Day At The Track

Beach surging towards better races

04:51 PM 27 Dec 2017 NZDT
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Andy Gath has shared success in the past with owner Richard Matthews including Lagoon Beach winning at Tabcorp Park.
Andy Gath has shared success in the past with owner Richard Matthews including Lagoon Beach winning at Tabcorp Park.

Lightning Mile night at Ballarat was billed as a showdown between rising star Moonrock and a most talented field in the night’s harness racing feature but most left the track talking about an entirely different race.

It wasn’t the flying mile but the standard sprint trip of 1710 metres where the sparks were flying with progressive gelding Beach Surge smashing the track record in an indomitable display.

Rushing the gate in a 27.8sec first quarter, there was no stopping as they ran even fractions for each quarter of the final mile.

In a twist of fate the previous track record holder was also owned by Richard Matthews with The Culture holding a benchmark of 1:53.0.

That was well and truly bettered by the four-year-old son of Somebeachsomewhere as he stopped the clock in 1:51.7.

The win had more than a few people singing the praises of Beach Surge on social media with it becoming clear he’s a star on the rise in his own right.

Trainer Andy Gath is happy to let his horse do the talking in the short-term at least.

“What he did last night was pretty exceptional,” Gath said.

“We know he is really well-bred and he does have the right attributes.

“He is a big strong horse; he is well gaited and has early speed.”

All that and more was on show when he burnt early and still had the plugs in when crossing the line a tear away victor.

Being in his last year of age-restricted racing there is the obvious lure of throwing him into the deep-end but that will very much be dependent on just what the landscape looks like in a month or two.

“Ultimate Machete and Vincent are at the head of a pretty smart crop of four-year-old’s,” Gath said.

“It does make it tough when that’s the level you have to measure up to but we would probably look at a race like the Bonanza because it’s in our backyard.”

Any further than that right now may just be pie in the sky. The Long Forrest horseman noting that he can still get excited on raceday and isn’t the best traveler.

There is however a lot of water to go under the bridge before a race like the Chariots Of Fire rolls around and plenty can change.

For now though, Beach Surge will tackle a $10,000 C2-3 at Kilmore Friday night where he has drawn the front row and looks the horse to beat again.

“It’s probably not ideal backing him up quickly after the last win but the race is there and he seems well,” Gath said.

Blake Redden

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