Day At The Track

Hat-Tricks for Rocker & Cullen at Corbiewood

09:11 AM 01 Jul 2015 NZST
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Live In Toyboy, harness racing Rhyds Solution, harness racing
Live In Touboy and driver Grant Cullen
Bill Cardno photo
Rhyds Solution and driver William ‘Rocker’ Laidler
Bill Cardno photo

Bannockburn, Scotland - The wet weather at Corbiewood last week failed in its attempt to dampen the spirits of the racegoers who were treated to a masterclass in driving, as the 2014 top British driver, William ‘Rocker’ Laidler, and the 2014 top Scottish driver, Grant Cullen, both notch up a treble of wins each.

The first of seven races was for non-winners of their last five starts. Live In Toyboy, under a positive drive from Grant Cullen, led around the first turn; as the race progressed they opened up a clear advantage.

Pantihistamine, driven by Tony Allan, had made an early move from last position to third on the rail and with a quarter of a mile to go he popped out and ran on for a clear second, however Live In Toyboy had gone clear of the field and wasn’t for catching.

Race 1

1st Live In Toyboy (Village Jasper-Live In Lover) – G Cullen

2nd Pantihistamine (The Panderosa-Panic Depressive) – T Allan

3rd Wellfield Snakeyes (Armbro Deuce-Cam Fly With Me) – W Laidler

7 Ran  Time: 2.05.36  Dist: 3 1/2L & 3L

The second race saw early traffic problems due to a breaking horse which allowed Evenwood Ruthless a clear start with Gordon Gilvear in the bike.

Merrington Checkm8 and Rocker Laidler avoided the trouble and had a good run up the inside to land in second on the rail.

The first challenge for the lead came mid-race from DKs Happy Dream and David ‘Buster’ Moncrieff, however the pairing were unable to pass the leader and found themselves hung out.

Down the back straight for the final time, Merrington Checkm8 switched three wide to challenge Evenwood Ruthless and went on to win by a clear two lengths.  Evenwood Ruthless made an impressive debut and was an eye-catcher when finishing second.

Race 2

1st Merrington Checkm8 (Check On Jack-Merrington Heights) – W Laidler

2nd Evenwood Ruthless (The Firepan-Birds Decision) – G Gilvear

3rd Regal Sensation (Stonebridge Regal-Western Sensation) – W Greenhorn

6 Ran Time: 2.08.60 Dist: 2L & 4L

Race three, for maidens and novices, started with an early speed duel between Milo, driven by Scott Murray, and Styx Locomotive in the hands of William Greenhorn, with Milo coming out on top. 

After three eighths of a mile, the betting favourite Merringtonchekonme pulled out and breezed past the field to take up the running. Evenwood Firefly circumnavigated the field easily but never threatened to challenge the winner, finishing second.

Race 3

1st Merringtonchekonme (Check On Jack-What A Commotion) – W Laidler

2nd Evenwood Firefly (The Firepan-Lyons Treasure) – L Park

3rd Styx Locomotive (Soulofthematter-Styx Ghost) – W Greenhorn

7 Ran Time: 2.11.17 Dist: 5L & 3 1/2L

In the next, it was Coalford Feelgood with Tony Allan who led out and dictated speedy fractions.  Live In Toyboy found himself boxed in early on, yet under a patient drive from Grant Cullen, who deployed different tactics from their earlier victory, the horse came with a sweeping challenge at the three-quarters, taking up the running down the back straight for the last time.

Once again he came home an unchallenged winner, making it two from two on the night.  Coalford Feelgood stayed on for second with Ayr Confusion making late moves to finish in third.

Race 4

1st Live In Toyboy (Village Jasper-Live In Lover) – G Cullen

2nd Coalford Feelgood (Wolfdancer Mindale-Bolero Galaxy) – T Allan

3rd Ayr Confusion (Daylon Alert-Poudine Du Pan) – N McGregor

6 Ran Time: 2.07.27 Dist: 8L & 1 1/4L

In the fifth race, Grant Cullen fired Mega Star out of the gate from post position one in pursuit of his driving treble on the night.  He showed great patience to cut level fractions on a known stayer, and in doing so held off a challenge from four-in-a-row Funtime Frankie, who in despite of Gordon Gilvear’s best efforts, couldn’t catch the leader.

Race 5

1st Mega Star (Genghis Pan-Party West) – G Cullen

2nd Funtime Frankie (Jimmy Long-Lyons Flum) – G Gilvear

3rd Ayr Escape (Artiscape-Unforgotten) – H O’Neil Jr Jr

5 Ran Time: 2.08.18 Dist: 6L & 3L

On his seasonal debut in race six, old favourite Another Man made a break behind the start car which allowed BJs Harmony an uncontested run for the lead. 

She set slow fractions with Hugh Menzies in the bike; approaching the half William Greenhorn and Sureamsomething went first over but never attempted to fully pass for the lead, in what transpired to be a very calculated drive from one of Scotland’s finest.

Final Fantasy went second over and as they headed to the three quarter marker, challenged three wide down the back straight. The three rolled off the final bend with Sureamsomething sandwiched in between BJs Harmony and Final Fantasy. 

Following a narrow defeat last week, the trainer had decided upon an equipment change: William Greenhorn triggered the new pop-up blinds which had the desired effect and the mare shot clear to a popular victory.

Race 6

1st Sureamsomething (Wolfdancer Mindale-Suream Smart) – W Greenhorn

2nd Final Fantasy (Rogue Hall-Final Cover) – W Drysdale

3rd BJs Harmony (The Firepan-Country Melody) – H Menzies

5 Ran  Time: 2.10.00 Dist: 3/4L & 1/2L

In the final race of the evening the betting favourite Rhyds Solution, driven by Rocker Laidler, led out from post position two and set easy fractions on his track debut. 

Rocker, having witnessed Grant Cullen’s earlier treble, set his sights on his own driving treble and slowed the pace slightly to let the field stack up behind. 

With the competition all looking for space to challenge, it was Red Emerald that emerged from the pack with the most notable advance, however Rhyds Solution moved up a gear as they rounded off the turn and went clear of the field by two lengths to win comfortably, providing Rocker with his hat-trick. Baskerville Hall stayed on to catch Red Emerald on the line and steal second.

Race 7

1st Rhyds Solution (Hasty Hall-CPs Village Jigsaw) – W Laidler

2nd Baskerville Hall (Hasty Hall-Big Red Dog) – G Menzies

3rd Red Emerald (Hasty Hall-Saunders Ember) – R Park

8 Ran Time: 2.07.73 Dist: 2L & neck

By Sarah Thomas, for

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