Day At The Track

Rough and tumble start for two year olds

07:18 AM 03 Jan 2020 NZDT
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Ultimate Exclusive, harness racing
Ultimate Exclusive cruised to a comfortable 30-metre win

There were thrills and spills, but no serious injuries...and the skirmishes will take little away from the winner of Victorian harness racing's first two-year old race of the season, Ultimate Exclusive.

Kilmore is the traditional host of the Victorian season opener for the "babies" and there's always some nervous anticipation in the leadup to the New Year fixture - but today's event was a little more action packed than most.

Several of the debutantes broke stride early in attempt one of the Bendigo Club Two Year Old Pace. In the resulting severe interference, two of the youngsters fell.

Watch the replay of attempt one here.

Both of the fallen horses (Ire of the Dragon and Syzate) and their drivers (Peter Salathiel and Robert Graham) were quickly back on their feet, with none sustaining serious injury, but stewards halted the race and ordered all runners to be vet-checked - with the ultimate result, that the two fallen horses were late scratchings.

Attempt two got underway without incident, but even then, the action wasn't all over for the four-horse field.

Race favorite Sheffield Peak (which had galloped after the start in the first attempt at the race) was balanced up out of the gate and worked to the lead.

He looked a good winning chance turning for home, then broke up at the 400-metre mark as the death-seat horse Ultimate Exclusive (Art Major-Saved A Corka (Armbro Operative) moved up outside.

Reinsman Michael Bellman showed plenty of composure, allowing Ultimate Exclusive to then cruise to the front and run away to score a comfortable 30-metre win over Swiss Lightning (Betterthancheddar-Virginia Lightning (Christian Cullen). Sheffield Peak (Artspeak-Chloe Sheffield (Whats Next) still managed to regain third when Ultimate Hughey broke straightening for home.

Watch the race here.

Trained by Ted Caruana, Ultimate Exclusive is the latest in the dynasty from the super-reliable broodmare Saved A Corka (Armbro Operative-Uncork NZ (Tuapeka Knight). Her progeny includes Aspiring Artist ($170,000), Our Little Artist ($70,000), Rap Artist ($100,000) and Major Exclusive ($90,000), and the mature-looking colt Ultimate Exclusive showed a lot to like at his debut run.

Terry Gange

NewsAlert PR Mildura








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