It was billed as a harness racing match race for the ages and it lived up to all expectations – Lennytheshark and Guaranteed fighting out a gripping battle in the four-year-old males’ Empire Stallions Vicbred Super Series Final at Tabcorp Park Melton.
In the finish Lennytheshark took the points, the odds-on favourite from the in-form David Aiken stable coming out on top after an action-packed race.
Polemarker Boyz Torque fell at the first corner, Kerryn Manning flung out of the sulky while the horse had to be brought under control by the clerk of the course.
Lennytheshark eventually found the lead before he and Guaranteed cleared out approaching the home bend.
Lennytheshark rolled out, which he’s shown he can do from time to time, down the back but straightened up in the home stretch.
Guaranteed stuck to his task gamely and didn’t give up the chase at any stage after sitting in the breeze, but Lennytheshark had a bit too much bite – scoring a 6m win in a mile rate of 1:56.0.
Winning driver Chris Alford said an early check to Guaranteed had certainly helped Lennytheshark prevail.
“I saw Guaranteed had copped a bit of a check early on,” Alford said.
“Even at the 400m though I thought to myself I just couldn’t shake him (Guaranteed), but maybe the early check took a bit out of him and Lenny was too good on the night.”
The first and second horses over the line cleared out from their nearest rival, Ginger Bliss, which ran on for third with Greg Sugars in the sulky.
Lennytheshark’s win was a popular one for on-course punters, the crowd cheering enthusiastically as he and Guaranteed went toe to toe to the death.
Wolfpack ran a mighty race to finish fourth, while early pacemaker Hes Kinky was fifth.
Lennytheshark now has 15 wins from 30 starts and tonight’s was his seventh on the trot.
Kerryn Manning walked away from her fall with a blood nose.
By Cody Winnell
Harness Racing Victoria