Day At The Track
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Ever-reliable Mildura Harness Racing Club committeeman Andrew Stenhouse ensured he was free of voluntary commitments early last Friday afternoon. And he had every reason to take a break and cheer home his gelding Classic Reactor (Auckland Reactor-Bella Caballo (Safely Kept), who scored an impressive win in the opening event, the DNR Logistics 3YO Pace. "We were hoping he would do well, but there were probably two others that looked hard to beat on paper," Stenhouse, who is based on the city outskirts at Merbein South, said. Driven a well-judged race drive by Dwayne Locke, the flashy gelding made it two wins from his previous four runs and certainly looks destined for a bright future. Auckland Reactor now has 52 winners in Australia for $1,142,365 in stakes and the momentum continues to build. In NZ he has 38 winners for $1,078,610. The intimidation factor of the former champion racehorse in elite company gave him the nickname The Reactor Factor, finishing his career with 26 wins and two placings from 35 starts. Stenhouse said that Classic Reactor was gaining in confidence with each run. "We decided to make a few gear changes about five weeks ago and he's just kept improving from then," he said. "Dwayne told me after the race that he wasn't concerned about having to make a move with around 900 metres to go because the horse felt a million dollars!" The field was content to run in single file with second-favorite Major Mucha (Wayne Hill) leading the way. Classic Reactor was three back the pegs with the race favorite Razs Vision (Kerryn Manning) hard up on his back. Classic Reactor, who popped out into the death seat approaching the bell, joined Major Mucha on the home corner and asserted his dominance. Razs Vision ran on late to grab the runner-up prize from Major Mucha. "It's a bit of a change in luck for us and we are enjoying it," Stenhouse said. "We haven't been in the winner's circle as much as we would have liked in recent times, but hopefully Classic Reactor can keep up the good work for a while yet." Dwayne Locke The Stenhouse-Locke team will continue to race their in-form pacer at Mildura, while trips to Swan Hill and Ouyen may also be on the cards. And in the meantime, the pair are hoping another Auckland Reactor-sired pacer in Power House Rock will find form this preparation. The four-year-old (Auckland Reactor-Diva La Diva (Holmes Hanover USA) had two starts last season but didn't enjoy much luck.   Terry Gange NewsAlert PR Mildura

Mildura Harness Racing caller Craig Rail said it all when he described a 42-metre victory by talented youngster Classic Reactor as “making a mess of them”. “He’s put a gap on them...absolutely blitzed them to win easily,” Rail commented. The win by Classic Reactor (Auckland Reactor-Bella Caballo (Safely Kept) was one of the most impressive seen for a long time at the far north-west Victorian circuit. And Classic Reactor’s stellar performance on Tuesday night was also a pleasant surprise for trainer Andrew Stenhouse and reinsman Dwayne Locke, of Merbein South. “Leading up to the race, he worked the best he ever has at home,” Stenhouse said. “We were just hoping he might take that to the racetrack and perhaps earn some place money – but in the end it was fantastic for both of us because we really didn’t expect a win.” However Classic Reactor had put “the writing on the wall” at his previous outing when a close-up sixth at Ouyen after doing all of the bullocking work outside the leader. To watch a video replay of the race click on this link. Credit must go to Stenhouse and Locke who have shown a great deal of perseverance with the three-year-old. “We got him as a yearling, just after he had been broken-in,” Stenhouse said. “It’s certainly been a long haul, but Dwayne has done the majority of the work. He just decided early days to make Classic Reactor his project,” he said. “We did a lot of short preparations with him, including one cut short last year after he curbed a hock. “But he was a bit of a rogue as well and seemed to settle down after we took the block winkers and headcheck off.” Stenhouse paid tribute to South Australian equine therapist Gary Ridings, in getting the horse “right”. “I would say that Gary played a key role with his shock wave and acupuncture work, because the horse gets tight across his back.  It’s made a huge difference to him.” Stenhouse said Classic Reactor also appeared to be enjoying a lighter work load. “We used to work him over 2400 metres with a galloping pacemaker in Jacknwal.  We retired Jacknwal because he lost his keenness to race after he got cleaned up a few times,” he said. “So, since Jacknwal retired, the furthest we probably go now would be 2000 metres. “His shoeing has also been sorted out and now he has a ton of confidence. In the early days he was cross-firing and brushing a knee, and we’ve actually taken off the go-straights now, and he’s appreciated it.” Reinsman Dwayne Locke was content to ease Classic Reactor at the start in the Mildura 3YO Pace, but moments later got the shock of his life when the horse galloped at some shadows on the track. “I just wasn’t expecting it and luckily he was quick to get pacing again. Fortunately, we still landed in the one-one sit which was nice,” Locke said. With the leaders in Always A Celebrity and Caulonia Arty bowling along, Classic Reactor appeared well-suited by the pace. When Locke changed gears down the back straight, his charge swept to the lead and left his rivals standing. “I didn’t realize that I’d shot so far in front turning into the home straight,” Locke said. Classic Reactor scored officially by 42.6 metres from American Beau (Ray Slater) with a further 1.8 metres to Calgary Bay (Wayne Hill). The mile rate was a handy 2.01 for 2190m. To watch the video replay of this race click here. Andrew Stenhouse and reinsman Dwayne Locke with Classic Reactor The winner is owned by Locke in partnership with Terry Cahill, of Ballarat, and Cahill’s nephew Danny Nicholson. Cahill has been in horses all his life and as well as a breeder, he buys youngsters from the sales. Locke said his association with Cahill went back to when he was working with Peter and Kerryn Manning, of Great Western. “I think Terry gave me a few drives when I was younger,” he said. “He has also sent us up a few horses over the years including Count The Aces, who won four races in 14 starts for us, and Pride of Opal – he’s a good owner to have.” “It was a pretty satisfying win, because it’s been a bit of a journey with this horse. The win was a good reason to have a few beers to celebrate and to watch the race replay a few times!” The Stenhouse-Locke stable has just the one racehorse in training at present, but this will soon change with another Auckland Reactor-sired pacer in Powerhouse Rock due to resume training soon. Stenhouse said the four-year-old was a half-brother to former fast class performer, Road to Rock, a winner of 14 races with 34 placings for over $130,000. Road To Rock was raced by Locke’s family and provided him with an amazing run of success as a junior driver.  Road to Rock began racing in 2011, as a three-year-old, winning 10 of his first 20 starts. *Pin up pacer of the Victorian northern region, Mallee Reactor (Auckland Reactor-Our Angel Flight (In The Pocket USA) continued on his merry winning way at the Mildura meeting. After beginning a bit scratchy and finding himself in an awkward position three back on the pegs, driver Simon Jardine, was cool as a cucumber as he waited for his opportunity. That nearly came down the back straight for the final time when a needle-eye opening appeared for a split second. “It would have been touch and go because there wasn’t really enough room to push out,” trainer Murray Jardine said. “Anyway, Simon backed himself and after looking to shift out over the concluding stages, he was super quick to see an inside passage and dived on it.” Mallee Reactor burst through in sensational fashion to post his eighth win from just nine starts. To watch a video replay of this race click on this link. The gelding’s next assignment will be the $14,000 Mildura Guineas on Saturday, April 13, the final night of the 2019 Pacing Cup carnival. Other meetings will be held during the carnival on Tuesday, April 9 and Thursday, April 11. Terry Gange NewsAlert PR Mildura

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