Day At The Track

Juvenile classic heats staged at Shepparton

07:49 AM 12 Jan 2011 NZDT
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Heats of the harness racing juvenile classic - The Lombo were held at Shepparton in the Goulburn Valley on Wednesday (January 12) and as expected, prolific breeder Mick Lombardo had a plethora of entries - four in the colts & geldings division and three in the fillies.

There were three heats for the colts & geldings and two for the fillies, with a number of beautifully bred babies making their first appearance at the races.

MIA Breeders Plate winner Western Rockstar started a raging $1.10 favourite in the first heat and didn't let his supporters down by winning his 4th race from 5 outings untroubled in a rate of 1-59.9.

Trained at Armstrong by Brooke Hansen for Joe Gulifa's Sanmark Investments Pty Ltd, Western Rockstar with Chris Alford in the sulky, faced the open from gate three with the second elect Be Cool burning out from gate five to lead easily.

Travelling kindly, Western Rockstar (Western Terror/The Ruling Star) wasn't pushed out in accounting for Be Cool and the first starter Abstraction who ran home nicely from three back the markers.

Heat two produced an upset result, with Peace Of Art/Shadow Bay colt Absolute Dream nosing out the favourite Bettors Image in a rate of 2-01.6.

Trained at Kaarimba (GV) by Bryan (Johnno) Johnstone and driven by Tongala's Craig Northcott, Absolute Dream enjoyed a sweet one/one passage from outside the front row and when eased wide on straightening, finished full of running to blowse Bettors Image which led, with Goodtime Danny a handy third after racing parked.

Kerryn Manning produced a nice type on debut in The Noble Steed, a colt by Our Sir Vancelot from Quite A Franco to land the third heat in a rate of 1-59.6.

Given a lovely trip from gate two trailing the boom first starter Gangster Boy (gate three), The Noble Steed moved outside the leader on the final bend and finished full of running to score from the pacemaker, with Fumanchu third after following the pair.

The first of the fillies heats was taken out by the cleverly named Cheshire Cat on debut, a daughter of Grinfromeartoear and Toodle Lu Tops trained and driven by Junortoun's Steve Cleave.

In a race where the lead changed several times in the first lap, Cheshire Cat from gate for bided her time mid-field in the moving line, weaving through runners to be one/one approaching the home turn.

Taken wide on the final bend, Cheshire Cat scored with authority making the finish no laughing matter for her rivals, defeating the roughie Blissful Lyn and Work Of Artist in a slick 1-59.6.

Heat two went the way of first starter Karinda Gem for local Daniel Jack in a rate of 1-59.6.

Bred in the purple (Art Major/Her Sparky Self), Karinda Gem from inside the second line settled mid-field along the markers, moving to be one/one approaching the home turn.

Easing three wide at the straight entrance, Karinda Gem stretched out impressively when asked to run and recorded an easy victory in advance of another debut runner Wenyahotyahot which led on turning after breezing for the last lap, with Shapley Hips third after being under extreme pressure to keep up in the final circuit.

The $25,000 Final will be held on Shepparton Gold Cup night Saturday January 22.

Len BAKER

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