Day At The Track

Exciting night's racing at Echuca Trots

07:20 PM 01 Jan 2009 NZDT
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A great night's racing was held at Frank Ryan Raceway Echuca on Thursday January 1, with the traditional New Year's night meeting attracting the usual large crowd of holiday makers on the Victorian/ NSW border , with a strong local content figuring in the finishes throughout the evening.

Racing commenced with the Alabar Echuca Pacing Cup 16 January Pace for C0 class mares over 2160 metres, with victory going the way of Bendigo (Maiden Gully) owner/trainer Ken Hocking's 6-Y-0 Beyond Comparison/Colleen mare Irish Comparison in a mile rate of 2-04.2.

Driven by grandson Chris Svanosio, Irish Comparison was sent forward from gate four to cross Meandmyshadow which flew the gate from barrier two running into the first turn and proceeded to lead for the remainder of the journey.

Although tackled strongly by the well supported Waikiki Beach on straightening, Irish Comparison fought on like a caged lion to gain the day and register her first success in 21 outings, with Dallas Crystal third.

The Claimers are always exciting affairs and such was the case when Rochester gelding Myrniong Panorama scored in the Echuca Harness Racing Club Ladies Committee Claiming Pace over 2160 metres.

Trained by Mark Thompson and driven by Bendigo's Todd Mathews, Myrniong Panorama a 5-Y-0 Panorama/Myrniong Scooter gelding possied three back in the running line from the extreme draw, trailing the well backed Positano, with both horses enjoying sweet trips.

With the favourite Karloo Toogie which had raced in the open applying pressure to the leader Sonny Park Lad approaching the home turn and Positano joining in three wide, Myrniong Panorama gained a lovely trail home.

Given full rein on straightening, Myrniong Panorama raced to the front halfway up the running and just held on to score from the fast finishing Lombo Hot Shot from mid-field, with the roughie Equity Jeb close up in third place after taking a split through the centre from three back along the markers third in a three way finish.

The mile rate 2-04.5.

Unfortunately for connections, Myrniong Panorama was claimed in the event for $8,000 and will now enter a new stable.

The Jack Holmfield Memorial Trotters Handicap for T0 or better class over 2530 metres was a thriller, with Kyabram breeder/owner/trainer Robert Shellie's smart Classic Adam/Ido gelding Danny Cash greeting the judge.

Driven by Daryl Douglas, Danny Cash made an unsuccessful bid for the front running after beginning speedily from the 10 metre mark, but couldn't cross the polemarker Hy Mountain Maori and was eased to trail him.

This allowed the second elect and equal 10 metre marker Sun Samurai to move up without cover, giving the Elmore mare Enotheque a perfect trail after flying away from 40 metres.

When Hy Mountail Maori galloped with a lap to travel, Sun Samurai surged clear and appeared to be the one to beat, with Danny Cash and Enotheque still retaining their original positions as Thunderjack had moved around from last to face the breeze.

Moving three wide to take a slender lead on turning, Enotheque was being hailed the winner when Danny Cash through the agency of the sprint lane, raced clear in the shadows of the post to score in a pedestrian rate of 2-11.3, with Sun Samurai just weakening slightly to finish a creditable third.

It was a local quinella in the Pastoral Hotel Pace for C0 class over 2160 metres, with Moama trainer Shane Gilligan's 4-Y-0 Pacific Fella/Soap Box gelding Master Malcolm defeating Rob Caldwell's The Squealer.

In what was "the drive of the night" by son Thomas, Master Malcolm settled four back in the running line from gate four on the second row and with the speed being set by Living Art a crawl, was set alight through the middle stages to park outside the leader.

Keeping Living Art honest, Master Malcolm went for home approaching the home turn to hold a handy margin on turning and kept going, defied all challengers to defeat The Squealer which was held up at a vital stage in 2-06.6, with the Elmore hope Jet To Vegas running his usual honest race for third.

Moama based concessional reinswoman Tiff Murray combined with Rochester trainer Graham Jury to land the Harry Holmfield Memorial Pace for C2 class over 1755 metres with the classy Aces N Sevens/Kellyarmbro 4-Y-0 mare Maddy Sheffield in 2-01.3.

Driven hard to retain the inside running from the pole, Maddy Sheffield raced by Carole Jury was virtually unbeatable at the head of affairs and gave her rivals the slip in the last lap to record a 20 metre margin in advance of Im Laughing and Annoyer and in doing so, chalked up her 8th success from 21 race appearances.

Mulwala trainer Ron Payne snared the Glad Holmfield Memorial Pace for C1 class over 2160 metres with 5-Y-0 Equitable/Our Blue Chip gelding Blue Henry.

Given a soft passage by Neil McCallum from the inside of the second row on the back of the polemarker leader Midget Mal, Blue Henry through the advantage of the sprint lane, dashed to the front in the shadows of the post to gain the day from To Love Again and Zardo Zap in 2-05.

Euroa trainer Danny Thackeray brought up three wins in succession with 4-Y-0 Christian Cullen/ Averil's Atom mare Shezacullen in the feature event of the evening - the $6,500 M & J Everett New Years Cup for C3 & C4 class over 2160 metres.

Driven as usual by Shepparton's Nathan Jack, Shezacullen from gate three led throughout in easily accounting for Village Pop which trailed and Our Suicide Blonde in a comfortable mile rate of 2-04.4.

Goornong trainer/driver Peter Salathiel's quality Mach Three/Atomic Fusion filly Ay Tee Em resumed with an easy all of the way victory from the pole in the Alabar 3-Y-0 Pace over 1755 metres.

Used out of the gate to keep the well supported Wizard Of Speed drawn next to her from crossing, Ay Tee Em had nothing more that a "stroll in the park' to score from Wizard Of Speed which tried to make a race of it, with Saguaro a gap away third in 2-03.6.

Len Baker's Provincial Victoria

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