New South Wales trained Marty Monkhouser has made it two straight wins with an all-the-way triumph in the Empire Stallions 4YO Breeders Crown colts and geldings’ final today at harness racing headquarters at Tabcorp Park Melton.
Lauren Panella delivered the perfect drive aboard the Shane Tritton trained son of Village Jasper, whose second quarter of the last mile – 32.5 – had to have played an important role in the victory.
Marty Monkhouser found the lead early from gate six despite there being plenty of talk about the front line’s gate speed pre-race, though she had to work for it.
Race favourite Bit Of A Legend worked around the field to the breeze but did have to put in some hard yards out three-wide early.
Turning for home the final time, Marty Monkhouser kept on kicking, holding off all challengers to score by 1.4m over Bit Of A Legend and Dexter Dunn, with Majestic Mach finishing third for Grant Dixon.
The winner’s mile rate was 1:57.6.
It was an ultra-gutsy performance by Marty Monkhouser, who has now won 10 races from 35 starts.
Cody Winnell - Harness Racing Victoria