The much anticipated Southern Cross Finals were conducted in Adelaide last Sunday with some big money up for grabs with four $60,000 finals run on the super Sunday program at Globe Derby Park.
With a big crowd in attendance the weather was perfect and the scene was set for a great days racing and leading driver David Harding was certainly the star of the show winning three of the four finals.
The first of them was in the 3yo Colts And Geldings division with star Victorian Major Crocker.
Sent out as an unbackable $1.20 favourite from gate two he had certainly been in good form in the lead up races of the series winning his heat and semi in good style.
Sent straight to the front by Harding he was never troubled scoring an easy 6.3 metre victory with fellow Victorian Mixedwithajasper in 2nd sport after trailing the leader throughout with Bolt Action Blood running a career best race in 3rd place.
In winning Major Crocker made it three in a row and took his prizemeony past the $123,000 mark for Adelaide based owner Gary Croker and he was certainly thrilled after the race.
“He just a nice horse, its good to put a plan together with Vince (Vallelonga, Trainer) and for it to come off and win a big one at home” he said
“He will now head to the Breeders Crown and then to the paddock after that”. “He still learning and hopefully he will come back as a nice 4yo next season” he added
The win continued a great run of success in this series for the family with Gary and His wife Sharon also involved in the ownership of Wouldn’t It Be Nice who was a winner back in 2008 as well as Phyl Croker in 2012.
The second of the finals was somewhat of an upset with Punch Line proving too strong in the 3yo fillys division.
With the Jeremy Seal trained Dougs Courage going for 15 straight wins she was certainly the popular elect with punters despite drawing outside the frontline. She was expected to lead easily but raced roughly after the start before having to work hard to eventually find the front.
While all this was happening Harding was able to manoeuvre Punch Line off the fence from gate 7 and straight around the face the breeze outside of his main danger.
She was too strong in the run to the line drawing away to score a dominant 14.5 mere win with Our Little Artist and Royal Jacquard filling the minor placing’s with Dougs Courage back in 5th spot.
Owned by a large syndicate of owners headed by prominent owner breeder Bruce Cameron Punch Line has been of model of consistently throughout her career with Sundays win now her 6th from 13 starts overall.
Cameron was obviously thrilled with the win after the race.
“I thought she had a good chance and with plenty of speed early it worked out well for us” he said
“She’s done a great job since she been over here and she will now head back for the Breeders Crown Semi at her home track Ballarat. He added.
The win also continued a great run for Cameron and his co-owners with Sundays win adding to Beauty Secrets two wins in the series back in 2011 and 2012.
The third leg of Harding’s treble was certainly a career highlight for trainer Rebecca East with Hez The One storming down the outside to claim the 2yo Colts And Geldings Division.
With Blurred Lines able to lead from gate one there was good early speed in the race with Jax Navaro and Blurred Lines running the first quarter in a slick 28.7.
It was left to the swoopers to fight the race out with Blackntan looking the winner in the run but Hez The One Was simply too quick scoring a 7.7 metre win with Blackntan in 2nd sport with Blurred Lines battling on strongly back in 3rd place.
Sundays win was his 8th from nine starts overall and this feature added to his win earlier in season in the $25,000 Golden Nursery Final.
The final $60,000 feature was for the 2yo fillies and this one certainly went to scipt with start local Whats Emma Got continuing on her winning way.
Although drawn the backline she was sent straight around the field by Driver Dani Hill to find the front and she was never troubled scoring an easy 13 metre win with Shaezee and Call Her Julie filing the minor placing’s.
Sundays win made it an impressive six in a row and 7 form 10 overall with her prizemoney now north of the $60,000 mark and she has certainly gave her trainer Glenda Fuller and owner Sharon Newman a great ride throughout the season.
Ben Harding - South Australia Harness Racing