Day At The Track

Almost El Eagle in eye-catching win

05:50 PM 16 Nov 2015 NZDT
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Almost El Eagle rips through the gaps in the straight for a come-from-behind St Arnaud Pacing Cup win.
Almost El Eagle rips through the gaps in the straight for a come-from-behind St Arnaud Pacing Cup win.

Almost El Eagle’s Weirs Supa IGA St Arnaud Pacing Cup win yesterday was about as eye-catching as wins get.

From five back on the pegs at the home turn, the Steven Duffy trained six-year-old sprouted wings, reinsman John Caldow steering him through needle-eye gaps for a last-stride victory.

“The horses three and four back on the fence both went to the sprint lane, which gave me a good run through,” Caldow said.

“I could see it opening up before I got there. It doesn’t always work like that of course. The horse was in great order for the race. Steve had set him for the cup.”

Caldow said he was confident Almost El Eagle, who had bumped into Yankee Rockstar at his two previous runs before yesterday, was travelling like a winner at the corner but after a tardy beginning from the tapes he had his work cut out for him.

“I didn’t give him any chance at all,” Duffy said when asked how he was feeling at the final corner.

“I thought if he got a gap he might be able to run on and get fourth or fifth and at least pick up some prizemoney.

“It was a 10-out-of-10 drive.”

Duffy had set the son of Mcardle/Nuclearaccelerator for the St Arnaud feature and plans to back him up this Sunday in the Gunbower Pacing Cup before aiming him at Cobram’s cup in December.

“He’s a great little horse. He’s got the best nature you could ever ask for and he won the Lombo as a two-year-old and is still winning races now. I think that was his 19th win at the weekend, so he’s been a ripper of a horse,” Duffy said.

“He’s not a big, strong horse, but he’s probably 25-30kg heavier now than ever so he’s getting stronger.

You hope that strength keeps building up and if you’re lucky enough he might be able to be just short of the better ones.”  

Almost El Eagle’s winning mile rate was 2:01.6. The clock on his last 150m would be interesting.
Heavily backed Irish Whisper won the St Arnaud Sporting Club Trotters Cup to bring up a race-to-race double for Moama trainer Tony Peacock and reinsman Damian Wilson.

The eight-year-old son of Sundon/Little Contessa stepped cleanly from his 30m handicap and moved three-wide solo for the last lap, out-staying his rivals in a rate of 2:05.6 for a 3.2m win over favourite Dead Cat Bounce.

“We haven’t had him long but he’d gone all right at the trials. He’s beaten Stent twice. We knew he was going good and he’d run a good race,” Peacock said.

Peacock also heaped praise on Wilson’s drive.

“Brilliant. He does a great job. I’ve always got nothing but confidence in him when I send him to the races.”

The Gunbower Trotters Cup is next on the agenda for Irish Whisper.

Cody Winnell

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