515 metres for owner Ross Freeman and trainer Paul Hili in Launceston on Monday night.

Already a winner of the Launceston Gold Collar last November, the talented son of Fernando Bale and Cheeky Vixen signed off on his Tasbred puppy career in the best way possible by lifting the $18,250 first prize.

Breaking well but led from the boxes by Power Band ahead of Fast Minardi, it was the former who showed the best speed into the first bend to take up the running, and for much of the 515m time-honoured contest.

Fast Minardi posted a flying 29.18s in winning the Illingworth Classic Final, catching the leader Power Band around the turn and crossing the line 4-3/4 lengths clear from Supreme Leader coming home late for second.

“It’s a great effort by Fast Minardi, some thought he couldn’t handle the draw, he did really well,” Paul Hili said.

“That was the best Fast Minardi had begun for a while now. I didn’t think there was too much speed in the race, and he just needed a clear run from the jump to get across onto the rail that was his major task.”

A winner now in 11 of his 20 starts, Fast Minardi completed an unbeaten run through the Launceston event and has proved to be one of the sport’s early season stars with two major wins, for his Loira-based trainer.

The light brindle chaser takes his earnings to an incredible $81,000 with the litter winning 42 races overall.

“He’s an awesome dog, to run second in the Launceston Cup at such a young age against seasoned runners was a testament to his ability.

“From the beginning he always showed promise and continued to show improvement each run,” Hili stated.

Paul did pay the credit to his family and friends who help with the ongoing operations of his racing establishment.

“You can’t do things yourself, everyone chips in to keep things moving. We’ve whelped two litters recently, Cheeky Vixen has just produced a litter to Koblenz and Nitro Grace also whelped a litter to Hard Style Rico.

“It’s a thrill watching them as puppies grow up and be successful on the race track. I am really happy for Ross Freeman and his family, it’s about getting new people to the sport, they’ve had a great run,” the trainer said.

The temptation of racing Fast Minardi interstate is there, though Hili is aware of the task that lies ahead.

“I’ve had plenty of experience racing dogs on the major tracks, and I think Fast Minardi will struggle against the sprinters, there is an option of stepping the dog up in distance to see if he can handle the more ground.

“If he goes well there are more options to go over to the mainland and target those distance races,” Paul said.