Day At The Track

Geoff Webster's long trip worthwhile

03:24 AM 19 Oct 2008 NZDT
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He had to go all the way to Nyah for it, but Mister Swinger appreciated being spared an outing against Melpark Major with a strong win in last night's $20,000 Tooleybuc Sporting Club Nyah Pacing Cup (2570m).

Trained by Geoff Webster at Bannockburn, near Geelong, the star son of Village Jasper proved a class above his rivals with a gritty win at his just his second standing start attempt.

It was Mister Swinger's third win from six starts since the start of August. The other three times he has been forced to settle for minor placings - two seconds and a third - behind Melpark Major.

Webster said it was a long way to go for a win, but winning made it all worthwhile.

"It is a long way to go, but everything worked out well, so we're happy," said Webster, who got back to Bannockburn at 3.30am on Sunday.

The best part about the excursion was that Webster neverhad too much cause forconcern with Mister Swinger, who was backed off the map in the two days leading into the race. After opening at $3.20 when TAB Sportsbet first posted its market on Thursday afternoon, Mister Swinger was into $1.80 by the time the strands released.

While he didn't have the most convincing of getaways from the standing start, he settled into his gait early and within 500 metres had found his way to the front. After a 31.7-second first quarter, Albert Terrill ensured Mister Swinger didn't have an easy time of things, but that was when the five-year-old's toughness kicked in.

He skipped through the second quarter in 29.5 seconds, increased that to 29.3 for the third split before scooting home in a lightning 27.9 seconds.He beat $32 shot Count De Lira by 1-1/4 metres with Yucatchim ($7.40) four metres back in third spot in a2:03.4 mile rate.

"If you find the front around Nyah you're always going to be hard to beat, so it was good once be began okay," Webster said.

"Albert Terrill kept us honest for a while there and didn't think he'd have to be doing the work that he did, so it was good that he was able to do that and win."

The $13,500 cheque for first place wasn't all Mister Swinger picked up for last night's win. The entire also made himself exempt from the ballot for next Sunday's $70,000 Group 2 SEW-Eurodrive Kilmore Cup (3150m).

"He stepped away okay and the horse outside us caused us a few problems, so his manners were pretty good and that's a good sign (going into Kilmore)."

Last night's feature support race was the $8000 Jim Roberts Nyah Trotters Cup, which saw Mental Powerprove too strong forDe Bruin Gold and Steffi Jay.

Brad Bishop

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