Day At The Track

Happy Schnapps delivers in NTLHA Cup

04:19 PM 14 Dec 2015 NZDT
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Happy Schnapps gets up to win the Liht Harness Association Cup in Launceston
Happy Schnapps gets up to win the Liht Harness Association Cup in Launceston
Greg Mansfield Photo

In-form harness racing trainer Ben Yole is having a stellar season and the juggernaut continued at UBET Racing Centre in Launceston on Sunday night where his consistent gelding Happy Schnapps scored a game win in the Northern Tasmania Light Harness Association Cup.

The Nathan Ford-trained and driven Jaccka Tom looked set for victory when he dashed clear on the home turn but he was unable to withstand the determination of Happy Schnapps (Mark Yole) that finished too strongly to score by a metre.

The pair settled down to a do-or-die duel in the home straight and they finished a long way ahead of the rest of the field.

Driver Mark Yole said going into the race he didn't think his horse could beat the favourite Ancient Moonlight that had been way too good for his horse in their heat.

But when Ancient Moonlight galloped away from his 10-metre handicap it changed the complexion of the race.

''I still thought I was in a world of trouble in running, because my horse couldn't muster early speed and we ended up in a very awkward spot in fifth place on the pegs,'' Yole said.

''Luckily I was able to track Jaccka Tom into the race when he got a run and my horse then outstayed him,'' he said.

Ben Yole is leading in the race for the Tasmanian trainer's premiership with 21 winners to be two clear of Nathan Ford with Todd Rattray two further back on 11 but with the success of Ben his younger brother Mark is leading the driver's premiership table with 19 wins to be two clear of Eric Hollaway.

Gareth Rattray who has won the past 10 driver premierships has had a slow start to the season and he is third with 11 wins.

Peter Staples

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