Day At The Track

Saint James Gate upsets at Cobram meeting

06:55 AM 15 Aug 2011 NZST
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David Aiken
David Aiken

Cobram on the Victorian/New South Wales border played host to Monday (August 15) harness racing, with an entertaining eight race card. Kilmore mother and son - Rosie Weidebach and Kevin Weidenbach (jnr) snared the opening race on the program - the De Maria Mitsubishi Pace for Co class over 1670 metres with 4-Y-0 Die Laughing/Biddy My Dear stallion Saint James Gate in a rate of 1-59.

Given a lovely trip from the pole trailing the long odds-on favourite Spaceghost drawn next to him, young Weidenbach was able to extricate around the leader in the final circuit when Pirates Wrath which had raced in the open strode clear.

Issuing a strong challenge on straightening, Saint James Gate finished too well to defeat Pirates Wealth by 2.7 metres, with Kensington Gardens (one/one) third.

Avenel’s David Aiken landed the Scott Newberry 2-Y-0 Pace over 2170 metres with Art Major/Vangold colt Cold Major which is raced by Clive Palmer’s Queensland based Cold Mountain Stud.

Coming off an eye catching 6th on debut at Yarra Valley a week earlier, Cold Major from gate two on the second row settled one/one, with Aiken sending him forward shortly after the start to park outside the leader Lite Prince.

Joining Lite Prince on the home turn, Cold Mountain kept on giving all the way up the running to score narrowly over Lombo Ranmiles along the sprint lane off the back of the leader, with Bellasario (three back the markers) flashing home late for third when having his first outing at the races. The mile rate 2-02.1.

Kialla (Shepparton) trainer Peter Hornsby once again combined with Stacey Towers to capture the Len Schmedje Memorial Trotters Handicap for T0 or better class over 2678 metres with in-form Cr Commando/Zesta 4-Y-0 mare Oceania.

Wasting no time in sending her forward from the 30 metre mark, Oceania strode past the pacemaker Outpunch Encounter mid-race and once at the head of affairs, had too much petrol in the tank for her rivals, winning easily in advance of the equal 50 metre backmarker Eisenhower and Outpunch Encounter in a rate of 2-05.5.

Goornong trainer/driver Peter Salathial was successful with former Kiwi colt Rodrigo in the Clydesdale Hotel 3-Y-0 Pace over 2170 metres.

Having his third outing on Australian soil, Rodrigo (Bettors Delight/Maheer Lady) following two previous placings, was sent forward three wide from gate three on the second line to park outside the leader Soho Icarus which had pushed through from gate two on the second line to cross the leader The Stingray.

Applying plenty of pressure to the pacemaker running into the final bend, with Try Dreamin three wide, Rodrigo outstayed his rivals to win well in a rate of 2-00.3 from Soho Icarus and The Stingray along the sprint lane.

Shepparton’s John Newberry snared the D’Vine Ideas Pace (1st Heat) for C1 class over 1670 metres with 5-Y-0 Pacific Rocket/Coringa Moon gelding Henry Ducket.

Given the run of the race from the pole trailing the leader and red-hot favourite Lombo Sleek Street next to him, Newberry eased off the back of the pacemaker on turning and Henry Ducket responded well to finish best in a rate of 1-57.7, with Lovable Larrikin (one/one – three wide last lap) third.

Heat Two of the D/Vine went the way of NSW visitor Rocko, a 4-Y-0 gelded son of Art Major and Get A Haircut in identical circumstances.

Driven by Adam Jenkins for trainer Damien McKelvie, Rocko from the pole was given every opportunity trailing the leader Classic Icon from the Newberry barn which drew next to him.

Easing to the outside on straightening, Rocko finished best to tip out Classic Icon in a rate of 1-59.3, with Levi Lowe third after following the pair.

It was interesting to note that neither driver of the two winners wanted to use the sprint lane.

Fully American bred 5-Y-0 Western Terror/Mio Hanover mare Kabbalah Karen broke her Australian maiden status, when successful in the Cobram Rural Pace for C4 & C5 class over 2170 metres.

Trained at Euroa by Danny Thackeray for Lauriston Bloodstock Pty Ltd, Kabbalah Karen driven by Nathan Jack possied four back in the moving line from inside the second line, before being set alight to park outside the pacemaker Western Connection approaching the bell.

In a ding-dong duel all the way to the wire, Kabbalah Karen prevailed by a half neck to score in 2-00.3, with La Moray third after having the drop on the leaders for the final circuit.

Len BAKER

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