Tabcorp Park Melton turned on a pearler of a Friday night this week as Bitobliss reeled off one of the most eye-catching finishing bursts ever seen at the track.
The ever-promising dualwinner looked hopelessly placed when a clear last going off the back as first-up heroes Melpark Major and Smoken Up were duelling up front.
Even as they swung the final bend and Bitobliss peeled to the extreme outside, it still appeared the first two in running would duke out the closing stages.
That was until,gave his star pacer full bore and he started to steam down the outside.
In a matter of moments he had gone from four lengths off the leader to a full sulky length clear and eventually it was an effortless four-metre win.
Smoken Up bravely fought on for second in a more than creditable first-up performance while Motu Crusader (third) and Have A Bender (fourth) swooped home to just run past Melpark Major on the line.
The mile rate of 1:56.6 was highlighted by a 55.8 last half and 27.8 last quarter, of which the winner would have ran significantly quicker.
Stewart spoke to Rob Auber following the race and explained that it’s more about keeping him healthy rather than improving the rising seven-year-old.
“If we can keep him on the track there is a bit ahead of him,” Stewart said.
“It’s a matter of keeping him right and healthy, last year we were chasing a bit because of the broken leg. There’s another one of these Free For All’s in two weeks and I’ve thought about entering (for New Zealand) but Im Themightyquinn is going so we’ll wait and see.
“Tonight the horses we were following were going forward whereas last month they probably weren’t, so even though you lose ground straightening we still had momentum.”
The other feature race on the program was the VHRSC 3YO Cup and Chilli Palmer produced a similar finishing burst to capture the race.
The highly touted son ofscored by 2.8 metres from Hilltop Hustler, who worked during the run and fought on strongly and Nowitzki, who found the led in the early stages thanks to a brilliant drive.
The mile rate was recorded in 1:58.0 with the last half coming in 55.4.
by Blake Redden
Harness Racing Victoria