Day At The Track

Dream start for Stewart stable

07:00 AM 08 Aug 2019 NZST
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Pacifico Dream,Harness racing

It has been a case of as you were for trainer Emma Stewart’s stable, which has swept the first two nights of the TAB Breeders Crown pacing heats including unearthing another top liner.

There were few surprises when Maajida and Jemstone carried their Vicbred Super Series form into the Always B Miki two-year-old fillies' heats at Bendigo last night.

And it was a similar tale when Breeders Challenge winner Be Happy Mach saluted in the first Downbytheseaside heat at Shepparton tonight, but the second Stewart colt to win delivered an eye-opener.

Pacifico Dream (pictured) was dominant in Kate Gath’s hands, advancing to the front and cruising to the line an eight-metre winner in only his second career start, outpointing well regarded Kiwi Perfect Stride.

“Super impressive,” Gath told Trots Vision post-race. “I was impressed by his trial at Melton a couple of weeks ago and when I got the opportunity to drive him tonight I was pretty happy.”

The pair marched to the front from gate five and controlled proceedings, closing out in 27.7 and 27.9-second third and final quarters for an impressive showing by the Mach Three colt, whose only other start was a second in a $7000 pace at Cranbourne on March 26.

“I didn’t know where we’d end up in the run or how much gate speed he had, he just come out under his own steam and got out pretty good,” Gath said.

“Once he led I thought he’d be pretty hard to beat on what I’d seen at the trial. I eased up on the line, because there was nothing near me. It’s scarily good. You’d think he’s going to have a really good hope throughout the rest of the series.”

On the back of that run Pacifico Dream shortened from $21 to $6.50 for the series with TAB.com.au, with Be Happy Mach $1.50 into $1.40 favourite having lost no friends when recording his 6.3-metre win in the first heat ahead of Kiwi Zeuss Bromac.

The victory brought up reinsman Chris Alford’s 400th win, an extraordinary achievement.

“I’m very fortunate that I get to drive a lot of (Emma Stewart and Clayton Tonkin’s) horses," Alford told Trots Vision. “This one, he’d nearly be the pick of the two-year-olds going forward and he’s had a great year and hopefully he can top it off in the Breeders Crown.”

For more on Alford’s achievement click here.

Maajida is a clear front runner in the Always B Miki two-year-old fillies' Crown, shortening from $2.50 to $2 today with TAB.com.au in the wake of last night’s win.

It was a golden night not just for Stewart but also reinsman Greg Sugars, who piloted both of the stable’s Breeders Crown heat winners.

“(Maajida’s) a lovely filly to drive,” Sugars told Trots Vision. “I wouldn’t swap her for any other horse in the series. She’s a very leggy filly. You think looking at her she’s only going to get better with age as she matures and develops. That’s exciting to see what she’s doing on the track at the moment.”

Maajida led from her favourable draw and when challenged late by well regarded stablemate Treasure she lifted, getting home in 26.6 seconds.

The 1:57.4 mile rate was shaded by two-tenths by the following heat, when leader Jemstone applied pressure for much of the running ahead of Michael Stanley’s Iolanta and held on for a 2.3-metre win.

“I had the good fortune to draw better than (Iolanta),” Sugars said. “Got the first lap pretty comfortably. As soon as I heard Mick (Stanley) coming I decided to make him chase, that was probably the difference in winning and losing tonight. She’s pretty tough this one, probably not as quick as a few of the stablemates, but she’s very game, very tough.”

The TAB Breeders Crown heats continue with the Woodlands Stud three-year-old fillies heats tomorrow night at Kilmore, when host Paul Campbell will be on track to capture the first words from the winning drivers for Trots Vision.

The following night the heats move to Ballarat for the IRT three-year-old colts and geldings' heats. Dave Brehaut will take the microphone to give trots fans and punters the inside word throughout the night.

 

Michael Howard

HRV Trots Media

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