Day At The Track

Pacing Gold debut for 'Bluebloods'

01:44 AM 07 Apr 2010 NZST
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Courtesy Of Harness Racing Victoria

The harness racing debuts of half-brothers to some of Australian harness racing's top performers of the modern era headline Friday night's Australian Pacing Gold heats at Melton's Tabcorp Park.

Relations to Lombo La Fe Fe, Captain Joy, Mother Courage, Penny Veejay and Nemeeshar are among those that will be making their first trip to the races.

Three of the bluebloods will be in action in the one qualifier: heat four at 10.12pm.

Bastille Crest has a bit to live up to as a half-brother to possibly the best juvenile filly Australia has ever seen, Lombo La Fe Fe - a winner of 19 of 22 starts and $469,000 as a two-year-old.

The Steve O'Donoghue-trained son of Life Sign and Lombo La Paree tuned up for his debut with a trial dead heat win at Kyabram on March 21.

But waiting for him on Friday night, among others, are the Graham Tindale-trained gelding Shukashar (Grinfromeartoear x What A Novice), a half-brother to Breeders Crown champion Nemeeshar, and Penny Veejay's half-brother Wetzler (Blissfull Hall x Newbold Penny).

Harness fans don't have to wait til the final $20,000 heat to see some bluebloods go around.

Lightning Joy, a half-brother to Breeders Crown champion and $729,000-earner Captain Joy, will contest the third qualifier in which Emma Stewart's Nozomi looks the best of the raced brigade.

By Western Terror, he is the latest racing-age son of Lady Joy, who has also thrown talented types Another Joy and Master Joy.

Heat one sees Christian Cullen colt My Christian Fella, a half-brother to Australian and Victoria Oaks champion Mother Courage, go around against unbeaten Lombo Tuscanini and class acts Sushi Sushi and Devilish Smile.

The remaining heat is race two on card at 6.43pm and features an appearance by Jadah Rose's first foal Jadahson, a winner of the Shakamaker Classic.

Heat runners are chasing a spot in the $300,000 Group 1 final, to be run at Menangle on Friday night, April 23.

The APG heats are the features of a 10-race card that also heralds the debut of 2008 APG two-year-old fillies champion Keppel Bay for the Andy Gath stable.

Keppel Bay, who on the two-year-old fillies final in 2008 when trained by Emma Stewart, will have her first start since finishing down the track in the Breeders Crown final on August 23 in the Melton Saddlery C1 Pace.

CLASS PREVAILS AT MILDURA

The cream rose to the top in last night's Park Douglas Printing Mildura Pacing Cup heats.

The series' two best-performed entrants, Mister Zion and Sammy Maguire, both booked their place in Saturday night's $50,000 Group 2 final with impressive victories.

Barastoc Grand Circuit winner Mister Zion did no more than he had to in the first heat, while Bendigo Cup hero Sammy Maguire sat parked outside Make Mine Cullen but was too strong for the Breeders Crown champion.

While the Glenn Douglas-trained Make Mine Cullen shot to the front from gate three, Sammy Maguire ($2.80) was wide without cover for more than half a lap from his back-row draw before getting to the spot outside the leader.

Champion reinsman Gavin Lang sat there until challenging the $1.60 favourite during a 28.8-second third quarter before taking control in a 28.7-second final split for a 3.8-metre win in a 2:00.2 mile rate.

That was 1.2secs quicker than what Mister Zion went when a comfortable winner of the earlier heat, where the splits were 30.3, 30.5, 31 and 29.5 seconds.

Although the Geoff Webster-trained gelding, who started the $2.10 favourite, only had 1.3m to spare over Jackson Grant he appeared to have plenty in hand.

In Monaco, The Gunstar and No Encore rounded out the top five in the opening heat to secure their spots in the final.

Make Mine Cullen's stablemate Bunda Cliffs, rank outsider Master Waratah and Mystical Warrior were third, fourth and fifth in heat two and go through to the final, which will be run at 9.30pm.

Mister Zion drew barrier five for the final and Sammy Maguire nine, although he will come into eight if emergency Dreaming Fella (eight) doesn't get a run.

Three other series ran heats last night, including the Tankard Dental Mildura Guineas where Geoff Webster-trained Kiwi import Captain Dale and Alabar Victoria Derby finalist Heza Panamach were the winners.

Geoff Webster prepared Bombora Lombo to win the opening heat of the Mark Gurry & Associates Cup but had to settle for second and third with Lets Slash An Burn and Tear It All Away behind Flyin Interstate in the latter qualifier.

Two heats of the Mildura Working Man's Club Pace were also run with Adrenalyn getting home at odds-on in heat one before $24 shot Van Celot Robyn provided an upset result in heat two.

All finals will be run on Saturday night, but the carnival continues tomorrow night with the Homevale Stud Mildura Trotters Cup (2600m stand), in which dual Tabcorp Park track record holder Afriti is the 30m backmarker.

Brad BISHOP

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