Bray Raceway Ballarat was the venue for Monday harness racing and with the Great Southern Star only a matter of five days away, it was appropriate for the trotters to take centre stage and that they did, with four of the nine races programmed for them.
Impressive Wind Cries Maori/Tachometer gelding Glintintheeye trained at Bolinda by Brent Lilley made it two from two when successful in the Porter Industries 2-Y-0 Trotters Handicap over 1710 metres.
Driven once again by Chris Alford, Glintintheeye coming from 10 metres avoided a number of gallopers on the first turn, settling four back along the markers, with Welkin Park leading from barrier two for Graeme Whittle.
Moving to trail the pacemaker at the bell, Glintintheeye joined Welkin Park in the run along the back straight to stride clear on the home turn, assisted by Welkin Park galloping.
Cruising to the wire, Glintintheeye scored by 12.7 metres from Welkin Park which got going again, with Trade Wind (four back the markers at bell) a further 14 metres away in third place. The mile rate 2-10.7
Very smart Armbro Variable/Maoris Lass colt Asdenro brought up four wins in succession by taking the Windmill AG Vicbred Trotters Mobile for T0 class over 2200 metres in a rate of 2-02.6.
Trained at Maiden Gully (Bendigo) by David Van Ryn, Asdenro driven by stable reinsman (nephew) Haydon Gray led throughout from gate four to account for the roughie Brisharlo (three back the markers) which gave the leader a scare on turning when moving up swiftly to issue a challenge. Tiroroa Tom ran on late from mid-field for third.
Being St Patricks Day, the Guinness would have been flowing after the Tanya Daniels The Good Guys Trotters Mobile for T1 & T2 class over 2200 metres, as Dunnstown brothers John and David Murphy snared the quinella, with Tommy Kay (Mick Stanley) defeating Monica My Dear (Glenn Conroy) by the shortest possible margin.
Sent forward from outside the front line to join the pole line leader Im Anonymous in the back straight on the first occasion, Tommy Kay trained by John showed a great deal of courage to score in a thrilling finish, while Monica My Dear may have been the unlucky runner, as she was badly held up on the back of the leader before gaining a late split in the shadows of the post to just fail. Im Anonymous weakened to finish third 1.7 metres away. The mile rate 2-05.2.
The Laser Electrical Trotters Mobile for T1 & T2 class over 2200 metres saw Nagambie maestro Chris Lang in the winners stall, when talented Dream Vacation/Invasions Pride four year old gelding Lord Liam greeted the judge much to the delight of owner/breeders Richard and Pauline Matthews.
Trained and driven by Chris, Lord Liam had little difficulty in retaining the inside running from the pole and despite being covered by a hard pulling Frances Annie from the bell, was never really let go in defeating the last start Ballarat winner Happy Hombre which trailed by 4.1 metres in a rate of 2-02.4. Frances Annie fought on extremely well to finish third.
By Len Baker (Courtesy of Harness Racing Australia)