Day At The Track

Melnrowley leads all the way

10:13 AM 14 Sep 2020 NZST
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Melnrowley,Harness racing

Two-year-old filly Melnrowley is on track for the $20,000 Sweepstakes Fillies Final on 27 September after an all the way win in Sunday night’s prelude in Hobart.

The Craig Hayes-trained pacer was taken straight to the lead from her outside of the front row draw by her driver Gareth Rattray where she dictated affairs to score untroubled.

The winning margin was 7.9 metres over debutante Living On Prare with Magic Pebbles a further 1.2 metres away third with the fillies covering the mile trip 2m 2.2s with a slick last quarter of 27.7s, naturally, Hayes was wrapped with the win.

“She is a strong filly and only does what she has to do,” he said.

Hayes original plans for driver Gareth Rattray was to work forward and to see what happened but when the trainer arrived on track and felt the strong wind that had descended, he did have his slight reservations but his versatile filly was still able to burn the candle at both ends of the race.

“She is a pretty good filly and I have had a fair opinion of her all along, she can sit up, she can do a bit of work and she has a bit of speed,” explained the trainer.

As is the case in mile events, barrier draws are vital, particularly in juvenile racing and that will again be the case for the $20,000 final on 27 September.

“If she gets a draw, she will be hard to beat but there is not much between three or four of them so whoever draws best will be hard to beat,” Hayes said.

Melnrowley is by Heston Blue Chip and is out of one of Hayes former mares that he trained in Tania Maree who won nine of 16 starts.

Two heats of the colts and gelding’s division of the Sweepstakes were also held on Sunday night, also over the mile trip.

Like Melnrowley, Stormy Sanz burned the candle at both ends to lead all the way for driver John Walters and trainer Kent Rattray and score in the opening heat to defeat Lancelot and Agouda Ruler in 1m 59.4s.

It wouldn’t be a two-year-old feature event without a strong presence from the Paul Hill stable and in this year’s colts and geldings final his stable will have two contenders including Rocknovertime who led all the way to win heat two by an impressive 17.7 metres in the quickest mile rate of the three two-year-old races of 1m 59.0s.

Lets Go Bill and Longfellow filled the placings.

In the David Medhurst Memorial, four-year-old mare Loch Ness Franco opened her winning account at her Australian debut leading for the final mile of the event to score untroubled by 20.1 metres in 2m 3.1s.

Troy McDonald once again was the in-form driver of the meeting driving a treble on his birthday, scoring with HezatoffPunchinello and Tarleton Riley. Ben Yole prepared all three of those winners.

McDonald was denied winning the Happy Birthday Troy McDonald Pace by the narrowest of margins when Kardesler scored a short-half head victory courtesy of a well-timed run by reinsman Charlie Castles.

Castor Troy had to survive a protest to score in the Tasmanian Horse Transport Pace. It was the second win this week for the Ray Pullen-trained gelding who scored in Launceston on Wednesday night.


Duncan Dornauf for Tasracing

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