Day At The Track

A double for Colin

05:29 PM 03 Jan 2019 NZDT
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Driver Colin McDowell landed a double at Bathurst on Wednesday night.

VETERAN horseman Colin McDowell set the Bathurst track alight Wednesday night and in driving rain, wound back the clock with a powerful race-to-race double in partnership with top trainer Kerry McDowell.

Their five-year-old gelding Shanocon ($9.80) never looked likely. He was back in the field behind ($1.80) Im All Courage but as they blazed for home the pacer by Bettor Delight stormed home down the outside to win the Get Well Soon Belly Pace (1730m) by a half neck with the favourite I’m All Courage a gritty second and Sams Express third. The overall time of 2.03.07 backed up by some blistering sectionals.

The finish by Shanocon surprised the race caller Fred Hastings saying ‘’Wow he came further back then Walla Walla to win that.’’

Colin was just as surprised: ‘’ I was pretty surprised myself, he just unleashed," he said.

Not long later McDowell brought out Zanadu who had not race since February. The Bettor Delight filly out of Glenferrie Shuffle was a $1.70 favourite and had won on debut at Newcastle. The three-year-old bay used gate speed to punch to the lead and despite a quality field it contained pressure and pace.

Zanadu stepped on the electricity in the third quarter posting a brisk sectional which set up a thrilling finish but McDowell had the horse full of running staving off the last second challenge from Gold Rocks and Hammer time Harley to win the HRNSW Guaranteed Fillies Pace.

‘’Gee it set some pretty fast sectionals," Colin said ‘’ We’re setting her for the Gold Chalice in March here, she’ll go well.’’

Former New Zealand pacer Coolie Kid was facing a big test in the Get Well Soon Monica Pace (2260m), punters sent out Dream to Share as a $3.80 favourite but Mitch Turnbull was full of horse. The four-year-old gelding by Mach Three skirted the outside and rushed home in a powerful burst to stave off the fast finishing Imthevillagestar and Studleigh Kristen.

‘’I knew he was going well and he did finish brilliantly,’’ driver Mitch Turnbull said trackside for trainer Steve Turnbull.

Coolie Kid’s ($4.00) 94-year-old part owner Jack Shanks was excited, he sat and cheered as his pacer ran home for it’s fifth consecutive win. Mr Shanks owns a property near Gilgandra in the central west.

Fouroeight also starred Wednesday night for a pleased Mat Rue. The smart Bathurst driver waited patiently and then let rip with a blistering turn of foot to down a fast finishing Izzy Watt and Heza Bromac.

‘’I knew he was a run short in the Shirley Turnbull Memorial (where he finished a very strong fourth) but he was right tonight and there’s a lot more to come,’’ Rue said

The Rock N Roll Heaven four-year-old impressed the crowd. The Rue’s grabbing a unique quinella.

Lagom, enhanced Amanda Turnbull premiership ambitions with a thorough win in the 1730m Ladyship Pace.

‘’He was tough and strong, good win,’’ she said.

Top line reinsman Bernie Hewitt began quickly and dominated The For A Reason Pace with Crossfirehall, ‘’He used good gate speed and he was always going to be hard to beat in front," he said.

Favourite Volaticus opened the night with a strong win in the Stu Valentine 4 Bloodstock Insurance Pace  (1730m) with a strong front running display for Cameron Hart ‘’ He was good and very tough,’’ he said.

Jason Turnbull was awarded drive of the night with Cambo Blaster ($3.00 favourite). He took the three-year-old in the Ballinger Transport Pace to the outside and rushed to the front near the line to win for Wendy Turnbull.

‘’We all impressed with him, that was a really good run.’’

Farren Hotham

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