Day At The Track

Jardine boys & Auckland Reactor in spotlight

11:07 AM 15 Mar 2019 NZDT
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Simon Jardine with Mallee Reactor, harness racing
Reinsman Simon Jardine with Mallee Reactor
Terry Gange Photo

A father and son harness racing combination from the small north west Victorian township of Ouyen teamed up with boom sire Auckland Reactor to steal the limelight in spectacular fashion at Mildura on Wednesday night.

Astute horseman Murray Jardine produced highly-talented Mallee Reactor (Auckland Reactor NZ-Our Angel Flight (In The Pocket) and Ian Raymond (Auckland Reactor NZ-Black Dress (Village Jasper) to post an eye-catching double.

Both winners were handled by his reinsman son Simon, who drove copybook races to get “the chocolates” on the short-priced fancies.

“I’m really enjoying it at the moment because dad has them flying,” a jubilant Simon said.

“They’re the only two by Auckland Reactors in our stable, and we are now wishing we had a few more,” he said.

“They are two nice horses and we aren’t rushing them, just bringing them along slowly and picking out suitable races in our area as we go.

“I don’t know if dad will be tempted in a few months to make a trip south to Melton or not, but I reckon he should certainly think about it.”

Mallee Reactor was at least 40 metres off the leaders in the early stages of the opening race on the Mildura program, the DNR Logistics Pace for C1 class pacers, after being caught wide and snagged back to second last.

Come On Elvis and Friends set a blistering pace with a sharp lead time, followed by quick opening quarters of 28.6 and 29.7 secs.

“I was actually wondering when they were going to ease up because they certainly weren’t waiting for anyone,” Simon said.

Friends, a well-backed second-favorite, was pulled up out of the race with broken gear with a little over a lap to go, but Denbeigh Wade still kept her foot on the accelerator with Come On Elvis, recording closing splits of 29 and 29.6 secs.

Mallee Reactor, three wide and three back with a lap to go, appeared to be cruising. And this was certainly the case, because when Jardine launched down the back straight, they charged to the lead on the home corner for a super win.

While the mile rate of 1.56-4 was a few seconds outside the track record, it’s rarely posted by C1 class competitors on the not-so-spacious 805 metre Mildura circuit.

“I think I might have made a bit of an error in running Mallee Reactor at Mildura on December 28 when it was so hot,” Murray said.

“His next run about 10 days later when he got third was okay but he wasn’t as sharp as he could have been,” he said.

“In saying that, I’m not taking anything away from the two who beat us. They were very good on the night.”

Mallee Reactor now has the awesome career record of seven starts for six wins and a third placing for over $21,000. He will race at the Ouyen Cup meeting on Sunday week, March 24, then Mildura on April 2 with his major assignment, the $14,000 Mildura Guineas, on Mildura Pacing Cup night, April 13.

The second leg of the Team Jardine/Auckland Reactor double came via four-year-old gelding Ian Raymond, who took out the Tasco Petroleum Pace, also for C1 horses.

The pacer, raced by popular Ouyen identity Helen Chisholm, was bred by Helen along with her late brother Ian Raymond, hence the name.

“He was always travelling comfortably and dug deep when I asked him for an effort,” Simon said.

Ian Raymond lobbed in the sweet seat from the wide six draw and did look the winner a long way from home. After zipping out three wide at the bell, the gelding worked past the leaders on the home corner and cruised to the line with plenty in the tank.

Former SA junior driver Jayden Brewin, now based in Victoria, drove a well-deserved double at Mildura, with Cashwrangs Smoker (Chief Marty-Glassawyne (Sports Town) and Ned’s Beach (Somebeachsomewhere-Winter Rose (In The Pocket).

Terry Gange

NewsAlert PR Mildura

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