Day At The Track

Gary Hall Jnr claims Australian Drivers Champs

04:00 PM 10 Nov 2019 NZDT
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Gary Hall Jnr,Harness racing
Gary Hall Jnr

Gary Hall Jnr claimed Western Australia’s first Triple M Australian Drivers Championship win in Hobart last night.

Hall Jnr was able to record a driving double and two placings across the seven-race series to score a 14-point victory over Tasmania’s Mark Yole with Darby Mcguigan a further three points away in third.

Here is how the night unfolded.

 

 

 

 

Heat 1

Western Australia’s Ryan Warwick was able to pick up maximum points in the first heat when he scored on the Todd Rattray trained Wandary Muscat, from inside of the second row Warwick ended up four-back along the marker pegs before weaving his way through the field to use the sprint lane over the concluding stages to record a 1.5-metre win. “It just worked out well, obviously the moving line slowing down the back (straight) was a good thing and was able to get a good trip,” said Warwick post-race on Tasracing’s Live Stream.

Heat 2

Darby McGuigan was able to do the right thing by favourite punters aboard Cool Water Paddy who started the shortest-priced favourite of the night at $1.65. The Juanita McKenzie trained pacer worked forward early to find the lead at the 1500-mark and was too good late to record his fifth win in a row by 5.2-metres over the second elect Sheza Bettormak with Thomas Burns a clear third. “He seems like a nice horse and from his replays I watched he looks a nice horse, he was a beautiful horse to drive, he just settled so easy and when I asked him to go he went which is the sign of a good horse,” McGuigan said.

“He seems like a versatile horse and he reeled off some good sectionals there and I think he will be able to mix it with the metropolitan horses at Melton,” added the winning driver.

Heat 3

This was an action-packed heat with short price favourite Awayandrideyouself looming up looking a chance in the home straight but unfortunately for favourite punters and Queensland’s Pete McMullen the sulky seat became detached causing McMullen to be dislodged from the sulky, McMullen was cleared by the Medical Edge Staff for his remaining drives, and no harm was caused to Awayandrideyourself who was quickly caught by the clerk of the course Zane Medhurst. The heat was won by Tasmania’s Mark Yole aboard the Paul Hill trained gelding Streitkid, pushing through from the second row Streitkid was able to sit one-out and two-back before peeling three-wide with 350-meters to travel and was too good in the straight to defeat Hafter by 3.4-metres with Rowley back in third spot. “He has done a good job this horse, the quick tempo and a nice sit certainly told up the straight … I have got to give credit to trainer Paul Hill, he said to follow through on the back of Rowley and see if you can get some cover and as it turned out it gave us a beautiful sit and things worked out from there,” explained Mark Yole.

Heat 4

Was the first win for Gary Hall Jnr when he drove the Chris Howlett trained Iden Forest to a half neck victory. Regular Tasmanian harness racing followers will know that Iden Forest has the ability but his manners early and his poor manners has let him down on several occasions in the past. Hall Jnr pushed forward to race outside the leader and after being headed by Hear The Call in the home straight, Iden Forest was able to rally back for his second win of the season over Hear The Call and Betterthanfetta. “We did a lot more than I wanted early but he could have had it easy on himself to get to the front but I had trouble getting the best out of him, to his credit he kept rolling the same speed all the way … he has done a really good job to hold the swoopers late, its a good thing he has a bit of size about him,” said Hall Jnr after the win.

Heat 5

Koolaz Elvis was an unlucky second in Launceston last week yet slipped under the guard of punters starting as an $11 chance in a competitive rating 70 to 84 event. Gary Hall Jnr, driver of Koolaz Elvis worked forward to find the lead and allowed the gelded son of Courage Under Fire to stride along in front in quarters of 29.5s, 30.1s, 28.7s and 28.4s for the quickest mile rate of the night of 1m 57.3s. “The boys said I could take a sit if I wanted and were happy to leave it up to me if the right one came around, and he (Yatsenyuk Leis) probably was the right one but he wanted to take charge a little bit and I was happy to let him do what he wanted in front and to his credit he boxed on real well late,” said Hall Jnr after his second win of the series.

Heat 6

The Ray Pullen stable has been going well in recent weeks and that continued with six-year-old mare Gipsy Treasure who recorded back-to-back wins in heat six. Driver Todd McCarthy took the race favourite straight to the early lead and gave nothing else a chance to defeat El Jays Blu by 1.9-metres with Blue Eyed Creation some 11.8-metres away third. “She was terrific, we had to do a little bit to get around and then we were lucky enough to get a few cheap quarters and she fought them off well in the finish,” said McCarthy after the event.

Heat 7

South Australian Ken Rogers was able to test success in the final heat of the championship aboard the Heath Woods trained pacer The Shallows. Rogers got straight off the inside to sit one-out and three-back before leading up the three wide line from the 1000-metre mark, before putting the foot to the floor at the 600-metre mark to record a 4.7-metre win over Vouvray Beach with Our Percius back in third spot. The win completed a hattrick of wins for the lightly raced gelded son of Shadyshark Hanover who looks to have a bright future ahead.

Final point score

  • Gary Hall Jnr (WA) 77,
  • Mark Yole (TAS) 63,
  • Darby McGuigan (VIC) 60,
  • Ryan Warwick (WA) 58,
  • Todd McCarthy (NSW) 53,
  • Danielle Hill (SA) and Kerryann Morris (NSW) 51,
  • Ken Rogers (SA) 49.
  • Pete McMullen (QLD) and Kerryn Manning (VIC) 47,
  • Narissa McMullen (QLD) 42 and
  • Ricky Duggan (TAS) 28.

 

Duncan Dornauf for tasracing.com.au

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