Monday trotting was held at Hamilton in the South West of the state on Monday December 16 and what a day it was for Ararat based Emma Hamblin who registered her first win as a trainer, when seven year old Keystone Salute/Downsouth Soon gelding Trappers Puzzle greeted the judge in the Bendigo Bank Trotters Handicap for T0 or better class over 2160 metres.
Also driven by Emma originally from NSW, Trappers Puzzle started from a daunting 70 metre backmark, but as there were no front markers, actually gave the leaders 60.
Naturally settling at the tail of the field with the red-hot favourite Weregonnarock (10 metres) taking over from old timer Master Kiesey shortly after the start, Trappers Puzzle gained a lovely one/one trail in the final circuit when Idle Suntime came away from four back the markers ahead of him.
Looming large on straightening, Trappers Puzzle raced clear in the shadows of the post to score by 10.1 metres in advance of Weregonnarock which gave nothing, with Idle Suntime third after making a break in the last lap.
In winning, Trappers Puzzle bred and raced by squaregaiting devoteereturned a new track record mile rate of 2-02.3.
Hawkesdale trainer Graham Gee's four year old BlissfulHall/Weena Rena entire Bliss Man continued his rapid rise through the classes when successful in the Taylor Motors Pace for C3 & C4 class over 1660 metres.
Again taking a concession for, Bliss Man led throughout from the pole to street his rivals by 25.6 metres in a new track record of 1-54.1 over Alta Antonio which raced in the open for the last lap. Mosquito Flyer finished third 5.8 metres away.
Bungaree's Julian Jobe combined withto land the Alexandra House Pace for C1 class over 1660 metres with Cobargo Jack, a six year old gelded son of and Jewell Of Cobargo raced by wife Alison.
Beginning swiftly from gate two, Cobargo Jack coasted at the head of affairs to record a comfortable 7.3 metre margin in advance of Ruby Heart which faced the breeze, with Latoya Lass (one/one) third. The mile rate 1-58.6.
Mount Gambier (Glencoe) father and son - Barry &snared the Hunt's Auto Spares Pace for C0 class over 2160 metres with last start Globe Derby Park winner Paris To Berlin, a beautifully bred four year old gelding by from the good producer Roses In Paris a smart racemare herself.
Despite racing in the open from gate three outside the heavily backed Jilliby Mac inside him, Paris To Berlin after dropping to trail the leader into the straight, finished strongly to score by 1.4 metres in a rate of 1-59.2 over The Jiggler (one/four - three wide last lap) and Jilliby Mac which got very tired over the concluding stages.
The Finnis' were to make it two for the day when four year old/Surfing Queen gelding Flaming Hero scored in the Mountain View Stud Pace for C1 class over 2160 metres.
Starting from the extreme draw, Flaming Hero possied near last in the running line, with the favourite Beau Ciel beginning fast from gate four to lead.
Latching to the back of Tres Hombre ahead of him at the bell for a ride home, Flaming Hero when taken wide on turning, finished all over the top of his rivals to defeat a game Mayorofshinetown to give Mount Gambier the quinella, with Beau Ciel a disappointing third. The mile rate 2-00.4.
Blacks A Fake's seven year old half brother The Avoca Flyer (/Colada Hanover), trained by and taking a lift for , ran his rivals ragged from outside the front row in the Logical Property Services Pace for C1 class over 1660 metres.
Always travelling under a tight rein, The Avoca Flyer scored by 1.4metres from the fast finishing Magical Bazz off a three wide trail from mid-field in the last lap.
Mister Huxtable although very wide on the home turn, finished third. The mile rate 1-56.2.
was to chalk up three for the afternoon after guiding border hopper Dagati Image to victory for Yahi trainer David Phillips in the Choice Hotels Pace Final for R0 class over 1660 metres which qualified in the heats held at Mount Gambier on December 8.
Burning away from gate five, Dagati Image a 4-Y-0 gelding byfrom Cassels Atom led throughout to win in a breeze from Just Like Elle which trailed and Wings Of Delight (one/one) in a mile rate of 1-58.5.
By Len Baker