Day At The Track

Isaiah too tough in Pelorus Classic

11:10 AM 24 Jan 2015 NZDT
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Isaiah - Outstanding win yesterday after early speed duel
Isaiah - Outstanding win yesterday after early speed duel

In many ways, Isaiah is close to the perfect racehorse.

And Natalie Rasmussen gives the impression she wouldn’t mind a stable full of horses exactly like him.

The ultra-consistent pacer added another black-type victory to his career record yesterday when he took out the Group 2 Pelorus Classic on the first of two days at the Marlborough Harness Racing Club’s meeting at Waterlea Raceway in Blenheim.

It was a tradesman like victory of the highest order.

Buzzed out of the gate by Rasmussen to secure the lead over Venus Serena, the four-year-old entire then ensured that a fresh up Tiger Tara was made to work hard to get past him when he went in search of the lead himself with a lap to run.

But despite all the early attention, Rasmussen’s confidence never waned.

“I wasn’t too worried, he’s just the ultimate guy this horse,’’ she said.

“You can ask him to work in his races, but you know he will still give you everything at the finish.

“He was travelling so well coming off the back straight.’’

His victory – No.13 of his career – continued a great run of consistency for the son of Art Major and E J Becks.

In 31 starts he has finished first, second or third on 26 occasions – often racing in black type races against some of the best horses in the business.

His gate speed, toughness and will to win will make him a force to be reckoned with wherever he goes, but Rasmussen was of the opinion that it was time to see what he was capable of in Australia.

The Pelorus victory comes with the added carrot of an automatic invite to the Chariots Of Fire at Menangle on Inter Dominion Grand Final day – an offering Rasmussen was keen to take up.

“I think a race like the Chariots would be right up his alley.

“He’s done a great job this season racing in open handicaps, but I think we will stick to his own age group with him now and then hopefully have a look at some of the bigger races next season.

“He never lets you down. He just gets out there and does the job.’’

Despite Isaiah’s dominant victory, the Pelorus, although small in numbers, underlined just how good the current four-year-old crop is.

Tiger Tara, fresh up since his sixth in the New Zealand Trotting Cup fought as only he can to finish in second placing after looking a forlorn hope to finish in the top three half way down the straight and Te Kawau and Venus Serena were both also very meritorious in their third and fourth placings respectively.

Rasmussen and Purdon won’t be at Blenheim tomorrow for the meeting’s second day but they will still be represented.

Yesterday’s Cup Prelude winner, Backup, will do exactly as his name suggests in the $18,000 3200 metre event.

Stable junior driver, Matt Anderson will step in to do the driving duties on the pacer and will do the same with Big Lucy earlier in the day.

Matt Markham - Courtesy of Harness Racing New Zealand


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