Eight year old/ Preserved entire Im Blue Double Dee was victorious in taking out 57th running of the harness racing $50,275 (Group 2) Park Douglas Printing Mildura Pacing Cup for M0 or better class horses over 2600 metres at Mildura on Saturday April 13.
In what was a real family affair, Im Blue Double Dee trained at Bathurst (NSW) by, raced by wife Jenny and driven by daughter Amanda settled four back along the markers after starting from gate two on the second line, with the polemarker Maastricht leading as the start was effected keeping the favourite Flaming Flutter (gate three) wide and Machin Out even wider on the track from outside the front row.
Driven with aggression by Greg Sugars Flaming Flutter was able to assume control within a lap.
The action didn’t stop there however, as runs came thick and fast with Hilltop Hustler and Mark Dennis both making forward moves through the middle stages.
This allowed Shayne Cramp aboard the home town hero Washington Heritage to ease away from three back the markers into the running line mid-race after starting from inside the second line and going forward to park outside the leader with around two laps to travel.
Putting his foot to the floor at the bell, Cramp and Washington Heritage pressured the leader which kicked away on the final bend.
While all this was going on, Im Blue Double Dee which had moved to be three back the markers after Washington Heritage left the inside appeared to be travelling approaching the final bend.
Gaining an inside passage on turning (no sprint lane), Im Blue Double Dee ran home best to score by two metres in a thrilling finish over a game Flaming Flutter, with Maastricht running the race of her life to finish third .9 metres away. Both the runner up and third placegetter shifted away from the inside on straightening.
Kotare Roland finished fourth after following the winner throughout.
In quarters of 30.7, 31.7, 29.7 and 28.4 for the final mile, Im Blue Double Dee returned a mile rate of 1-59.1 for the journey, nine tenths of a second outside Safari’s 1-58.2 set in 2007 and in winning, took his stakes tally to almost $200,000.
A winner of 21 races from 110 outings prior to the race, Im Blue Double Dee has been a consistent performer in the Western part of NSW since he first graced the tracks.
Im Blue Double Dee was the fourth NSW trained winner of the prestigious race, the others being Wongala Glen (Bill McKenzie 1965), Dillon Light (Kevin Robinson 1973) and Ben’s Image (Vic Frost 1987), although Wongala Glen did the majority (if not all) of his racing in Victoria as he was trained just across the Murray River from Swan Hill.
On a night of features, S-A visitors Caribbean Crest (Toby Ryan – Scott Dyer) scored in the $30,275 (Group 2) Mark Gurry & Associates Cup and Glenferrie Affair (Ryan Hryhoric) the $15,275 Tankard Dental Mildura Guineas, while Uncle Wingnut (Vince Costa – Michael Bellman) the $17,775 Loddon Valley Stud Free For All.
Harness Racing Victoria