Messini’s rise to harness racing stardom continued last night at Bendigo.
The pacer, whose racing style is to keep his head low, stick his neck out and storm forward like a bullying gridiron hulk barging through would-be tacklers, never looked like getting beat.
With Chris Alford in the sulky for trainer Brent Lilley, Messini came home with a 57-second last half to score a 4.6-metre victory in the ninth heat of the Roll With Joe Breeders Crown Series for three-year-old colts and geldings.
The high-class son of Art Major led from gate three and toyed with his rivals, only Glen Craven’s lightly raced Jilliby Jagger able to get within a bull’s roar of the winner at the end, the Terang pacer 4.6m behind in second.
With a 1:57.5 mile rate – easily the quickest of the three Crown heats on the night – Messini looks cherry ripe for the semi-finals, with a decision to be made regarding whether the pacer remains with Lilley for the business end of the series or heads back to Lilley’s close mate and New Zealand’s leading trainer, Mark Purdon.
Purdon sent Messini and Kept Under Wraps to Lilley for the lead-up to the Breeders Crown and Lilley has both horses firing on all cylinders.
Other heat winners last night were Will Mach My Word for trainer Geoff Webster with Emmett Brosnan in the chair, the son of Mach Three leading from go to whoa, and Dream Away gelding Hectorjayjay for Bill and Simone Walker, which scored by over 12m in a rate of 2:00.4 in the last race on the card.
Will Mach My Word
by Cody Winnell
Harness Racing Victoria