Day At The Track

Cup win a delight for Lang

02:54 PM 14 Jan 2019 NZDT
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Im Pats Delight
Im Pats Delight swooped to take the honors
Stuart McCormack photo

Master reinsman Gavin Lang predicts that bigger and better things could be on the horizon for victorious Kiwi harness racing raider Im Pats Delight, winner of the Shepparton Gold Cup on Saturday night.

“I honestly believe we are yet to see the best of him – I think he has the makings of a grand circuit horse next season,” Lang said.

Im Pats Delight (Bettors Delight-Righteous Franco) prepared at Christchurch, NZ, by highly successful trainer Cran Dalgety, showed his customary courage to dig deep late in the $60,000 Group Two feature event, run over the marathon journey of 2690 metres.

At the finish, you could have thrown a blanket over the first four (to use a favorite racecallers’ description) with Im Pats Delight holding on by a metre from Our Triple Play, who nosed out Our Uncle Sam.  Sentimental hometown favorite San Carlo was a close-up fourth.

With the Tim Butt-trained Let It Ride zooming along out in front and San Carlo (Bec Bartley) on the outside cutting the breeze, Lang supporters could have been excused for having big smiles in the early stages with “Pat” perfectly placed in the one-one.

The leading brigade slipped into overdrive over the second last quarter in 27.6, with Let It Ride the first to surrender. San Carlo worked to the lead then was collared by Our Uncle Sam who launched wide from the back.

But it was Im Pats Delight who swooped to take the honors, courtesy of another classic timed-to-perfection Lang drive.   

The final 400m saw the survival of the fittest, being run in 29.6s. But in fairness, the mile rate for the staying trip of 1.56-2 was just .01 of a second outside the track record held by recent Inter Dominion series competitor Im The Boss, set on April 28 last year.

Lang said his association with Dalgety “goes back a long time”.

“I enjoy driving for him, because you know the horses are going to the races in prime condition,” Lang said.

The combination has enjoyed considerable success over the years with talented pacers coming to mind including London Legend who ended up a M10 and C15.

It was the second Victorian win for Im Pats Delight during this campaign, having won a heat of last month’s Inter Dominion at Ballarat in a career best of 1.52-2 for 1710m.

Lang said while the horse held his own during the series, the tough runs eventually caught up with the four-year-old.

He said Dalgety freshened “Pat” up after the series.

“The horse had a nice hit-out in a Melton trial on the Tuesday prior to Shepparton, running a close-up third to Cruz Bromac and we knew that would have done him the world of good.”

Lang, now back in the training ranks based at Bacchus Marsh, is also having a good season as a trainer.

“My wife Meagan and I decided we could do around 12 to 13 between us,” he said.

“But with a few winners we quickly found we were up to 18 and that meant employing staff, but we’re thoroughly enjoying it.”

Terry Gange

NewsAlert PR Mildura

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