Day At The Track

Force Ten Gale's Xmas special

05:00 PM 19 Dec 2016 NZDT
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Jill Neilson
Trainer Jill Neilson

Prominent owner-breeder Geoff Easom and harness racing trainer Jill Neilson had a perfect early Christmas present when Force Ten Gale won the Maughan Thiem Ford Xmas Specials Pace (1800m) at Globe Derby Park.

The victory was a fitting reward for the time and patience Neilson has put into the Art Major seven-year-old.

Force Ten Gale damaged a suspensory after racing in July 2015 – that was only his sixth run back after being sidelined for 10 months.

On Saturday night, Force Ten Gale ($12.50) looked beaten but lifted over the final stages under Wayne Hill’s driving, to score a neck win from Justa Working Guy ($16.20) with Arrokeefe ($1.80 fav) a fast finishing third, three metres away.

“It has been a long process,” Neilson said.

“We’d give him a break and bring him back only to be told he was only 70% right, then another break, and up to 72%, in and out several more times then eventually 100%.

“He’s such a relaxed horse and a pleasure to worth with so I’m just as happy for him.”

“What just happened?” asked winning reinsman Wayne Hill.

Hill took Force Ten Gale to sit parked outside the leader Its Bedlam but his chances looked shot when Ace To Play and Justa Working Guy raced past and he was back to fifth.

The reinsman kept working on the seven-year-old and Force Ten Gale lifted and came wide again and raced on strongly to score.

Neilson said the gelding was very one-paced but was always a chance when races were run to suit.

by Graham Fischer

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