Racing at Shepparton in the rich fruit growing district of the Goulburn Valley is always popular and last Tuesday's (July 12) harness racing fixture was no different as a number of classes were catered for.
This Sunday’s logical “Redwood Classic” favourite Alderbaran Shades, had nothing more than a stroll in the park to land the Moretto Building Pty Ltd 2-Y-0 Trotters Handicap over 2190 metres as a prohibitive $1.30 favourite.
Prepared by the all conquering Chris Lang stable at nearby Nagambie, Aldebaran Shades a gelded son of the greatand Tijuana Glass bred by Aucklanders Steve and Steffi Cornwall along with John Ewen, began faultlessly from outside the front row to follow his stablemate Aldebaran Sunstar inside him across and assume control.
Always coasting, Aldebaran Shades toyed with his rivals to win untouched in a rate of 2-06.3 over Tedahao (one/one last lap – three wide home turn) and the first starter Sans Frontiere which raced in the open.
The other squaregaiters event on the program – the Crowbar Constructions Trotters Handicap for T1 or better class over 2690 metres went to much improved/Smilin Eyes 4-Y-0 gelding Monsieur Deville for local trainer/driver Geoff (Marto) Martin.
Slowly away from the 20 metre mark, Monsieur Deville gradually made ground to be three back in the moving line mid-race.
Trailing Oceania (one/one) three wide in the final circuit, Monsieur Deville sprinted like a gazelle to lead on turning and careered away over the concluding stages to score by 16.5 metres in advance of Oceania and Im Victor Trumper in a rate of 2-05.
Arcadia’s Clive Dalton snared the Rhiannon Park 3-Y-0 Vicbred Pace over 1690 metres with Dawn Ofa New Day/Next Interest gelding Next Dawn in a rate of 1-59.6.
Bred and raced by Kevin Riseley’s Sheron Park, Next Dawn trained and driven by Dalton settled three back in the running line from gate five, moving forward to be one/one at the bell.
Hot hesitating in the last lap, Next Dawn was sent forward with a rush three wide to lead on the home turn in defeating Artistic Flyer which followed him home, with Rowillie running on late for third from well back in the field.
Heathcote trainer Ruby Tyack can come up with a winner every so often and landed the Duane Giles Plumbing & Gas Fitting Pace for C0 class over 1690 metres with Irish Elsie, a 4-Y-0 daughter ofand Elsie Tee.
First up since January, Irish Elsie with Nathan Jack in the sulky enjoyed a sweet passage from the pole trailing Im Blue Double Dee next to her.
Making full use of the sprint lane, Irish Elsie raced clear in the shadows of the post to blowse the pacemaker and Loving Life Lombo (one/two) in a rate of 2-00.4.
It was Irish Elsie’s 2nd success in eight outings.
Much travelled 5-Y-0/Gandhis Lady gelding Transformation who commenced his racing career in Victoria under the guidance of Dave Farrar, greeted the judge at start number 49 by taking the Congupna General Store Pace for C2 class over 2190 metres and in doing so, recorded his 9th victory.
Now under the care of Glenn Douglas at Strathfieldsaye, Transformation driven by Daryl Douglas wasn’t bustled from gate five, settling mid-field in the moving line.
Set alight three wide when the pace slackened, Transformation sailed all the way to the front and when asked for an effort approaching the home turn, bounded clear to defy all challengers in accounting for Kingussie from last at the bell and Card Player off a three wide trail last lap in a rate of 1-59.6.
In-form Balliang 5-Y-0/Bells Of Shandon gelding Shandon Village keeps on going from strength to strength and chalked up his 6th victory (four this season), when successful in the John Morrow Refrigeration Congupna Cup for C3 & C4 class over 2190 metres.
Bred by the “Pacing Priest” Father Brian Glasheen, Shandon Village trained by Josette Spiteri and driven once again by Jason Fino, charged home wide on the track from near last off a three wide double trail in the final circuit to gain the judges nod by a neck in a tricky finish over Jack Hall and the hot favourite Ina Great Place which raced in the open. The mile rate 2-02.3.