Day At The Track

The Illawong breed to the fore at Ballarat

12:52 AM 25 Apr 2013 NZST
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Two harness racing meetings were held in Victoria on Wednesday April 24 at two of the most popular venues - Maryborough in the afternoon and Ballarat at night.

Prolific owner/breeders Dr Martin Hartnett and wife Kaye scored a unique double on the day with two fillies - Illawong Moonshine taking the 81 Days To Seelite Redwood 2-Y-0 Trotters Handicap over 1690 metres at Maryborough and Illawong Joyful the R & J Batteries Pace for C0 class over 1710 metres at Ballarat.

Illawong Moonshine (Yankee Spider/Lunar Landing) trained at Parwan by Jodi Quinlan and driven by partner Craig Demmler toyed with her rivals in the juvenile event.

Enjoying a sweet passage trailing the first start pacemaker Playboys Dream from barrier five after being a trifle slow to begin, Illawong Moonshine was eased away from the markers approaching the home turn to lead into the straight, scoring by 27.9 metres in a rate of 2-06.9 from Twelve Or A Dozen on debut which raced in the open from the bell, with Shining Monarch (four back the markers - one/one last lap) 2.2 metres back in third place.

Illawong Joyful (Life Or Die/Illawong Julie) trained at Hopetoun Park (Bacchus Marsh) by Ross Sugars and driven by son Greg, led throughout from gate three to defeat a death-seating Charli Sprinfield by 4.2 metres in a rate of 1-58.4, with Galeforce Grin (one/two last lap) third.

Both horses are raced in the name of Dr Hartnett who was the actual breeder of dual New Zealand Cup winner Flashing Red, although it doesn't show it in the official records.

A most impressive winner at Maryborough was Pegasus Spur/Sundonna filly Maori Time in the Aldebaran Park 3-Y-0 Vicbred Trotters Mobile for Nagambie trainer Chris Lang with Chris Alford in the sulky.

Bred and raced by Fred (Ian) Crews, Maori Time making her first appearance at the races led throughout from the pole, coasting to the wire by an unextended 12.3 metres over the favourite Nico Serrano which raced in the open and Bella Cheval (three back the markers).

Another impressive winner from the Nagambie establishment of the Lang's was Lombo Pocket Watch/Road To Paris gelding Clancys Fobwatch in the 1st Heat of the Challenger Series for Three Year Olds over 2190 metres.

Trained by Chris (Jnr) and driven by John Caldow, Clancys Fobwatch was taken back to last from outside the front row, with the polemarker Wounded leading leaving the red-hot favourite The Fire Within going for three from three trapped in the open.

Taken three wide in the last lap, Clancys Fobwatch joined the leading pair on the home turn and finished best to defeat Wounded by 1.3 metres, with The Fire Within giving ground to be 7.3 metres away in third place. The mile rate 2-00.9.

Two huge winners at Bray Raceway Ballarat were 4-Y-0 Rustler Hanover/Roosky 4-Y-0 gelding Rebel Rustler in the Yellow Brick Road Vicbred Pace for C1 class over 2200 metres and 4-Y-0 Blissful Hall/Janbob gelding Youranut in the Karrington Jewelery Pace for C5 & C6 class over 1710 metres.

Rebel Rustler trained and driven by Terang's Matt Craven was sent forward off a three wide trail approaching the bell to cross the pacemaker Kisartis and lead for the final circuit in winning by 15 metres in a rate of 1-57.5 from Metromint (four back the markers - three wide home turn) and Misschinoise (one/three).

Rebel Rustler was making only his fourth race appearance.

Formerly trained in the Hunter Valley region of NSW, Youranut having his second outing for the Sugars camp possied three back in the running line from gate four, moving to join the pacemaker Our Mick Ison at the bell which took hold of the bit and charged away.

Not at all perturbed, Greg Sugars allowed Youranut a little more rein approaching the home turn and he ambled up to the leader effortlessly.

Striding clear shortly after entering the straight, Youranut registered a 6.2 metre victory over the Adam Kelly trained stablemates Now Shezaterror and Shifting Sand in a brilliant 1-55.5 giving indication of much better things ahead.

by Len BAKER

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