Day At The Track

Franco Edward the one to beat in Pearl Classic

05:30 AM 07 Jun 2018 NZST
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Gloucester Park,Harness racing
Gloucester Park

Franco Edward has stamped himself as the one to beat for next Friday night’s Group 1 Pearl Classic for the two-year-olds, following his outstanding win in the last of the heats at Gloucester Park last night.

The son of American Ideal, who started from barrier one, was heavily supported into a $1.16 favourite on TABtouch, but things didn’t go to script early.

Trainer-reinsman Kyle Harper had his hands full with Franco Edward, who was away slowly, and then veered out and almost galloped as The Embezzler and Bitcoin crossed to be the leading pair.

The trio went out in a lead time of 36.2, and established a sizeable break on the rest of the field.

Franco Edward hit the front on the final lap as Bitcoin and The Embezzler tried to stick on, but the colt was too powerful in the home straight, coming away to win by 13m, with Bitcoin finishing a distant second.

Meanwhile, in the opening heat of the night, Shockwave turned the tables on Its Rock And Roll from April’s Champagne Classic, sustaining a three wide run on the final lap to wear down his rival.

Its Rock And Roll defeated Shockwave in the Sales Classic Final in March as well, but the Ryan Bell-trained and driven colt was too strong from barrier eight last night.

In the second of the heats for the night, the Mike Reed-trained Bletchley Park made it back-to-back wins, holding off Babyface Adda and Major Survivor.

Driven by Mark Reed for the first time, after Shannon Suvaljko elected to stick with Babyface Adda, Bletchley Park was driven quietly at the rear of the field from barrier six.

Reed then made his move around the outside of the field on the back straight on the final lap to join Babyface Adda in the lead on the home turn.

The American Ideal colt held off both Babyface Adda and Major Survivor in the home straight to win by 2.8m in a time of 1.59.4, the slowest of the three heats.

The top four from each of the three heats advance to the final next Friday night.

Meanwhile, star three-year-old Jack Mac maintained his unbeaten record in Australia, with a commanding 35m win, the biggest win of his career to date.

Jack Mac started a $1.04 TABtouch favourite, and never looked like being beaten, as driver Chris Lewis was able to cruise around the field from barrier 10 and find the front past the winning post the first time.

From there, Jack Mac was able to dictate terms in front and had the race comfortably under control over the final two laps. 

 

Tim Walker

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