Day At The Track

Field asembled for 'The Greatest Bathurst Showground Cup'

12:18 PM 11 Sep 2014 NZST
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our Sir Vancelot2.jpg hondo grattan.jpg 2014-09-11_Bathurst HRC Media Release_Karloo Mick.jpg
Triple Inter Dominion winner Our Sir Vancelot
Hondo Grattan is favoured to win the 'phantom' Bathurst Cup
Karloo Mick

As part of the countdown to the track’s farewell meeting, the Bathurst Harness Racing Club has released a ‘field’ as a novelty for its greatest Pacing Cup.

The club will conduct its last meeting at the circuit on Sunday, September 21, with a phantom call to decide which of the all-time stars is the greatest.

After collating a short list from various industry experts, the Cup’s final line-up has been decided, with the assembly reading like a ‘who’s who’ of champions.

Each judge’s top selection – based on all horses which have won at Bathurst - received five points, counting down to one for the last nomination.

The final field is:

Cocky Raider (driver Gordon McWilliam)….Renowned for his devastating finishing burst, ‘Cocky’ won 38.5 of his 78 starts, with 19 placings also to his credit. He also raced three times in America for a third.

First Kiss (driver Joe Turnbull)…Sadly, stats are incomplete for the star of the late 1950s and early ‘60s, but he was classy enough to qualify for two Inter Dominion Finals. A high speed competitor, First Kiss was a favourite among patrons of the time.

Grogan (driver Barry Stocks)…Although restricted to 21 starts, the promising son of Bruce Hall bowed out of racing with an impeccable record of 18 wins, including the 1962 Cup in track record time.

Hondo Grattan (driver Tony Turnbull)….The Bathurst Bulldog needs no introduction and is heavily favourite to capture the Cup on September 21. A dual Inter Dominion winner, Hondo Grattan was New South Wales Harness Horse of the Year in 1973 and 1974.

Karloo Mick (driver Barry Lew)…A crowd favourite, particularly in New South Wales, ‘Mick’ is the only pacer in Australasia to earn more than $1million without capturing a Group One! The son of Panorama was the ‘bridesmaid’ in seven top-shelf events.

King Frost (regular drivers Ian Mutton and Jim Turnbull)…Completing his biggest win in the Winfield Gold Cup at Moonee Valley, ‘The King’ also famously spoiled Hondo Grattan’s farewell start when beating the ageing pacer at Bathurst in 1976.

Master Musician (driver Robert Dunn)…The outstanding New Zealander was renowned for his ‘never say die’ attitude, which carried him to 34 wins and 37 placings from 110 starts for earnings of $1,926,810. During his freshman season, in which he won the Bathurst Gold Crown, the ‘Master’ became the first two-year-old to earn connections more than $1million. On top of his $571,164 in stakes, the gelding collected a $500,000 bonus for winning several eligible features.

Our Sir Vancelot (driver Brian Hancock)…Affectionately-known as ‘Sandy’, the champion became the industry’s first triple Inter Dominion winner during the late 1990s. A popular visitor at Bathurst, the stallion retired with a record of 48 wins and 26 placings from 97 starts for record earnings of $2,197,990.

Rowleyalla (driver Keven Rivett)…Arguably the quickest juvenile produced in the Southern Hemisphere, ‘Rowely’ shocked onlookers when he time trialled in 1:55 at Harold Park as a freshman before setting a record 1:52.6 at Albion Park at three. The son of National Byrd was triumphant in the New South Wales and Queensland Derbys and finished second behind Another Bart in the Australian Derby.

Smooth Satin (driver Steve Turnbull)…Another local hero which needs no introduction, ‘Sox’ has achieved it all. Boasting 46 wins and a bankroll of $1,428,490, the son of Stature registered his biggest wins in the Inter Dominion, Miracle Mile and Chariots Of Fire – all at Harold Park.

The barrier draw for “The Greatest Ever Bathurst Showground Paceway Cup” will be conducted during tomorrow night’s Bathurst meeting.

  • PAUL COURTS

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