Day At The Track

Tears of joy at Melton for Come On Frank

03:32 PM 18 May 2012 NZST
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Darren Billinger
Darren Billinger - the owner/trainer/driver of Come On Frank.

The tears of emotion and elation were hard to hold back for the harness racing connections of Adelaide visitor Come On Frank, when he scored his biggest career success - the $100,000 (Group 1) Empire Stallions Vicbred Super Series Final for Four Year Old Entires & Geldings over 2240 metres at Tabcorp Park Melton on Friday (May 18).

Trained and driven by former bank manager Darren Billinger, Come On Frank began better than ever from gate two, tackling the polemarker Ronald George to assume control heading into the back straight on the first occasion, but not before using plenty of gas to do so.

Not wanting to get into another war with the favourite Jadahson (gate three) going forward three wide, Billinger relented to allow Jadahson to stride clear which ended up a great move as Jadahson was subject to plenty of pressure throughout the event by Cut For An Ace.

Using the sprint lane, Come On Frank a gelded son of Blissful Hall and Whatacorka raced clear in the shadows of the post to score by 3.2 metres in a rate of 1-58.6 (last half 56.2 – quarter 28.3) from Jadahson, with Keayang Cullen coming from from last at the bell to finish a further 3.8 metres away in third place.

Raced by breeder Ian Goddard in partnership with Julie and Jodie Billinger (Darren’s wife and daughter), Come On Frank who has his own Facebook page with a world wide following, chalked up his 25th victory at start number 46.

Darren wasn’t happy with the way the horse handled the track in last week’s Semi-Final and took him to the Melton trials last Monday for further experience which obviously paid off.

It has been well documented that the Billinger’s eldest daughter Kelly was tragically killed in a road accident 13 months ago and Come On Frank races in her memory.

*** On an outstanding night of racing, beautifully bred Artisplace/Jadah Rose colt Guaranteed (Emma Stewart trainer & Chris Alford driver) scored an easy victory in the $50,000 (Group 2) Pegasus Club Tatlow Stakes for 2-Y-0 Colts & Geldings over 2240 metres, leading for the last half of the journey in accounting for Keayang Starzzz which led out before taking a trail and Lennytheshark which faced the breeze for the final circuit. The mile rate 1-59.2.

Two Semi-Finals of the Vicbred Super Series for 4-Y-0 Mares over 2240 metres were held with the winners being Shake It Mama (Mach Three/Gold Sarn) for Emma Stewart and Chris Alford and Beauty Secret (Armbro Operative/Secret Life) also for Emma Stewart with Daryl Douglas holding the reins.

The $20,000 Metro Printing Melton Pacing Cup for M0 or better class (D-H) over 2760 metres went the way of Bannockburn trainer Geoff Webster’s 7-Y-0 Armbro Operative/Kamwood Gal gelding Tear It All Away in a rate of 2-00.8.

Driven by the stable’s Emmett Brosnan, Tear It All Away pounced on the lead from barrier four as the tapes were released, before taking a trail inside a lap to stablemate Lets Slash An Burn, one of two 20 metre backmarkers.

Enjoying a cosy trip, Tear It All Away used the sprint lane to perfection in defeating Dominus Vobiscum which followed him throughout, with Lets Slash An Burn third.

A winner of 18 from 89 outings, Tear It All Away took his earnings to $224,639.

by Len BAKER

Come On Frank winning the Group One $100,000 Vicbred Super Final:

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