Day At The Track

Sullivan hoping to trump his rivals with Jack

05:36 PM 30 Dec 2015 NZDT
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Leeton Breeders Plate
Wayne Sullivan has decided to use the services of leading driver Nathan Jack during this year's Breeders Plate.

Leeton harness racing horseman Wayne Sullivan has targeted the Breeders Plate for as long as he can remember. It is a race that his grandfather won but has so far eluded Sullivan despite qualifying a number of competitors in the two-year-old feature previously.

Sullivan decided to try something different this year and rather than drive his runners himself, he booked leading Victorian reinsman Nathan Jack to drive his two fillies in the series. The move paid immediate dividends with Jovial Rock winning a heat on Saturday night after a calculated drive from Jack.

"I've lost count how many times I have had a drive in the Leeton Breeders Plate, but for some reason in the big one I tend to go left when I should have gone right or go right when I should have gone left," Sullivan said.

"It is a race I would really like to win and with the prizemoney for the race now being $40,000, it makes it even more attractive."

Sullivan was pleased with the barrier draw after Jovial Rock drew barrier one in the final.

"I think she needed to draw there to have a realistic winning chance, it is a big ask to take on the better colts and geldings from a wide draw but from gate one she looks set to get a really nice run."

The daughter of Rock N Roll Heaven raced behind the leader in her heat before pulling to the outside in the straight and hitting the lead in the shadows of the post.

"I told Nathan not to get too aggressive on her because she is still learning and he did what he was asked, he didn't get too excited when he got into the clear and let her chase down the leader without being bustled too much.

"I got her by accident, she didn't make her reserve at the yearling sales and Andrew Daniels sent her to me with an option to buy and six weeks later I made the decision to take her."

While in recent years there has been a standout going into the final, Sullivan believes this year is a wide open event.

"It is fair to say there are probably four or five chances going into Friday night and with the right run I think my filly is one of the hopes."

The Leeton Breeders Plate is race five on Friday night's program and is scheduled to begin at 8:40pm.

Greg Hayes

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