Day At The Track

The $50,000 Shepparton Cup night reviews

01:47 PM 19 Jan 2013 NZDT
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On a night full of harness racing highlights, Brett Cargill and Gavin Lang took the top honour when Our White Knight charged across the leaders heels to take the $50,000 Group 2 Nightline Homes Shepparton Gold Cup.

It was an extraordinary drive from the master reinsman who must take much of the credit for finding his way onto the leader and favourite, Mustang Mach's back in the early stages of the race.

From there you would expect Lang to simply sit and wait for the sprint lane in order to give the roughie his best chance. But Lang knew better, with the son of Our Sir Vancelot travelling sweetly off the back he took the initiative and switched over the leaders heels when a gap appeared. By the time they entered the home running he was putting the pressure on Mustang Mach ($1.80) who wilted under pressure.

The real threat late in the race came from the Paul Rowse trained Savesometimetodream ($27.80). Similarly discarded by the punters, the gelding landed directly behind the eventual winner and had the comfort of a nice run into the vacant sprint lane. After looming up halfway down the straight he was tightened slightly for room by the favourite and subsequently outgunned by Our White Knight ($25).

Mustang Mach held third comfortably from Our Blackbird ($11.90) who was slow to begin but rallied late to fill the fourth placing.

The winner covered the 2,690 metre journey in an overall time of 3:22.2 with a mile rate of bang on 2:01.0 in a 57.3 last half. The seven-year-old journeyman has now won over $200,000 in prizemoney from his 20 wins in 82 lifetime starts.

Our White Knight

I Didn't Do It ($6.10) returned to his winning ways in the feature squaregaiting event of the night. He proved too strong for Cold Sister ($22.60) in the Group 3 George Gath Trot.

The race was transformed when the $1.30 favourite My Escapee made a mess of the start and along with Aleppo Midas ($11), the third favourite, trailed the field in for the bulk of the race.

That left Aleppo Sunrise ($21.80) to find the lead with Cold Sister getting the gun run behind the leader. I Didn't Do it, who had been in red hot form leading into his last start defeat at the hands of My Escapee, was therefore afforded the perfect one out and one back trail.

When they turned for home Jodi Quinlan found herself cruising to the leaders and looked to have the race sewn up soon after straightening. Chris Alford had to wait and wait but eventually obtained a sprint lane run on Cold Sister who charged along the pegs to run I Didn't Do It to less than a half-head in a thrilling finish.

Aleppo Sunrise battled into the minor placing dead-heating with Earl Of Mot ($35.50) who sat outside him and pressured the early leader off the back.

The son of Sundon now looms as one of Victoria's most prominent squaregaiters heading towards the Great Southern Star series this March.

They ran home in a last half of 58.4 with the mile rate clocked at 2:01.2.

I Didn't Do It

The night was also highlighted by the early season two-year-olds taking their shot at their respective Lombo finals and it was differing fortunes for favourite backers in the two races.

Blitzsuzy ($12.20) came off two educational runs to give Tim McGuigan a reason to smile after winning the fillies division from a horror draw. Jodi Quinlan capped off a successful night by piloting the Blissful Hall juvenile to an important win, knocking of race favourite and the previously undefeated Tallulah Bay ($1.40).

The win now opens up plenty of options for the quinella who have promising futures.

In the males division Business In Motion ($2.10) monstered his rivals from the second row draw of four. Blake Jones was entrusted with guiding the colt and he had to overcome racing roughly in the score-up. He was able to steady the favourite before the mobile rolled and had him back up in position as the gates flew back.

With a lap to go the favourite started to make his way into the race three-wide and all but had the $25,000 race won on the corner. He went on to score by 6.7-metres with Viewpoint ($4.90) running home well for second and Enjoythegoodtimes ($5.30) working from the front but holding down third albeit well-beaten.

The race was run in a sharper mile rate of 1:58.9 with an even run home time of 59.4 seconds.

The Colin Thomas' trained Courage Under Fire youngster now remains unbeaten from his five attempts on race day and looks well above average as we head into the serious juvenile features across the summer and autumn period.


Business In Motion

by Blake Redden

Harness Racing Victoria


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