A nasty smash which caused the $45,000 Group Two Southern Supremacy to be abandoned put a dampener on what was otherwise a great days harness racing at Invercargill.
As the talented 12 horse line-up raced into the back straight, Meticulous (), who was four back the fence, galloped and then fell, causing chaos to the second half of the field.
Both Mark Purdon (Gentle Western) and Kirk Larsen (Jango Fett) were dislodged from their sulkies.
Jango Fett then galloped off driverless and the race was quickly called off due to safety precautions.
All horses and drivers came through the crash relatively unscathed but because the race had gone further than 1000 metres the race was unable to be re-run and was therefore abandoned.
It is currently unknown if the race will be rescheduled for a later date.
Meanwhile, the $45,000 Southland Oaks was taken out by the Gordon and Colin Lee trained Royal Counsel, who clocked a track record time of 2-39.4 when winning the Group Two feature.
Driven patiently by Gordon Lee, who celebrated the win with a victory salute, Royal Counsel boomed down centre track to down Raksdeal by a head. Goodness Gracious Me and Willow, who was made to work hard early, were close up in third and fourth.
Royal Counsel, who was sent South to Gordon & Colin Lee by Malcolm Shinn, is owned by Shinn’s partner Lisa Daily along with Jan Calvert.
The big strong daughter ofhas now won three of her nine starts.
For Colin Lee, it was his second win in the prestigious Southland race after taking out the 1988 edition with Scapa Chip.
Other impressive winners on the card included stylish two-year-old debutant Kept Under Wraps, who downed the previously unbeaten Itz Bettor To Win, while Pemberton Shard claimed victory in the $25,000 Southern Country Cups Final.
By Mitchell Robertson