Day At The Track

Melton track on fire - 41.1 degrees at 6pm

03:14 AM 05 Jan 2013 NZDT
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Geoff Webster
Geoff Webster
Duane Ranger photo

The temperatures soared in Melbourne on Friday January 4, reaching a top of 41.1 degrees around 6-00pm. While this was happening, the harness racing meeting at Tabcorp Park Melton was taking place as runners scorched around the track in blistering times.

Former Kiwi 5-Y-0 gelding Our Arlington snared the $15,000 New Year Pace Final over 1720 metres for horses which qualified in the heats held a week earlier, returning a mile rate of 1-53.7.

Trained at Bannockburn by Geoff Webster and driven as usual by Greg Sugars, Our Arlington a gelded son of Washington Vc and People's Princess bided his time mid-field in the moving line following his more fancied stablemate Kotare Roland after starting from gate three on the second line.

The speed was a cracker as Alchemy (Rod Petroff) burnt across the face of the field to lead, before surrendering to Manningham Park (Craig Hoban) racing for the bell.

When Webster commenced a forward move with Kotare Roland three wide in the final circuit, Sugars immediately latched to his back in the three wide line, with Buriton Bailey coming out ahead of the pair.

Cut For An Ace which had raced without cover from gate two from the outset, forged clear approaching the final bend, but was swamped on turning, with Buriton Bailey, Kotare Roland and Our Arlington putting in claims.

Finishing brilliantly, Our Arlington (six wide on the home turn) scored by 1.4 metres in advance of Alchemy which gained a late split halfway up the running along the sprint lane, with Kotare Roland a half head away in third place.

In quarters of 28.6, 28.6, 28.4 and 28.3 after a lead time of 7.1 seconds, Our Arlington returned a mile rate of 1-53.7.

Four year old Julius Caesar/Northern Franco 4-Y-0 mare Pembrook Caesar undefeated in eight Australian outing, was superb in taking out the $20,000 Victorian Harness Racing Media Association sponsored Graham Goffin Memorial for mares M0 to M3 over 1720 metres.

Facing a huge rise in class from what she had been meeting around the provincials, Pembrook Caesar trained at Parwan by Craig Demmler and driven by Jodi Quinlan wasn't able to cross Art Shadow (a former stablemate) inside her as the start was effected, with National Galley three wide outside the pair.

Taking over prior to the bell, Pembrook Caesar was joined by the favourite Bellas Delight hitting the back straight on the final occasion and the pair broke away from the rest of the field.

Holding a slender margin at the straight entrance, Pembrook Caesar refused to give in as the winning post came into view, scoring by 2.1 metres, with National Gallery 5.8 metres away in third place after easing three wide on turning following a one/one passage.

Raced by internationally based businessman Peter Chambers under the banner of Glenferrie Farms Pty Ltd, Pembrook Caesar in quarters of 28.9, 31, 27.5 and 27.2, recorded a mile rate of 1-53.8.

Nagambie horseman Chris Lang has 7-Y-0 Sundon/Insulated gelding Aleppo Sunrise on target for the upcoming big trotting races following a strong victory in the I Can Doosit Trotters Free For All for TMO or better class over 2240 metres.

Showing surprising speed from gate three to cross Save A Sixpence, Aleppo Sunrise a full brother to exciting 5-Y-0 mare Aleppo Midas trained by Michelle Eastman who has been setting the provincials alight, led virtually throughout in defeating a game Kasyanov which parked in the open, going down by 1.5 metres in a rate of 2-00.5, with Mister Zion (three wide last lap) third.

The disappointment of the race was the favourite Vulcan who finished fourth after a one/one trip.

Our Arlington

Pembrook Caesar

Aleppo Sunrise

by Len BAKER

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