Day At The Track

Lilley dominates Trotters Oaks night

06:03 AM 06 Jun 2015 NZST
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My Arya wins the Victoria Trotters Oaks
My Arya wins the Victoria Trotters Oaks of 2015 for Anthony Butt and Brent Lilley
Stuart McCormick Photo

It didn’t take long to realise harness racing trainer Brent Lilley might be in for a good night at Tabcorp Park Melton.

But not many could have predicted just how well the script would play out for the Bolinda horseman, who walked away from tonight's Trotters Oaks meeting with five wins – including the two feature races.

It all began with five-year-old Live Or Die/Trustee Mota gelding Crusader Acey, who showed his last-start win at Shepparton was no fluke with victory in the DNR Logistics Pace over 1720m to open the program.

From barrier seven reinsman Anthony Butt produced a carbon copy of his steer aboard Hollywood Sign last month when it won the Rising Stars Final, driving Crusader Acey across the field early to find the pegs before handing up to the favourite, Macho Comacho.

Crusader Acey out-sprinted Macho Comacho late along the sprint lane to win by a neck in a mile rate of 1:54.1.

Lilley notched a winning double in the fourth race with five-year-old Monarchy/Sun Mist mare Rosemma.

The foolproof trotter dashed to the lead early from barrier five for Rodney Petroff, while stablemate and race favourite Kyvalley Pink blew its chances by galloping away.

Rosemma rated 2:00.7 to hold off a fast-finishing Mister Independent by 1.1m in the Garrards Horse and Hount Trot.

Lilley and Butt then snared Race 7, the TAB.com.au Pace ,with impressive gelding Lets Elope (by Real Desire out of Alta Vista), finding the lead from barrier two before staving off all comers at the finish.

Lets Elope carved out splits of 30.4secs, 29.8secs, 28.5secs and 27.6secs, clocking a 1:56.4 mile rate.

Punters backed Lilley and Butt in to do it again in Race 8, the night’s feature, the $60,505 Group 1 Noel Simpson Memorial Trotters Oaks.

Favourite backers were grinning 2mins and 47secs after the mobile arms folded back, My Arya leading from start to finish to register a 3m win over Amarula with Little Miss Zigzag flashing home for third.

The Angus Hall filly held out an early challenge from Fiery Mountain Girl to lead before getting away with a 61.3secs first half at the head of affairs.

She upped the tempo down the back the last time and took the zing out of any chasers with a 28secs third quarter.

Sprinting home in 29.8secs, My Arya never looked like being headed and has now won 10 of her 11 Australian starts.

Her winning mile rate for tonight’s 2240m trip was 2:00.4.

Lilley and Butt capped the night in Race 9 by taking out the Pryde’s Easifeed Tatlow Stakes for two-year-old trotters with Kyvalley Tinman.

The son of Majestic Son/Kyvalley Kitty sat on the speed in the run before out-staying his rivals, quickly getting the better of early leader Calder Knight turning for home before seeing off a late charge by impressive filly Princess Phoenix for a 1.3m win in 2:04.2 for the 2240m journey.

While Lilley made the headlines with five winners, Butt’s performance should be undersold, finishing with a metropolitan quartet of his own.

In other results, Aldebaran Macha easily took out the Good Form Pace over 2240m for David and Josh Aiken, the son of Mach Three/Aldebaran Bromac too good for runner-up Hez The Wild Card in 1:56.2.

Anton Golino and Todd McCarthy took out the Group 2 Bacardi Lindy Mares Trot with rising star Arboe, who held off Vics Cheval at the finish by 3.2m.

Arboe, by Love You out of Lough Neagh, has now won five of six starts and has genuine star power.

Arboe rated 1:59.0 over the 2240m, Claudys Princess finishing third beaten 13.2m by the winner.

Bringing up a double for Todd McCarthy was Glenferrie Hood, a pacer making a name for himself in Victoria with two straight wins here.

The son of Christian Cullen/Niftey Franco found the lead from gate seven early and ran along to record a mile rate of 1:53.7, defeating Sapphire Swayze by 3.6m with Im Barney Rubble third.

Shes A Runa notched her 16th win at start No.27 by taking out the Empire Stallions Vicbred Championship Final for trainer Amanda Turnbull and driver Nathan Jack.

The Jeremes Jet/Runacullen mare, a four-year-old, was 7.3m too strong for Gollahman, while in-form Ithappenstobeametro stuck on gamely for third. The winner’s mile rate was 1:55.5.

Trainer Dean Braun looks to have another star on his hands in the form of Wardwell, who won tonight’s Pegasus Club 3YO Pace Final over 2240m.

The gelding by Mach Three out of Ohappy Daze won by 7.4m over Starwyn Jasper with Brighty Valentine third in a rate of 1:59.0.

Wardwell has now won three from three and bigger races look on his agenda moving forward.

David Miles and his talented four-year-old Smokey Quartz capped the night with a gutsy success over Masterofthurles, that pair racing well clear of third placegetter Thunder Fee in the last race, the 2Construct Pace Final over 1720m.

Smokey Quartz and Masterofthurles were involved in a speed war early, the latter eventually holding up and Smokey Quartz dropping to the leader’s back.

From there Smokey Quartz eventually got out, rounded up the early pace setter and went on to score by 2.8m in a rate of 1:56.4.

Smokey Quartz is a son of the great Courage Under Fire out of Pareen.

View replays of all tonight's races and get full results

by Cody Winnell

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