Day At The Track

Short half-head cracks the Code

11:00 PM 22 Oct 2019 NZDT
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Code Black,Harness racing
Code Black

A withering run and nail-biting wait for the approving photo elevated Code Black to the head of affairs in the Trots Country Cups Championship.

Having produced eye-catching runs all season Code Black got his just reward with Sunday’s Avoca Maryborough Community Bank Branches Maryborough Gold Cup win, beating Tell Me Tales by a short half-head to gain maximum points in the 25-cup championship.

The head of an Emma Stewart trifecta, with Maraetai running into third, Code Black’s victory wasn’t without a nervous wait for reinsman Greg Sugars.

“To be honest I wasn’t sure, she’s a beast of a mare Tell Me Tales and she towers over this one,” Sugars told Trots Vision. “When it was that close I thought, ‘oh, she might have a longer nose than Cody’, but thankfully our number’s in the frame.”

Sugars had good reason for scepticism. Not only was Tell Me Tales monstering the line but the Gold Cup hadn’t been kind to him.

“Maryborough Cup’s actually been a terrible race for me over the years,” he said. “I’ve had a few good drives back when it was stand starts and missed away or got knocked over, and even recent times chosen the wrong horse – got off one and it’s got up and won. It’s just been a race I haven’t been able to have any luck in, so very pleased to get this one on the board.”

It was all in place for Code Black with Cant Refuse pouring on the pace for much of the 2690-metre trip and then Shelby Bromac providing him cover on the three-wide line to aid the final burst.

Watch the race here!

The resultant victory propelled him to six points on the Trots Country Cups Championship, with the four points for a win coupling with his second placing (two points) in the September 26 Kilmore Cup behind San Carlo.

“He’s been a model of consistency this whole preparation,” Sugars said. “After his Kilmore Cup run, when he was flashing up the inside, I said to Emma and Clayton then, ‘this horse is absolutely flying and he only needs an ounce of luck in a nice race and I wouldn’t be surprised to see him win’.

“He thoroughly deserves this win today. Very appreciative to be a part of it, also got to thank connections – (owner) Danny Zavitsanos has been a good supporter of mine in recent months. We are building up a good partnership at the moment.”

Only an hour earlier Andy and Kate Gath also enjoyed a breakthrough when Everybody Knows produced his first victory on Australian soil in capturing the Maryborough Schoolhouse Village Maryborough Trotters Cup.

Reinswoman Kate Gath was able to dominate proceedings after favourite Jilliby Babavska galloped away from the strands, with Everybody Knows ambling to the front and then coupling a modest lead time (89.4 seconds) with a gentle second quarter (32.4 seconds) to keep Maori Law on her right hip and salute by 3.8 metres.

“He was knocking on the door to win one of these, he just needed a little bit of luck and finding the front today he got that and got it pretty easy early,” Gath told Trots Vision. “He got a little bit of pressure during the middle but was good enough to hold and he did a good job.

“Obviously the last mile was solid, but you expect that off the slow lead time. At least he was still good enough to get a little bit of that pressure and do what he did, he’s also good off the speed so he’s a nice little horse to have for these country cups.”

The Trots Country Cups Championship continues with Friday night’s Swan Hill pacing and trotters cups and the Swan Hill Mile, with heavyweights San Carlo, Colt Thirty One and Tam Major among those expected to battle for the major crown.


HRV Trots Media - Michael Howard

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