Bathurst HRC indicated its strong support of the Leigh Plunkett Foundation and its upcoming fundraiser at, by naming all races at last Wednesday’s meeting for the charity.
On a night when all eight winners were trained and driven by locals, there was, nevertheless, an international flavour to proceedings.
Local juniorwas farewelled prior to her departure for a twelve-month contract in the Canterbury stables of leading New Zealand trainers and .
On the arrivals side, a visiting English family with connections toenjoyed their first experience of harness racing, which included rides in the mobile barrier, visits to the broadcast box and, most importantly, backing a winner!
Cynthia Bourke’s departure will be sorely felt by the close-knit team of trainer, whose stable provided one of the night’s most impressive winners in Signory Shannon (Michael Munro), in the Leukaemia Foundation Pace over 2130 metres.
The Bettors five-year-old, a favourite of everyone in the stable because of his wonderful attitude, appeared well graded in the C1 event, and justified his $2.00 starting quote by leading throughout at a 2:02.1 rate. Twenty Three Penny closed late, and Getaloadathis, racing outside the leader, held on well for third.
made an enjoyable night for the English visitors even more memorable when he drove Birds Of A Feather ($3.90) to its first win at start fourteen, in a 3CO sprint class.
After a slow first half, Settree quickened to a 30.0 third quarter, and got home in 31.4 for an overall rate of just 2:05.3. Sunnyside Magic raced wide for the last lap to hold on for second, ahead of favourite Charlottes Delight, which raced in the one-one trail.
Doug Moore, Ben’s father-in-law, didn’t care at all about that slow time. Brooklyn Lodge had sold thedaughter of high-class racemare Ruffle My Feathers as a yearling, and subsequently bought her back cheaply.
With a winning time to her name now, Doug Moore was pleased to declare, “Now I’ve got a broodmare.”
Those English visitors- Patrick and Jeanette Smith and their three children – hail from a little village near Headingly in Leeds, where the Poms had crushed Australia in a recent Ashes Test.
At the precise moment they posed with the Brooklyn Lodge winner, the Aussies were walking out to open their account in the final match of the series at The Oval. Here’s hoping for revenge!
Maheer Melody and Jay Peez Knight provided a double for trainerand driver Amanda, in their separate quests to attain 200 winners by season’s end. These wins took them to 195 and 196 wins respectively.
Maheer Melody ($3.00 favourite) was forced to race outside the lead in a 3C0-3C1 sprint event, holding on for the narrowest of wins from William Peter, one-one trail throughout, and Wicked Delight, which trailed the leader from its second row draw. The mile rate of 2:02.4 was fair.
Jay Peez Knight ($4.00) turned in a tough effort as well when taking out the Plunkett Fundraiser Pace, forced four wide when making a run at the bell, and still proving too strong despite a slick 28.7 third quarter and a wide trip for the final lap of the 1730 metres C 0 event. Hand For Tilly and Blissed By Datmuch filled the minor placings.
Nathan Hurst’s training double was achieved with Lady Of The Dance NZ (Angela Hedges) in a 2130 metres R0-R1class, and two-year-old Tulhurst Jailbreak one race later, for Nathan himself.
Lady Of The Dance NZ ($9.30) scored her first win since arriving in Australia last year, after enjoying a soft run behind stablemate Ace It Up Posum, which led and held on for second, ahead of favourite Why So Serious, which had been held back at the start to allow the horse drawn ahead of it, Crazzy Falcon, to catch the gate and take its place.
While there was a degree of bad luck for Why So Serious, the final quarter in 34.0 (overall rate 2:05.5) was the slowest in memory, and demonstrated just how tired this field was by race end.
Tulhurst Jailbreak ($7.00 ) showed a nice turn of foot to assume the lead at the 1200 metres mark in a 2C0 sprint class and maintain an even tempo thereafter, to win clearly from favourite Our Lissome, which came off the pegs before the turn, and early leader Smack Dab Shannon.
This was the first win in nine starts for theyoungster, but when he mends his manners to begin on terms with the field, he will win plenty.
On China Beach ($2.80 ) also scored her first win, for keen owner Adam Tosic and trainer-driver, when she sat outside the lead in a second R0-R1 2130 metres class. Machs On Show and Happy Camper came from the running line to fill the minor places, and the even quarters produced an overall rate of 2:02.8, much quicker than the earlier event for this class.
Studleigh Becky ($6.20 ) was given the run of the race by Emma Turnbull (for Brett Davis) in the C2-C3 sprint event, trailing leader Zenitra Shannon and running it down close to home, with death-seating Rowan Royal holding on for third, in 2:01.9 , with a last half in 59.6 . The winner is another daughter of Art Major, a clear winner of the Sires premiership at Bathurst this season.
Freezing conditions for most on course, but for Blayney-based Davis, Oberon –based Watterson, and those Headingly visitors, the night was probably quite balmy.
Bathurst Harness Racing Club