Dean Braun and Chris Alford took out the 2013 Jet Roofing Kilmore Pacing Cup with rising star Chancellor Cullen on Sunday.
Starting second favourite on the day, last week’s Nyah Cup runner-up made amends in almost track record time when blistering around the course in a 2:01.2 mile rate with a slashing 55.8 last half.
Restrepo, from the Emma Stewart team, was a brave second just over seven metres away whilst Mustang Mach finished third.
The win was Chancellor Cullen’s 10th in just 15 Australian starts and moved him one step closer to Grand Circuit glory which he now looks set to tackle later this season.
Race favourite Bitobliss worked from his 20-metre handicap to find the death seat in the middle stages but faded late to finish last of the main brigade.
The Victorian Harness Racing Sports Club Kilmore Trotters Cup went to Group 1-winning pacer turned trotter in Mister Zion as he rolled odds-on favourite Elegant Image.
Starting from the 40-metre back mark, Geoff Webster’s son of Red River Hanover worked three wide in the last lap to take it up to Prettylilangeleyes and Elegant Image who worked to the chair mid-race.
The two tote elects raced away from their rivals in the straight with Mister Zion getting the upper hand by two metres at the post from Elegant Image with Prettylilangeleyes a further four metres away in third.
The race was completed in a mile rate of 2:03.9 with the last half coming in 61.4secs.
Catch Your Breath caused an upset in the days other feature race, the Grange Cleveland Popular Alm Sprint.
Race favourite Five Star Anvil, who was well backed during the week, led from the pole before handing over to Smoken Up who made a mid-race dash around the field despite starting from inside the second row.
After being afforded a lovely run by in-form reinsmen Chris Alford in the middle stages, Catch Your Breath raced up and grabbed the lead from Smoken Up in the straight to win by 1.7 metres with Born Again Sassy just under two metres away in third.
The mile rate came in a speedy 1:53.9 with the last half split in 28.1sec quarters.
The major achievement on the day came however after the main race with Chris Alford driving his 5000th career winner behind Macho Camacho, again for Dean Braun.
Alford’s run to the magical figure has sped since the start of August and despite being out for a time with injury, he has officially become just the second driver, behind Gavin Lang, in the southern hemisphere to reach the milestone.
by Blake Redden
Harness Racing Victoria