The Jacobsen Headstones mobile pace last night at Auckland was all the talk in the harness racing community this week prior to the race.
A two year old son of Christian Cullen in Crockets Cullen trained by Brent Mangos was all the rage on the back of some smart performances at the trials recently.
If you listened to the tipsters he was a past the post certainty, but as we all know in racing there is no such thing.
Even though the field was only small at just seven runners, what it lacked in numbers it more than made up for with its quality.
Aside from Crockets Cullen it included two other two year olds in Bettormack and Rycroft who had also been excelling at trials as well of late.
Throw in smart maidens such as Under Worked and Shedontloveme and you had all the ingredients for a fascinating race.
Shedontloveme led off the gate before handing up to Bettormack who in turn handed up to Crockets Cullen after 500 meters.
Rycroft had settled last from his wide draw but took off with 950 meters to go to work forward to the death seat.
Turning for home Rycroft quickly asserted his superiority and went to line for a comfortable 1 ¼ length win over Shedontloveme who just nosed Bettormack out of second with Crockets Cullen weakening to fourth.
The son of Elsu who is trained and was driven by the “iceman” Tony Herlihy, paced the 2200 in the smart time of 2:44.4 with closing sectionals of 57;9 and 28.8.
From the famed Black Watch family, Rycroft is from the In The Pocket mare Futures So Bright who is a half- sister to such smart types as Pulsation 1:53.2 ($128,511) Anescape 1:50.6 ($122,027) and Forever Now 1:57 (106,288)
Judging by the ease of his win tonight over such a talented field, this won’t be the last time that Rycroft is first to greet the judge on race night.