Rising star gets Upanatom at Yarra Valley

04:48 PM 08 Jul 2014 NZST
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Amanda Grieve.png
Amanda Grieve - pictured with her first winner.

Christian Cullen gelding Upanatom continued working his way through the grades with a 19.3m win at Yarra Valley on Monday.

The former New Zealander from the Amanda Grieve yard is undefeated in four starts since arriving Down Under and has won six out of nine overall.

Chris Alford piloted the four-year-old in Monday’s victory and, oh boy, didn’t this pacer look a cut above his rivals. (Access Yarra Valley Monday replays here)

From gate seven Upanatom charged straight to the lead clearly despite Alford hardly moving a muscle.

Recording the fastest lead time of the day from the 2150m start, 38.3secs, Upanatom came home with a 58.6secs last half to score by a huge margin.

It was an armchair ride for Alford all the way in fact, as even late in the race he hardly had to call on his charge. The winner’s mile rate was 1:59.1.

Five of the eight races at Yarra Valley were won by favourites, with Im Anonymous scoring by a head off a 20m handicap in the yarravalleyracing.com.au Trotters Handicap over 2150m at $3.30, Game We Play winning his second race from four starts at $1.70 in the United Petroleum 3YO Pace, Pushkin getting up by a head at $1.30 for Adam Kelly/Gavin Lang in the De Bortoli Pace over 2150m, and $3.50 elect Our Horizon scoring by 6m in the Yarra Valley Forklifting Claiming Pace for trainer-driver Jodi Quinlan.

Other winners were Ourboyjay for Daryl Douglas, which out-bobbed Glenferrie Bunter by a half-head in the Yarra Ranges Tourism 2YO Pace over 1650m, Onemorelaugh in the Spring Packages Online 3YO Pace, which gave Lang a driving double, and outsider Lets Go Happy for Mark Peace in the Lilydale Instant Lawn Pace over 1650m.

By Cody Winnell (Harness Racing Australia)

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