Day At The Track

Svilicich extends record

11:43 AM 06 Sep 2014 NZST
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Shardons Rocket.jpg
Shardons Rocket

Veteran Byford harness racing mentor Tony Svilicich extended his record in the Sullys Painting New Seasons Pace at Gloucester Park last night.

Heading into the popular feature, Svilicich topped the event’s honour roll with three victories - Taihape Tickler in 2006 and Has The Answers in 2010 and 2011.

Svilicich’s fourth success came courtesy of Shardons Rocket’s upset win with champion reinsman Chris Lewis in the cart.

Paying an inviting $34.30 on the tote, Shardons Rocket was caught in the breeze early before being allowed to roll to the front during the middle stages as Courage Tells was eased to take a trail.

Proving too slick along the home straight, the veteran son of Pacific Rocket scored by a metre-and-a-half from Ballas Arockstar, with Courage Tells a metre-and-a-half away third.

Completing his first win since last May, Shardons Rocket rated 1:57.4 for the 2536-metre journey, with the last half covered in 57.8 seconds.

With no major plans in mind for the 10-year-old, Svilicich will follow his usual training method of racing Shardons Rocket on a weekly basis.

Another highlight of the program was Libertybelle Midfrew’s impressive triumph for trainer Mike Reed as the mare continues her rapid transition through the grades.

Driven by Reed’s reinsman-son, Mark, Libertybelle Midfrew was three-wide into the lead from the second row before registering an arrogant 15-metre win from Adda Rising Star, with Courtneys Best 26 metres away third.

Covering the last half in 58.4 seconds, the daughter of Christian Cullen rated a slick 1:56.7 for the 2170 metres.

Boasting seven wins from eight starts since joining Reed’s stable, Libertybelle Midfrew is likely to tackle the ‘boys’ in the four-year-old features such as the Golden Nugget during the next few months.

- PAUL COURTS

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