Day At The Track

Check On Wilma impresses at Corbiewood

01:02 AM 15 Jul 2015 NZST
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Check On Wilma, harness racing
Grant Cullen checks where the rest of the field is while driving Check On Wilma to an impressive 18 length triumph at Corbiewood
Bill Cardno photo

Bannockburn, Scotland - Check On Wilma was the star of the show Thursday night at Corbiewood with an 18 length victory in the fastest time of the night in the Grade 1 & 2 pace, providing in form Grant Cullen with one half of his driving double on the night.

In the first race, it was the veteran Fear Not who made use of his favourable draw and good gate speed to lead into the first bend in the hands of Steven Henderson.

The race proceeded in Indian file until Dougie Mackenzie could wait no longer, as he steered Ayr Prestige off the rail to go first over with one lap to go with Ayr Confusion and Nicola McGregor tracking them second over.

As they rounded the last two bends the three horses were side by side across the track, with Ayr Confusion staying on best to get up close home. Nevelle Scot deserves a mention; sitting last turning for home and in all sorts of trouble in running, managed to find a gap too late to burst through as a fast-finishing second.

Race 1

1st Ayr Confusion (Daylon Alert- Poudine Du Pan) - N McGregor

2nd Nevelle Scot (Daylon Alert-Mattches N Fire) - W Drysdale

3rd Fear Not (Coalford Laag-Mystic Green) - S Henderson

6 Ran Time: 2.09.33 Dist: 1L & 1/2L

Race two started with a three-way battle for the lead between Greentree Shorty, Check On Wilma and Cool Desire, with Greentree Shorty and William Greenhorn coming out on top initially.

Check On Wilma was backed off onto the rail in second whilst the speed duel continued up front, when eventually Cool Desire, who had been hung out, conceded and tucked in onto the rail behind Greentree Shorty. As soon as the front horses settled, Grant Cullen breezed to the lead with Check On Wilma and extended that lead from thereon in, winning by 18 lengths unchallenged and with ease.

Race 2

1st Check On Wilma (Check On Jack-Red Wilma) - G Cullen

2nd Greentree Shorty (Wolfdancer Mindale-Laytons Pansy P) - W Greenhorn

3rd Coalford Feel Good (Wolfdancer Mindale-Yankee Finley) - T Allan

6 Ran Time: 2.04.94 Dist: 18L & 6L

The third event was for the highest graded horses; Playtime Howard and Grant Cullen led out and set sensible, level fractions, drifting through the half in 1.03.

Then BJs Harmony pulled out first over at the bell with one lap to go, with Funtime Frankie second over. Around the final bend, Funtime Frankie switched three wide in preparation for a challenge on the leader, however Playtime Howard sprinted on to the line for a back-to-back double for birthday boy Grant Cullen.

Race 3

1st Playtime Howard (The Preacher Pan-Eyes Wide Open) - G Cullen

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

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

8 Ran Time: 2.06.5 Dist: 4L & 2L

Race four was the first of the two maiden and novice divisions and it was the English raider, Lucks Best with Watson Harrop Jr in the bike that led out, showing better gate speed than his rivals which stood him in good stead for the remainder of the race.

Princess Mhurrin displayed great track craft to find herself sitting in second on the rail despite a 10 yard trail. Jacks Red, who had sat on the rail in third throughout, pulled out on the last bend to challenge but was never in danger of catching the leader.

Race 4

1st Lucks Best (Mystic Howard-Joshs Best) - W Harrop Jr

2nd Jacks Red (Check On Jack-Red Wilma) - G Cullen

3rd Princess Mhurrin (Hasty Hall-Popcorn Baby) - R Thomson

7 Ran Time: 2.10.42 Dist: 1 1/2L & nose

The second division of the maiden and novice saw Styx Locomotive and William Greenhorn lead out, with Evenwood Ruthless landing in second. The pacemaker set level fractions and remained unchallenged in front until the three quarters when Evenwood Ruthless and Gordon Gilvear mounted their challenge.

Styx Locomotive put up a good fight and seemed to rally under pressure, however Evenwood Ruthless was too strong for the long-time leader and kicked on to provide owner Karen Kennedy with a special birthday present in the form of his first career victory.

Race 5

1st Evenwood Ruthless (The Firepan-Birds Decision) - G Gilvear

2nd Styx Locomotive (Soulofthematter-Styx Ghost) - W Greenhorn

3rd Caraghs Hall (Hasty Hall-Flyers Comet) - H O'Neil Jr Jr

6 Ran Time: 2.08.88 Dist: 1 1/2L & 4L

The final race of the evening was a consolation for non-winners of races 1 and 2, which attracted 7 of the night's earlier runners. The race looked competitive on paper and didn't disappoint.

Just Look At Me led out in the hands of Hugh Menzies, with the back marker Pantihistamine disqualified for going through his mark. Greentree Shorty landed in second on the rail with Coalford Feel Good finding himself in a good position in third.

At the half, there was backfield interference which the betting favourite Funtime Frankie managed to avoid. With one lap to go, William Greenhorn and Greentree Shorty went first over with Funtime Frankie second over and Coalford Feel Good getting the pocket trip.

Around the last bend the race was wide open - Funtime Frankie was forced to switch three wide, Coalford Feel Good was searching for racing room and Just Look At Me remained comfortable in front. Funtime Frankie stayed on down the outside to win and ensured that he hasn't finished outside the first three at Corbiewood in 2015.

Race 6

1st Funtime Frankie (Jimmy Long-Lyons Flum) - G Gilvear

2nd Just Look At Me (The Preacher Pan-Cool Bet) - H Menzies

3rd Coalford Feel Good (Wolfdancer Mindale-Yankee Finley) - R Thomson

7 Ran Time: 2.09.62 Dist: 1L & sh/hd

By Sarah Thomas, for

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