Day At The Track

Gatecrasher breaks through at Stawell

07:00 AM 04 Dec 2018 NZDT
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Geoff Webster,harness racing
Geoff Webster

A change of tactics and patient hands delivered Geoff Webster his first Victorian country cup since 2014 with Motu Gatecrasher breaking through at Stawell on Sunday.

Not since Flaming Flutter’s 2014 Cobram Pacing Cup win ahead of Smudge Bromac and Jaccka Clive had Webster enjoyed that winning feeling on the Trots Country Cups circuit, but that all changed in the Barham Insurance Advisers Stawell Pacing Cup.

Webster guided Motu Gatecrasher to the breeze from gate three but was only too happy to hand up to Tough Call and then Mad Robber to give his six-year-old Changeover entire some respite over the 2600m Group 3.

“He’s got a good natural high speed way of going,” Webster told Trots Vision. “I led last week at Melton and he just keeps getting run down every time.

“I thought it was pointless trying to just keep pushing him out and leading so I thought I’d drive him with a sit.”

It was only the six-year-old’s 30th start, having rehabilitated from a suspensory injury April 2017 until his return in September. “Lee Evison did a great job on the leg and it shows no sign of being a problem,” Webster said.

Motu Gatecrasher had finished in the placings at his last four starts heading into Sunday and fifth such result looked on the cards as Mad Robber swept to the front at the 400m with Motu Gatecrasher advancing three-wide.

It became a race in two, with Webster sweeping off the bend to take Mad Robber’s back and then the sprint lane, drawing level in a nose-to-nose final dash that would ultimately see Motu Gatecrasher salute by a short half-head in a 1:58.1 mile rate, some 1.8 seconds under Shadow Sax previous track record.

“I think he’s well up to the free for all class eventually,” Webster said. “He’s just probably below the real top ones, but he has a good cruising speed, so even against the better ones he will always give you something.”

The Reknown Silverware Stawell Trotters Cup was also something of a drought-breaker as Fratellino scored for trainer Shaun McNulty and reinswoman Michelle Phillips, breaking through at the seven-year-olds sixth country cup attempt.

From the standing start Phillips placed Fratellino into the front and from there it was a dominant performance, bolting away for a 13.9m win from Savannah Jay Jay and Justtentrumps with Phillips greeting the finish line with a hearty salute.

Like in the pacing cup, some 1.8 seconds was stripped off the track record, with the clock stopping at a 2:03.3 mile rate.

The victory has seen Fratellino bolt to 10 points on the Maori’s Idol Trotting Championship, only two points shy of leader King Denny.


As the season takes a spell for the TAB Inter Dominion and the Christmas-New Year period, the Trots Country Cups Championship has San Carlo and Im The Boss leading the pacing honours with 10 points apiece, while Rackemup Tigerpie’s late dash into third at Stawell improved his placing to outright third.


The Trots Country Cups Carnival resumes on January 5 at Bendigo’s Lords Raceway. More details at


Michael Howard

Trots Media

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