Day At The Track

Ana Malak wins Group One Classic

08:07 AM 03 Dec 2018 NZDT
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Ana Malak,Harness racing
Ana Malak winning at Gloucester Park
Scott Hamilton Photo

Impressive four-year-old Ana Malak has withstood a number of challenges from a star-studded field to hold on and win the Group 1 Yes Loans 4YO Classic (2130m) at Gloucester Park.

Ana Malak, trained by Greg and Skye Bond, was having just his second start in Western Australia last night and was able to hold the front from barrier one for reinsman Ryan Warwick.

Jack Mac eventually made his move to sit outside the leader with 1200m to go, while the unbeaten Ideal Liner was three pairs back along the inside.

Ideal Liner was eventually able to get away from the inside coming to the home turn to give chase to Ana Malak, but the Gary Hall Snr-trained pacer fell short by a head.

Mighty Conqueror, another runner from the Bond stable finished third, while Ideal Liner’s stablemate Benhope Rulz was fourth.

Warwick said Ana Malak was still learning his craft and would continue to improve with racing.

“He was very credible,” he said.

“He was off the bit and on the bit.

“He was probably doing a bit wrong and he nearly cost himself on the line.

“I’m sure there’s more motor then what you saw tonight but he probably doesn’t know how to use it properly.”

Winning owner Rob Gartrell paid tribute to the Bond team, who recorded their first success in the $125,000 feature last night.

“I haven’t been so nervous for a long time,” he said.

“Ryan was really confident we could lead, I was hopeful.

“Skye has done a magnificent job, she does a lot of the work with him.

“That’s one of the great four-year-old fields.”

Of the beaten brigade, reinsman Mark Reed said he was impressed with Golden State’s sharp form turnaround to finish fifth, while Chris Lewis said Jack Mac would take plenty of benefit from his sixth placing heading towards the Golden Nugget on December 14.

Ana Malak was one of five winners on the night for the Bond stable and Ryan Warwick.

Earlier in the night they teamed up to win the We Say Yes To Commercial Loans Pace (2130m) with Our Max Phactor.

Following Ana Malak’s win, Mitch Maguire, Fizzing and Bright Diamond all recorded impressive wins.

Fizzing and Bright Diamond were emergencies for the Group 1 feature on the night, but both put forward compelling cases to be included in the field for the Golden Nugget.

Mitch Maguire was driven patiently in the standing start event of the evening, before he stormed over the top late to record a win that led to Gartrell describing him as the “fastest horse he had.”

The Bond, Warwick and Gartrell combination will be hoping their successful Friday night can transition to Bunbury tonight with Vampiro in the Bunbury Cup, while they also have Galactic Star in Melbourne ahead of the opening night of Inter Dominion heats.

Meanwhile, Maczaffair has stamped herself as one of two key contenders for next week’s Group 1 Mares Classic, taking out the $30,000 Howard Porter Memorial for the Mike Reed stable.

Mark Reed said there was nothing between Maczaffair and last week’s Norms Daughter winner Eden Franco.

Tim Walker

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