Day At The Track

A memorable homecoming for Webster

08:55 AM 11 Jan 2009 NZDT
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Geoff Webster made it a memorable homecoming last night when he teamed with Mister Swinger to win the $100,000 Sky Channel South Australian Cup (2645m) at Adelaide's Harness Racing track, Globe Derby.

The ex-pat Croweater - who now trains out of Bannockburn, near Geelong - celebrated his second win in his home state's premier race when the star five-year-old accounted for a star-studded field.

Webster said it was the best way to celebrate a trip home.

"It was a real big thrill," he said. "There was a big crowd there and a good atmosphere, so to win the main race was great."

It was the first Group 1 win for the son of Village Jasper, who overcame difficulty to score the 19th win of 47-start career.

Then entire looked in strife when strung up in traffic just 600 metres from home but Webster managed to extricate a way clear to get home from Gotta Go Cullen and Cincinnati Kid who finished hard form the tail end of the field.

On the line the $4.40 chance had a half neck to spare over Gotta Go Cullen ($2.30 fav) with a further neck back to Cincinnati Kid ($32). The time was 2:02.1, which included a 57.4-second last 800m.

Webster said it was particularly exciting to see the consistent performer notch a Grand Circuit win.

"He'd been chasing Melpark Major around in a lot of the big races last year, so it was good that he was able to get a win in one of the big ones," Webster said.

Mister Swinger's win completed a fantastic night for Victorian based trainers following the SEW-Eurodrive South Australian Derby win of Living On Fire earlier in the night.

The Bill Galea-trained colt notched the second Group 1 win of his career when he held off fellow Victorians Franco Newsman and Garnet River in the $30,000 event.

The locals had something to cheer about in the night's other feature, the $25,000 South Australian Trotters Cup, thanks to talented gelding Gammel Dansk.

The Claire Goble-trained five-year-old edged out Victorian 10-year-old Billy Royle and Solar Active in the Group 3 feature.

Brad Bishop

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