Day At The Track

Shady Story chasing third career

01:53 PM 07 Aug 2020 NZST
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Shady Story chasing third career win in Launceston,Harness racing

Carrick trainer Craig Van Dongen is hoping his three-year-old gelding Shady Story can continue on his winning way when he lines up in the Cliff Robins Memorial in Launceston on Friday night.

The Shadyshark gelding has won two of his five career starts, his most recent win came in Launceston on 19 July where he ran away to score by 18.8 metres in inclement weather which was reflected in the mile rate of 2m 2.5s.

On that occasion Shady Story settled one-out and three-back before his driver on that occasion Ricky Duggan, made a mid-race move around the field to race outside the leader for the final lap and naturally his trainer Craig Van Dongen was pleased with the victory.

“I was pretty pleased with the win, he did it pretty tough, he seems to have a bit of stamina in him,” said Van Dongen.

Admitting the pacer “pulled up good” from that victory, the trainer also acknowledged that he believes tonight’s event is one of the pacers toughest tests this preparation where he has booked the services of reinsman Gareth Rattray for the drive.

“There are a few good horses in the race, it is probably his toughest field he has met. I will just leave it all up to Gareth (Rattray) on what he wants to do,” said the trainer.

Tonight’s field includes Raymonds Judge ($3.50) who has won his last two and is in the care of in-form trainer Marc Butler, Estelle ($5.00) who draws inside of the second-row and was a good second last time out when first-up from a spell.

Other chances include Kivik ($8.50) who scored at triple-figure odds at his only start, and the Ben Yole-trained Gauci ($10) who gets his best barrier draw in three Tasmanian starts.

Shady Story opened up this morning at $3.50.

The gelding never raced as a two-year-old and was purchased online by Van Dongen’s daughter Hannah who misses tonight’s Launceston meeting through suspension.

“Hannah bought him online from the mainland as a two-year-old. His owners wanted to get rid of a few horses and this guy needed time to grow and mature a bit,” explained the Carrick based trainer.

“He was a bit green and a bit hard coming out of the mobile, so we had to get him a bit more educated to try and get him to settle down coming out of the mobile,” added Van Dongen who has another two horses in work, and a couple more to come back in.

Tonight’s Launceston meeting will be televised on Sky Racing 2 and TasracingTV with the first race set down for 17:35.

Three trials will be held before the first race from 16:30.


Duncan Dornauf for Tasracing

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