Day At The Track

Mallee boys, ‘Angel’ just keeps producing

06:58 PM 07 Jan 2019 NZDT
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Mallee Reactor, harness racing
Murray Jardine. Mallee Reactor, Murray and Grandson, Noah after his last win at Mildura
Murray Jardine Photo

The pin-up boy of Victoria’s Northern Region, the exciting Ouyen-based pacer Mallee Reactor, faces his biggest test when he lines up at the harness racing meeting at Swan Hill on Wednesday night.

The three-year-old, who is undefeated in five runs for unassuming trainer Murray Jardine, has drawn barrier four in the prestigious feature event, the $9000 2019 Pearl Blue Classic.

“We are all looking forward to it because there’s some nice horses in the race – it will be a good guide to find out just where we are at,” Jardine said.

“The spacious Swan Hill track should suit Mallee Reactor, but in saying that he’ll still be driven quietly early and hopefully work home hard when it counts.”

Jardine is a cool customer renowned for keeping his feet on the ground but is thrilled by the raw ability shown by the son of the emerging star sire Auckland Reactor.

“Some of his closing sectionals in his races have been pretty good,” he said.

Jardine never races a big team, preferring the breaking and educating side, has another handy Auckland Reactor at home in Ian Raymond.

“He’s a four-year-old who has three wins from six starts and goes along quite nice.”

After combining farming and successfully preparing horses for many years, Jardine and his wife Barbara made the decision nearly 30 years ago to concentrate on harness racing.

The couple established a picturesque complex on the edge of town, featuring an impressive 900metre track and open, shady paddocks.

“It was more a lifestyle thing for our children, but it has worked out well for Murray because he’s done well over the years with the horses,” Barbara said.

Jardine certainly had one of the best mentors when he spent two years with legendary horseman Alf Simons as a teenager.

“I wish I’d stayed with Alf longer, but I was a farm boy and came back home,” Murray said.

The eight owners of Mallee Reactor must be pinching themselves as his half-brother Carload has already provided them with many thrills in recent years.

The group was offered Carload’s dam, the unraced broodmare Our Angel Flight, who was in foal at the time – the result being none other than Mallee Reactor.

According to Jardine, who broke in both racehorses, they showed ability from day one, with Mallee Reactor being more relaxed.

And it seems there just could be another bright prospect on the horizon with a beautifully-conformed two-year-old full sister to Carload (by Village Jasper).

When asked future plans for Mallee Reactor, Jardine said he would use a well-worn cliché and say “we’ll take it one run at a time”.

“There’s a heats and final series coming up at Mildura in a few weeks and then we’ll have to sit down and go from there. He may be looking for a break because he’s still growing, but we’ll wait and see.”

Terry Gange

NewsAlert PR Mildura

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