Day At The Track

Northern Region Championships commence

11:04 AM 23 Feb 2011 NZDT
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Nickle Miss and John Caldow
Nickle Miss and John Caldow - return after winning the Tas Oaks

One of the most sought after harness racing series in the Northern part of Victoria is the time honoured Alabar Bloodstock Northern Region Championship for C1 & C2 class over 2190 metres, five heats of which were conducted at the Ouyen HRC meeting held at Mildura on Wednesday February 23.

Heat one going the way of 4-Y-0 Grinfromeartoear/Lets Go Baby mare Nickle Miss ($1.30) in a rate of 2-01.4.

Trained at Melton by Maree and John Caldow, the former Tasmanian Oaks winner was sent forward from outside the front row to assume control from the noted sit/sprinter Toretti and once at the head of the field, was never out of second gear in accounting for Our Flyin Jazz which moved from gate four on the second line to shadow her, with Zilzie Operator (one/one) third.

Heat two went to Kiwi bred Pacific Rocket/Miss Petire 3-Y-0 gelding Missies Boy locally trained by Frank Cavallaro and driven by Nathan Jack, making it four from four on Australian soil.

Safely retaining the inside running from the pole, Missies Boy ($2.30) had little difficulty in leading throughout to score from the hard pulling South Australian Powershift which trailed, with the heavily supported Dean Braun trained Renaissance Franco third after moving to race in the open. The mile rate 2-01.5.

Another local winner was Jet Laag/Kellys Darling gelding Rhys Lightning which was an upset winner of the third heat in 2-02.1.

Trained and driven by Andrew Vozlic, Rhys Lightning from the extreme draw settled one/one, vacating that spot when the long odds-on favourite Itsallagame commenced a forward move early in the piece to race in the open, giving Rhys Lightning the coveted one/one position.

Eased three wide running into the final bend when the favourite started giving ground, Rhys Lightning ($13.80) although three wide on the home turn, finished full of running to gain the day over Tapper Torney which led, with Craigmore Prince third after trailing the runner up.

South Australian trainer Vaughn Newman has been a regular competitor at Mildura meetings and snared the fourth heat of the Championship with ever reliable Safely Kept/Shattering mare Fragments.

Given a cosy passage by Nathan Jack three back in the moving line, Fragments was eased wide in the last lap to give chase to the leading pair of Seefeel Pocket and Donoson which had cut at one another for the last half of the journey.

With Donoson gaining the upper hand on straightening, Fragments ($12.20) finished hard over the concluding stages to prevail by a half neck in a rate of 2-00.6, with Seefeel Pocket a disappointing third.

Bald Hills (Creswick) trainer/driver Michael Stanley’s Union Guy/Victoria Street filly Blucolla Tigerpie chalked up her 6th victory in 14 outings when successful in heat number five.

Leading easily from gate two, Blucolla Tigerpie ($1.40) despite being pressured by La Moray outside her, kicked clear on the final bend to score virtually untouched over La Moray which stuck to his guns in a rate of 2-00.1, with Its Anitagain (one/two – three wide last lap) a gap away third.

The fast class event on the program – the Art Major Pace for C4 & C5 class over 1790 metres was taken out by former Kiwi mare Talaspring for Melton’s Brent Lilley and Gavin Lang in a slick rate of 2-00.8.

Despite sitting in the open from outside the front row (only four across), Talaspring a 4-Y-0 daughter of (Badlands Hanover and Spring Thaw which did the majority of her racing in the North Island, cruised up to the pacemaker Beaudiene Riviera on the final bend, before coasting to the wire 7.5 metres in advance of Beaudiene Riviera (another ex New Zealander) and Oursandybeach which followed the leader.

Len BAKER

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