Day At The Track

First win for Alison Alford

07:20 PM 10 Jun 2015 NZST
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Alison and Chris Alford with daughter Katie
Alison and Chris Alford with daughter Katie

There would have been celebrations galore for Bolinda’s Alford family at Cranbourne on Tuesday, when Alison Alford (wife of Chris) trained her first winner after obtaining her harness racing licence only a few weeks back - the horse in question being American Ideal/Karamea Mietta gelding Spinners Boy in the Decron Horse Care Pace for Three Year Olds 3C0 & 3C1 class over 2080 metres.

Given a lovely trip one/one from gate six by Chris with Awesome Cullect inside him leading, Spinners Boy was eased three wide approaching the home turn and finished his race off well to register a 1.6 metre margin on the wire  ahead of Yackandandah which followed the winner throughout, with Abetta Tiny Dancer holding down third after racing in the open. The mile rate 2-02.4.

It was a joyous occasion for the family as apart from Chris driving the winner, Spinners Boy is raced by daughter Katie and son Sam.

Frankston trainer George Batsakis who prepares his team out of Bill Galea’s Rockbank stable, brought up victory number five from nineteen outings with reliable three year old Art Major/Run To Live gelding Captain Bronzie by taking the Hygain Feeds Pace for C1 class over 2080 metres at Cranbourne on Wednesday.

Driven by the most travelled reinsman in the state – Ararat’s Michael Bellman, Captain Bronzie (gate four) strode past Melton Little Max inside him shortly after the start and after a relatively easy time ay the head of affairs, kicked away on the finalbend with the race safely in his keeping, scoring by 8.1 metres in advance of Melton Little Max and Richly Deserved (one/one – three wide last lap) in a mile rate of 2-02.1.

Long Forest husband and wife – Andy & Kate Gath were successful with exceptional Bettor’s Delight/Le Tricky colt Padrisimo, a prohibitive $1.10 favourite  in the Condo’s Horse Transport Pace for C0 class over 1609 metres, but not before giving his supporters a scare.

Leading out from gate two, Kate surprisingly elected to hand over the running to $12.80 chance Just For Laughs (gate five), giving Padrisimo the run of the race.

Not perturbed at any stage, Kate drove Padrisimo through along the sprint lane to record a runaway 2.9 metre victory over the pacemaker in a rate of 2-02, with Sahara Bedouin third after racing in the open.

Raced by Sydneysider Rob Nalder a strong supporter of the Gath stable, Padrisimo has faced the starter on 15 occasions for eight wins and 3 placings.

Melton’s Beau Tindale combined with in-form Melton based reinsman Anthony Butt to land the Claiming Pace over 2080 metres with much travelled eight year old Courage Under Fire/Brahma Gold gelding Shanhai Knight in a rate of 2-00.7.

Starting from the pole, Shanghai Knight who’s last win had been at Hobart in August last year, led throughout to defy all challengers, defeating Mister Manhattan (one/two) and a death-seating Liston.

All three placegetters have had various trainers since first gracing the track.

Four year old Yankee Spider/Apollo Ann mare Celtic Rose was an impressive victor of the Aldebaran Park Trotters Handicap for T0 or better class over 2110 metres for Bolinda trainer/driver Chris Alford.

First up from a short break (her last outing being April 18), Celtic Rose was able to overcome a 30 metre backmark and in doing so, brought up four wins in succession.

Settling at the tail of the field, with the hot favourite Jimbo Johnson beginning safely to possie one/one as the polemarker Soh Filthy Rich leading for Michael Langdon,  Alford caught Anthony Butt napping in the last lap as he sooled Celtic Rose forward to put the favourite in a pocket.

Finishing best, Celtic Rose scored by 4.1 metres over Soh Filthy Rich which gave plenty of cheek, with Alabamas Invasion holding down third after racing in the open. Jimbo Johnson galloped approaching the home turn when being extricated into the clear.

Metropolitan/Armbro Sunshine four year old mare Lucky Metro has found a new lease of life, bringing up three wins in a row when successful in the Blue Hills Rise Pace for C2 class over 2080 metres in a mile rate of 2-01.4.

Trained at the Melton property of Ken Tippet by Doug Adams, Lucky Metro driven once again by Charlie Borg was given a sweet passage one/one from gate four after lobbing outside the speedy pole line leader Blacks A Beauty.

Gaining cover at the expense of the favourite C C Chevron at the bell which had made a forward move from last, Lucky Metro pounced on straightening to gain the day by 1.2 metres from Somedreamsomewhere (gate two) which followed her throughout. C C Chevron first up since February was a neck away in third place.

Andy and Kate Gath finished the night with a stable double after Gowan Brae, a four year old Jeremes Jet/Millpac Maid entire raced by millionaire developer Greg Brodie, greeted the judge in the ADE Turf Equipment Pace for C3 & C4 class over 2080 metres.

Given an easy time from gate three trailing the pacemaker Jean Baptiste (gate four) one of two runners from the Lance Justice camp, Gown Brae finished bast along the sprint lane to prevail by two metres over Clancys Fobwatch (four wide home turn from five back the markers at the bell), with Aloha Don Ho third after racing in the open from the bell. The mile rate 2-02.

The highlight of the night was heat three of the Empire Stallions Vicbred Super Sires Series for 2-Y-0 Colts & Geldings over 2080 metres which saw NSW colt Born To Rocknroll (Rocknroll Hanover/Aston Villa) victorious in a pedestrian 2-02.7 for Belinda McCarthy and Nathan Jack.

Read more about Born To Rocknroll's win

Len Baker

Harness Racing Victoria

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