Gentle Image breaks an 11-month drought

08:03 AM 29 Aug 2011 NZST
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Kelly-Ann Dunne
Kelly-Ann Dunne

Seven year old Yentls Image/Joyces Choice stallion Gentle Image registered his first harness racing success since September last year, when victorious in the Conch Deville Stallion Tender Trotters Mobile for T3 to T5 class over 2190 metres at popular Maryborough on Monday August 29.

Trained a stone's throw from the track by Paul Watson and driven by partner Kelly-Ann Dunne, Gentle Image from outside the front row was granted the lead without a hassle by Kerryn Manning aboard Jilliby Flippa running into the back straight on the first occasion and once there, was always going to be hard to run past.

Joined shortly after by the heavily supported favourite Ninegrandsons from the extreme draw, the pair had the race at their mercy a long way out, drawing clear approaching the home turn.

When Ninegrandsons went off stride halfway up the running, Gentle Image was presented with the race and scored by 7.7 metres from Puerto Bonus which ran on from last after giving away an impossible task, with Jilliby Flippa holding his ground for third. The mile rate 2-03.7.

Bendigo’s Bruce Morgan was a welcome winner with Life Sign/Mother Courage filly Ruby Slippers breaking her maiden status at start number six in the Maryborough District Advertiser 2-Y-0 Pace over 1690 metres in a rate of 1-59.7.

Driven by Greg Sugars, Ruby Slippers was trapped in the open from gate four, before sliding past the early leader Alina, then taking a trail on the favourite Tannissa which circled from last after starting from the extreme draw.

Using the sprint lane, Ruby Slippers gained the day by a head only in advance of Long Black (one/one – three wide home turn) on debut, with Alina running home late for third.

Kyabram owner/breeder/trainer Robert Shellie’s S J’s Photo/Ido filly Idoido overcame a daunting 20 metre backmark to take the Seelite Windows & Doors 2-Y-0 Trotters Handicap over 2190 metres.

Coming off an unplaced performance in the Breeders Crown Final at TP Melton after galloping away, Idoido spent most of the race at the rear, before moving forward three wide racing for the bell.

Sustaining a long run, class prevailed over the concluding stages with Idoido despite being wide on straightening, finishing too well for her rivals to score from a death-seating Bonspiel Delight and Spannerintheworks (one/one) in a rate of 2-06.

Much travelled Parwan based trainer Vince Albanese combined with ex New Zealander Simon Lawson to capture the Geoff Durn On Course Photographer Pacers Handicap for C2 or better class over 2190 metres with Courage Under Fire/Royal Honour 5-Y-0 gelding Boro Magic.

Using the advantage of a concessional claim, Boro Magic possied five back in the moving line off a 10 metre handicap, being suited by the slick tempo of the last lap when Hardware Hunter was sent forward three wide by Greg Sugars to punch into the leaders Boy From Ipanema and Astra Storm.

Enjoying a trail three wide into the race on the back of Villageburner, Boro Magic when taken wide on turning, finished his race off well to defeat Boy From Ipanema and Villageburner in a rate of 2-04.1.

Len BAKER

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