It was Moama Bowling Club Echuca Pacing Cup night at Frank Ryan Raceway situated on the banks of the Campaspe River on Friday March 21, with a large crowd in attendance to witness harness racing on the tight 804 metre circuit.
A massive ten event card was programmed keeping those on track active all throughout the evening in anticipation of the feature event scheduled as race number eight.
The Cup itself, a $25,390 standing start race (Discretionary Handicapped) for M0 or better class horses over 2530 metres was taken out by the in-form Philip Nott bred and raced seven year old Village Jasper / Any Danger gelding Arber.
Trained at Anakie by Tim Bolitho who should take plenty of accolades for the marvellous job he has done with the horse since joining the stable, Arber driven by Greg Sugars was quickly away from a lone 10 metre handicap, with Sugars wasting no time in sending him forward to park outside the favourite Jadahson which crossed the old timer Baltic Eagle after travelling a couple of hundred metres.
Gavin Lang urged Riverboat Jasper (one/three) forward mid-race to shadow the leader giving Arber the cover he was looking for and nothing changed until the bell when Kerryn Manning angled Narra Operative three wide from near last to commence a run.
Arber was eased three wide in the back straight on the final occasion and quickly joined Jadahson prior to the home turn.
Finishing brilliantly, Arber had 1.2 metres to spare on the wire to defeat Jadahson in a rate of 2-02.2 (last half 58.9 – quarter 29.9), with the Riverina visitor Itcan Happen using the sprint lane from five back the markers after a slow beginning third.
It was Arber’s third country cup for the season, having already captured both the Stawell and Wangaratta features.
Seven year old Sierra Kosmos / Panbrake gelding Tsonga was a tough victor of the $12,390 J A Connelly Crystal Bucket for T5 or better class trotters (Discretionary Handicapped) over 2530 metres.
Trained at Bolinda by Paul Males and driven by Shepparton based David Moran, Tsonga stepped cleanly from a 30 metre backmark on this occasion to tack on to the field, with Gazoline showing his customary slick beginning tolead from barrier four.
With the speed nothing to write home about, Nathan Jack sent the favourite Theywannacallmesue forward through the middle stages to join the leader, with Tsonga also being sent forward with a lap and a half to travel.
Trapped on a limb three wide for the remainder of the journey, Tsonga showed tremendous courage to join the leaders on straightening a forge clear to score by 5.4 metres in a mile rate of 2-06 over Wildenstein (three back the markers – one/one home turn), with Gazoline holding down third.
A former smart juvenile, Tsonga had recorded 14 wins and 24 placings from 76 race appearances.
Narrandera trainer/driver Blake Jones a regular visitor to the Victorian scene, took the honours for the night with a stable double – Rustys Reject taking the Kevin Phillips Pace for C4 to C6 class and Bryce Cooper the 3rd Heat of the George Croxford Tribute for Three Year Olds.
Videos are attached
Courtesy of Harness Racing Victoria