Harness racing heats of the time honoured Warehouse Sales Central Victorian Pacing and Trotting Championship continued at the Boort HRC fixture held at Charlton on Thursday January 14, with connections desperate to make the rich finals to be held at the Wedderburn meeting at Maryborough on Sunday January 31.
Heat two for the trotters saw victory go to the ever consistent David Van Ryn (Maiden Gully - Bendigo) trained and Leigh Sutton driven 4-Y-0/Boot Scooting Glory gelding Unbundled, bred and raced by harness devotee Teddy Carmody from nearby Pyramid Hill.
Beginning swiftly from the 10 metre mark, Unbundled had little difficulty in crossing the polemarker Ships Choice, before taking a trail on another 10 metre marker Maori Vacation which did everything right on this occasion after several mistermeaners in recent times.
Using the sprint lane on turning, Unbundled raced clear in the shadows of the post to score over Maori Vacation and Trottin On The Ritz (one/one at bell after standing flat footed as the tapes released) in a rate of 2-07.2.
Heat two for the pacers went the way of Melton co-trainers Maree and John Caldow's honest 4-Y-0/New York On Sunday stallion Boy From Ipanema.
Showing perfect manners to jump straight to the front from barrier two while the heavily supported favourites Anvil Dobson and Artiology inside and outside him both galloped away badly with Artiology tailed off, Boy From Ipanema was rated to perfection at the head of affairs and bounded clear on straightening in a last half mile of 57 seconds - quarter 28, to defeat the roughie Smooth Christian which trailed him from the 10 metre mark, with Village Saint third after facing the breeze.
The mile rate 2-01.9.
Glee for some
The claimers are always interesting affairs and Kyneton owner/trainer/driver Tony Xiriha's 9-Y-0/Gleeful gelding Glees Jasper bred by Woodend resident Keith Barnett, was successful in the Page Auto Sales Eaglehawk Claiming Pace over 2100 metres.
Settling four back along the markers from gate four, Glees Jasper moved to be three back for the final circuit and when extricated to be three wide on turning, finished best to tip out the free running leader Big Doug, with Just Stay N Alive (one/one bell) third in a brisk 1-58.4.
First up success
Sunbury trainer Ahmed Taiba made a long awaited return to the winners list, when/My Habanera colt Hustlers Crown driven by Kilmore's Damian Wilson, landed the K McClelland Memorial 3-Y-0 Pace over 1609 metres on debut in a sub two minute rate of 1-59.4.
Leading out from the pole, Hustlers Crown was never headed in easily accounting for the heavily supported Larrikin Larry which was held up three back the markers until too late, with Elegant Outlook third after trailing the winner.
Lockwood South (Bendigo) co-trainers Tony and Mary Dillon snared the Eldarin Park Standardbreds Pace for C3 & C4 class over 2100 metres with Rocketrod Cullen, a 5-Y-0 gelding byfrom Moore Points.
Driven by Greg Sugars, Rocketrod Cullen starting from the extreme draw was sent forward to shadow the well backed pacemaker Cohabit (gate two), before surging straight past him in the last lap to hold a handy margin on turning.
Showing no signs of stopping in the straight, Rocketrod Cullen coasted to the wire in a brilliant 1-57.7 to score by 5.3 metres from Rakamaz (three wide last lap), with Im Laughing off the back of the weakening leader third after being momentarily held up approaching the home turn.
Favourite backers did their money cold when the very short priced Live N Reality was withdrawn in the L Manley Memorial Pace for C1 class over 2100 metres after causing two false starts, resulting in a long shot winner by the name of Cootas Tooth greeting the judge.
Trained at Nyah by Matt O'Bree and driven by nephew Malcolm O'Bree, Cootas Tooth ($44.50) enjoyed a sweet passage one/one from gate two on the second line, easing three wide in the final circuit.
In a slugging finish, Cootas Tooth scored by a half head over the favourite and TAB substitute Damsels Dash which led mid-race, with Jolaurella running on late from last for third in a rate of 2-02.8.