Day At The Track

Front row for Vicbred final showdown

10:45 PM 24 Jun 2016 NZST
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Illawong Byron.jpg
Illawong Byron

The big names in the Empire Stallions Vicbred Super Series two-year-old colts and geldings trotters' division have drawn the front row and are en route to a formiddable showdown in next Friday night's harness racing final.

At Tabcorp Park Melton on the Super Series semi-final night for pacers, the trotters' barrier draw saw Deltasun claim the pole mark and Illawong Byron draw barrier six, giving a relatively direct route into their next big showdown.

Fillies heat winners Yankee Redback (barrier two) and Illawong Shimmer (barrier five) also both drew the first row.

Illawong Byron’s standing was only reaffirmed at last Tuesday night's heats at Ballarat when the two-year-old gelding by Muscle Mass out of Illawong Blush dominated and won by 41.6m.

Showing gate speed from barrier six, the result was never in doubt for Bacchus Marsh trainer-driver Jodi Quinlan.

“I am very happy with him,” Quinlan said. “I was a little disappointed that he overraced, but he has always shown above average ability and I couldn’t be happier with him on that score, he is a classy animal.”

Quinlan partly attributed Illawong Byron’s overracing to the gelding coming to the end of a very impressive campaign.

“He is still quite green. He is a fairly reliable two-year-old trotter, but he probably overraces and in an ideal world he would probably go to the paddock, but he has a few important races to run yet,” she said.

The other colts and geldings heat was won by Deltasun (Tennotrump/Deltasu), a $1.04 favourite who took the honours by 14.6m for Ararat trainer Terry Young and Bacchus Marsh driver Gavin Lang.

“There’s no doubt the horse to beat is Deltasun and the barrier will be important," Quinlan said. "But (Illawong Byron) is a good, versatile horse and can also run well from behind.”

While it could be argued the colts and geldings shapes as a two-horse race, the two-year-old fillies presents as much more open.

Ross Sugars’ Illawong Shimmer (Muscle Mass/Shining Sun) was impressive in leading and winning the first heat by 3.4m from Maree and John Caldow’s hope Valsue.

But heat two proved more open, particularly once Anton Golino’s $1.60 favourite Sval Queen broke in the running.

Yankee Redback, the only horse in hobby trainer Michael Scandolera’s Kilmore stable, took advantage, with driver Michael Bellman drawing her off leader Kyvalley Kyrie’s back to win by 7.7m.

“She had a lot of luck. I thought she was about the third or fourth best horse in the race, but the others galloped and she didn’t,” Scandolera said. “She has beautiful manners. She’s just a natural.

“When we broke her in she had a lot of fire, and still has a lot of fire. She’s a very intelligent horse and I let her do her own thing.”

Scandolera said if things fell Yankee Redback’s way in the final she could take advantage.

“She goes away very quick and very safely, and if she leads she can make her own race, but if she doesn’t and has to go back she can still go all right.”

Barrier draws:

Two-year-old colts and geldings
1: Deltasun
2: Prosthesis
3: Bootleg Bert
4: Kheiron
5: Me Pat Malone (emg)
6: Illawong Byron
7: Endsin A Party

8: Needabacardi
9: Aldebaran Pirate
10: Carnera
11: Just Oscar
12: Red Rustler (ODM)


Two-year-old fillies
1: White House Sweet
2: Yankee Redback
3: Ten Spanners
4: Watts Up Rainbow
5: Illawong Shimmer
6: Star In Sight
7: Downtown Miss

8: Kyvalley Kyrie
9: Derrie Aire
10: Midnightpinevale (ODM)
11: Myrniong Rainbow (ODM)
12: Betty Hall (ODM)
13: Valsue (ODM)

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