Trotting returned to the Mallee wheat belt area of Ouyen (South of Mildura) on Sunday January 26 2014, when the Ouyen HRC conducted their once a year Cup Day program on a lightning fast track.
An even field lined up to contest the $25,000 standing start feature – the Greggs Electrical Ouyen Pacing Cup for M0 or better class (Discretionary Handicapped) over 2809 metres, with all runners starting from the front row.
The tote favourite being the Boris Devcic (Irymple) trained Timeless Era coming off a great 5th in the recent South Australian Cup won by Caribbean Blaster.
In the semi-walk in start, Flash Of Freedom was best to begin from barrier three, with Copthewrath from the pole trailing and Baltic Ice (barrier two) three back the markers. Timeless Era was knowhere near the start from inside the second line as were a number of others and settled mid-field, while the highly fancied Johnny Quid from the all conquering Emma Stewart camp possied beautifully one/one from outside the front row.
In an exciting affair where several moves were made, Johnny Quid crossed the leader with two laps to travel, with Timeless Era after going forward in the back straight crossing to race in the open.
As the tempo increased, it allowed Nathan Jack to ease away from the markers to be one/one with around 1200 metres to travel.
Taken three wide in the final circuit, Copthewrath sprinted sharply to lead prior to the home turn and raced away to record an easy 9 metre victory over the roughie Farmersntradies off a three wide trail in the last lap, with Timeless Era a gallant third.
A seven year old gelded son of The Wrath Of Pan and Kentucky Sarah who was badly in on handicaps being assessed as only C5 class after winning at Swan Hill during the week, Copthewrath returned a new track record rate of 2-01.1 (last half 59.6 – quarter 29.6).
Prepared at Mildura by last season’s leading Victorian trainer Shayne Cramp, Copthewrath did his early racing in South Australia before joining the Cramp stable.
No doubt connection will now be heading towards the big Mildura Cup Carnival in April.
By Len Baker (Courtesy of Harness Racing Australia)