Four year old/Inclination gelding Excuse To Live had everything go right for a change when successful in the $6,000 Community Day Pace Final for C1 class over 1780 metres at the Stawell HRC meeting conducted on Monday December 30 for those which qualified in the heats held at Terang on Sunday December 22
Trained at Sebastopol (Ballarat) byand raced by the Holloway family (Colin, wife Heather and son Brett) who drove the horse, Excuse To Live led throughout from the pole to defeat the raging hot favourite Keayang Starzzz from near last by a half neck in 1-57.1, with Dancing Feet running home late from a mile back to finish third.
Excuse To Live rarely has any luck in his races and probably should have finished closer in many of them.
Popular Sebastian owners Garry and Brenda Jackson finished the year on a high note, when their honest five year old/Cassies Miss mare Mosquito Spur landed in the Stawell Windows & Glass Trotters Handicap for T0 or better class over 2175 metres.
Trained and driven by Garry, Mosquito Spur began with a wing on every foot from the 10 metre mark to cross Family Decision shortly after the start, with her task being made easier when all of the favoured runners were badly away.
Bowling along at her leisure, Mosquito Spur although shortening stride over the concluding stages, scored by 2.5 metres in a mile rate of 2-08.9 over Frances Annie which they away all chance at the start and was meritorious in making up many lengths to get so close at the finish. Rough Voyage (three back the markers) was third.
Melton breeder/owner/trainer Charlie DeBono's/Living Angel gelding Another snared the 2nd Heat of the Stawell Veterinary Clinic Platinum Country Series I for Three Year Olds over 1780 metres in a rate of 2-00.5.
Driven by, Another had little difficulty in leading from the pole, just lasting to defeat Always Wantano along the sprint lane after trailing by a half neck, with Notjustanotherlombo (one/one - three wide home turn) third a neck away after racing roughly prior to the post.
Another's mother Living Angel a multiple cup winning mare, won the Stawell Pacing Cup in 2001.
kept his Stawell record intact by winning the Gold Reef Clothing Pace for C1 class over 2175 metres with in-form /Ananz filly Znana.
With daughter Kerryn in the sulky, Znana led throughout from the pole to defeat her stablemate Additallup which raced outside her by 3.4 metres, with Amberlu Angus (one/one) third. The mile rate an easy 2-04.8.
It was Znana's sixth victory.
Armstrong trainer's beautifully bred four year old Blissful Hall/My Cherie gelding Blessed IsThe Boy broke his maiden status at start number 12 when successful in the Carey Covers Pace for C0 class over 2175 metres, returning a mile rate of 2-01.7.
Driven by, Blessed Is The Boy starting from the extreme draw commenced a forward move from last racing for the bell, being accommodated by the favourite Fearless Courage coming out ahead of him from three back in the running line.
Making the final bend very wide, Blessed Is The Boy rattled home at a great rate to blouse the leader Urban Shadow by a half head in a tricky finish, with Onlyeconomyclass third after switching down to the sprint lane from mid-field on turning.
Another four year old winner on the day was/Pandoras Reign gelding Pandoras Jet for Marong part-owner/trainer in the Stawell farm Supplies Pace for C0 class over 1780 metres.
Driven by Terang based "whiz kid", Pandoras Jet showed blistering speed out of gate four to cross the pole marker Peters Ace on the first turn, defying all challengers to score in a rate of 2-00.7 from Peters Ace which used the sprint lane to no avail and Sir Dasher Dee which followed the pair.
Former HRV Board member Peter Bourke now Chairman of Australian Pacing Gold, enjoyed a day of days at Stawell as apart from breeding the main race winner Excuse To Live, also bred and races Garabaldi Union the victor of the Hygain Feeds Pace for C2 & C3 class over 1780 metres.
Trained byat Great Western, Garabaldi Union a five year old /Miss Incline gelding which has been on fire of late, possied three back in the moving line from gate five, with Secret Ruby leading from the pole being shadowed by Metrofromelle.
Easing three wide racing for the bell, Garabaldi Union showed plenty of staying prowess to wear down both Suerte (one/one) which shifted down to the sprint lane on straightening by a head and a game Metrofromelle in a mile rate 1-58.3.
This is my final column for HARNESSLINK - thank you for all the support over the years and best wishes for a healthy and prosperous 2014.