It was icing on the cake.
The Gr.2 $30,000 Darrell Alexander Memorial Trotting Championship Final at Albion Park tonight (Saturday) was taken out by The Dude Abides for leading trainer/driver Grant Dixon.
Fresh from their success in the Gold Coast Cup a race earlier, The Dude Abides proved to be a decisive winner with a faultless display defeating Shes Commando and Clarrie Stone in the 2647m stand-start feature.
Billed as a race in two between Sydney star Rainbow Jay Jay and local hero Supper Waltz Wilson, The Dude Abides was unwanted in the betting with punters focussed on the favoured trotters.
Rainbow Jay Jay, starting from a 30m handicap stepped well before making an uncharacteristic error shortly after the start which allowed the 70m backmarker Supper Waltz Wilson to pass him quite quickly.
The speed was on early as Coolmaine and Sun Lad challenged hard for the lead while the favourites were playing a game of catch-up.
With Coolmaine holding the front, Clarrie Stone quickly worked around to race without cover and maintained pressure with Dixon driving a patient race behind The Dude Abides.
Heading off the back straight, Coolmaine punctured with Clarrie Stone being joined by Shes Commando with The Dude Abides closing at precisely the right time.
Both Rainbow Jay Jay and Supper Waltz Wilson made no impression after chasing so hard earlier in the race.
In the straight, The Dude Abides drew clear to score comfortably from Shes Commando while Clarrie Stone battled bravely to hold third.
The time was 2;03.7 with the winner start off a 20m handicap.
“Trot races can be really unpredictable and tonight proved that, we had luck on our side and he made the most of it.” Winning trainer/driver Grant Dixon said.
“He’s actually trotting really well currently and he was aided by a solid tempo which gave him something to think about, he can be a little touchy at times.” Dixon added.
The added bonus for connections by winning the Darrell Alexander Memorial Trotting Championship Final, The Dude Abides is now exempt from ballot for the Gr.1 $400,000 Pryde’s Easifeed Great Southern Star at TABCORP Park, Melton on March 22 next year.
The Dude Abides is raced by Greg Mitchell, a director of the Queensland Harness Racing Board.
by Chris Barsby