Day At The Track

Mallee owners suffer cruel coincidence

01:01 PM 24 Jun 2019 NZST
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Mallee Reactor, harness racing
Three year old Mallee Reactor at his brilliant best
Jo Morrish Photo

A tragic coincidence involving a promising north west Victorian pacer has dealt a devastating blow to one of the Mallee Reactor's most enthusiastic harness racing owner groups.

In the space of eight days, the eight-member group of mates from the Ouyen region, suffered the untimely death of not only their star three-year-old Mallee Reactor (Auckland Reactor-Our Angel Flight (In The Pocket), but also his promising two-year-old half-sister Wonforthegirls (Village Jasper-Our Angel Flight (In The Pocket).

Mallee Reactor was broken in and prepared by astute Ouyen trainer Murray Jardine for eight wins and two placings from 10 starts before being transferred (on Jardine's recommendation) to Adam Kelly, at Toolern Vale.

"They were two lovely horses and the owners' group, who are friends of mine, are just absolutely shattered," Jardine said.

Wonforthegirls was a full sister to the syndicate's successful pacer Carload (11 wins, $94,000) (Village Jasper-Our Angel Flight (In The Pocket) and had showed enormous promise in her early preparations with Jardine.

"She was a late foal and she was a fiery little thing who took a little while to start putting it together, but at the same stage, she was better than either Mallee Reactor or Carload," Jardine said.

"She was definitely going to win a lot of races, but we thought in mid-May she had done enough, and she still needed a bit of maturing, so I recommended to the owners that they turn her out for the winter.

"I let her down for about a week, before they came and picked her up for her spell."

Wonforthegirls was spelling on a property owned by one of the connections near Speed, but tragedy unfolded when they found the filly dead in the paddock on the Monday of the Queen's Birthday long weekend.

The group was further devastated by the loss of Mallee Reactor eight days later.

Mallee Reactor became the pin-up horse of the Northern region after bursting onto the scene as a two-year-old and winning his first five races in brilliant fashion. At his final start in the north west, Mallee Reactor was driven by Jardine's son Simon and ran second in the Guineas during the Mildura Pacing Cup Carnival, behind Victorian rising star three-year-old Im Sir Blake. Simon had a good affinity with the horse, driving him to seven of his eight wins.

To watch video of Mallee Reactor winning click on this link. 

"Mallee Reactor was best-suited to do his future racing somewhere closer to Melton and nearer to a lot of the bigger tracks, because he was a terrible traveller - he'd get hot and sweaty just travelling 100 kilometres from Ouyen to Mildura, which was doing him no good," Jardine said.

After his move south, the pacer finished third at his first start for Kelly at Ballarat in mid-May, then was given a short freshen-up.

Mallee Reactor had trialled at Melton and Kelly was pleased with the run which was a leadup to his return to racing at Kilmore last Wednesday. On the Saturday prior, Kelly noticed the horse had a high temperature and called a vet, but Mallee Reactor could not be saved.

"It's absolutely tragic for the boys because all of them just loved their horses and they were having the time of their lives in the sport," Jardine said.

Terry Gange

NewsAlert PR Mildura








P 0498 490 672








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