Day At The Track

Home track double for Castles

10:03 AM 31 Jul 2018 NZST
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Wesley Vale trainer John Castles arrived at the Devonport Harness Racing Club meeting on Sunday hopeful of a snaring a victory, he left with a winning double and a quinella.

John prepared the first and second favourites in the opening race on the card the Mitavite Pace over 1930 metres with the popular pick Keep Playing ($1.70) coming out on top over Flashy Ruler ($5.30)

“We don’t think there’s much between them, Keep Playing (pictured) has the better manners of the two but Flashy Ruler has his fair share of ability as well,” said John.

‘They had the race between them a long way out so as the trainer you can relax a little and enjoy the last 400 metres a little more.”

Keep Playing, a Shadow Play-Keep Grinning gelding, raced home to his second three-year-old win of the season having won the Jos Ray Memorial at Devonport on May 18.

Stablemate Chirac ($14.70), driven by John’s nephew Charlie Castles, came from second last into the back straight to nose out the $3.00 equal favourite Gotta Go Henry in the very last stride.

“Charlie timed his run to perfection with Chirac, he was back last when the moves started and he was quick to latch onto the three-wide train and then made the race winning move into the back at the 500 metre mark when he knew he had to get moving so he was off four-wide,” said the delighted trainer and part owner.

“Turning for home Chirac had got to second but the leader Gotta Go Henry looked like he had pinched it before Chirac made a late surge and nailed him on the peg.”

Charlie is in his first season of driving and his success on Chirac was his third career win but the first for his uncle and father Michael.

“They told me to try and stay near the fence, I thought I had followed their instructions to the letter, perhaps I need to check with them which fence they are talking about in future,” laughed Charlie.


Shane Yates

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