Day At The Track

Mother, son take honors in hometown Cup

04:58 PM 17 Feb 2020 NZDT
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Jason with the cup and Marg with Code Bailey as happy connections celebrate the Terang Cup win,Harness racing
Jason with the cup and Marg with Code Bailey as happy connections celebrate the Terang Cup win

Exuberant south west Victorian reinsman Jason Lee combined with his mother Marg to snatch the duo’s most coveted trophy at the weekend – a victory in their hometown harness racing pacing cup.

Five-year-old stallion Code Bailey gave Jason his first Terang Pacing Cup and he confirmed it was one of his sweetest victories. Marg won it in 2013 with Keayang Cullen, driven by Glen Craven.

“It has been at the top of my bucket list for a while,” Jason said.

“Even though it may not be the biggest race on the calendar, it’s no secret that I wanted the Terang Cup, then an Inter Dominion and after that any other G1 event,” he said.

The brilliant young reinsman blasted Code Bailey (Christian Cullen-Taffeta Bromac (Badlands Hanover) to the head of affairs soon after the mobile barrier despatched the field in the $50,000 feature.

Jason was determined to make it a solidly run race, setting a cracking pace and making it awfully hard for those back in the field to make any ground. The mile rate of 1.56-8 over the marathon distance of 2680 metres was super, but the last mile of 1.52-7 was quite sensational.

Code Bailey cruised to the line with an 18-metre advantage over recent SA Cup victor Pat Stanley (Kerryn Manning) with a further two metres back to A G’s White Socks (Greg Sugars).

“We were travelling pretty good a fair way out. I was really happy coming up the home straight—perhaps it more relief than anything,” Jason said.

“There was that expectation that we had our big chance to win our hometown cup. You just don’t always get the opportunity to do that,” he said.

“I can tell you that I was very nervous. I’ve probably never been that nervous in the past. But we are just over the moon that we’ve now ticked it off.”

Jason said his nan had always told him he would win the Terang Cup one day.

“So now she’s right. Even back when I was younger doing the pony trots, I always loved the Terang Cup meeting,” he said.

“But sometimes you find these races are harder to win than a feature that you’ve been aiming for. Ever since I got my metro licence, I’ve pretty much taken part in it every year.”

Harness racing identity Paul Campbell presenting the Terang Pacing Cup trophy to trainer Marg Lee

The Lees are based at Ecklin South (15 minutes from Terang), and Jason said he loved living in such a harness racing stronghold.

“The town always puts on a big show, particularly cup night. We are a close-knit harness racing region down here. We’re like a big family,” he said.

“Win, lose or draw we’ll always go and shake their hand.

“But it’s probably best said that Harness Racing is really like a big family too. You just have to see what’s going on with Gavin (champion driver Gavin Lang who is currently in hospital battling a rare form of blood cancer).

“The industry has really got behind him with financial support for the best treatment.”

Code Bailey, who was sent out as the $1.80 favorite, gave a carbon copy performance when he won the Garrards Horse and Hound Bendigo Cup on January 3 with a bold front running display.

Jammed in between the two Cup victories was a solid fifth in the Ballarat Cup (beaten 7m) and a close-up fourth (4m) in the prestigious Hunter Cup.

Jason said that provided Code Bailey pulled up okay, a campaign in Sydney for the coming big races was on the cards.

Code Bailey is part-owned by two popular AFL players in Darcy Gardiner of the Brisbane Lions and his former teammate Louie Taylor, who this season lines up with the Sydney Swans.

It was a big night for Marg who in addition with taking home the gold cup, also trained two other winners on the program in Keayang Liberty and Keayang Livana.

Trainer-driver Chris Svanosio, fresh from an overseas holiday, took the honors in the Terang G3 Trotters Cup. Chris got the money with Magicool (Tennotrump-Free Rider), while close friend Glen Craven was runner-up with stablemate Kyvalley Finn (Skyvalley-Kyvalley Paris).


Terry Gange

NewsAlert PR Mildura

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