Heartbroken when his handy youngster Bobydeane broken down, harness racing trainer Peter Romero has continued to be frustrated by his association with the pacer. Two starts after winning the Cec Berger Memorial in December 2007, Bobydeane’s career was ended by injury. Sending the mare to stud, Romero then endured the disappointment of the mare ‘slipping’, before her second foal – a filly – passed away. Fast forward three years and Romero is being rewarded for his faith and patience in the shape of Bobydeane’s third foal….Wingara. By Dawn Ofa New Day, the three-year-old has won his two starts, including yesterday’s $25,000 George Croxford Tribute at Wangaratta. Thrilled with Wingara’s progress, Romero is confident the gelding can work his way through the grades. “He is a very nice type,” Romero said. “He still has a lot to learn, but is doing so well. “I only gave him one trial, which he won, before he had his first start, so he has only been out on the track against others horses three times. “I’m sure he will keep improving as he gains experience.” Driven by Nathan Jack, Wingara led throughout to score by five-and-a-half metres from Somelovesomewhere, with Glenferrie Bronte 10 metres away third. Covering the last half in 58.4 seconds, Wingara rated 1:59.8 for the 2210 metres. “He did it quite easily and Nathan said he felt strong on the line,” Romero said. “I will give him a few more runs locally to gain experience before I freshen him up. “He is in the Vicbred Super Series and that’s the way I will head with him.” PAUL COURTS
In a matter of weeks, he has gone from a horse no one remembered, or even knew about, to one of harness racing’s brightest prospects. And come Saturday night at Tabcorp Park Menangle, Leakys Smokin will take another step towards his true destination. A member of the powerful Shane Tritton stable, Leakys Smokin has had four starts for three wins – which is nothing unusual! What is out of the ordinary is the fact Leakys Smokin is a seven-year-old, which made his debut at Hamilton in January 2013 at five. Following his eye-catching fourth, the son of Dawn Ofa New Day was placed back into a paddock where he stayed for 18 months. Transferred to Tritton’s New South Wales base, Leakys Smokin has since won his three outings in stylish fashion. As such, Leakys Smokin is favoured to continue his winning streak in the $25,000 Country Series Final. “He’s got a lot to learn, but he has tremendous raw ability,” Tritton said. “I’ve never trained a horse with much more raw ability than him. “Although he is seven, he still does a lot wrong and can be wayward, but that comes down to racing experience. “The more racing he does, and the straighter he gets, the better he will be. “As far as I know he has never been injured…he has just been given plenty of time as Greg (Laird, owner) has never been in a hurry with him. “He’s certainly good enough to make up for lost time.” Drawn barrier five in the 1609-metre feature, Leakys Smokin is expected to be pushed forward by driver Lauren Panella in search of the lead. Should the pair be unable to cross quick beginner Business In Motion, which will start from gate two, Tritton is more than happy to see Panella applying pressure from the ‘death seat’. “From there he will go forward at the start and look for the front,” Tritton said. “I’m not worried if he is caught facing the breeze as I know how strong he is. “Even with his inexperience, I’ve got no doubt he is ready to run 1:53 on Saturday night.” Predicting the gelding can race his way into open class, Tritton believes Leakys Smokin is capable of a 1:50 performance. “I can’t see any reason why he won’t get to open class,” Tritton declared. “All he needs is a bit of experience. “As he gets up in class he’ll have to start going straighter as he can’t afford to do things wrong at that level, which is the main thing we are working on with him at the moment. “Once he gets it all together I reckon he can go close to 1:50.” PAUL COURTS
Australia's oldest surviving Trotting Club - Boort (established in 1891), conducted their one and only harness racing meeting for the season last Sunday featuring the Boort Pacing and Trotting Cups each to the value of $14,000.
The Nyah Harness Racing Club held a terrific meeting at the Swan Hill Racing Centre on Tuesday February 26, featuring four heats of the long standing Alabar Northern Region Championship for C1 & C2 class over 2240 metres with all winners being trained by Mildura's Shayne Cramp.
The St Arnaud Harness Racing Club hosted the fourth round heats of the Central Victorian Pacing and Trotting Championships held at Charlton on Thursday January 10.
The KS Black & Co Carnival Of Cups heads to Parkes on Friday night with the harness racing highlight being the running of the $20,000 Gold Cup for 4 and 5 year old pacers and despite being up in grade the Chris Frisby trained Uncle Lile looks set to play a role in the finish after drawing barrier two.
Smart four year old Dawn Ofa New Day/Our Madame gelding Daylight Dan resumed with an impressive victory in the Campaspe Valley Motors Pace for C0 class over 1755 metres at the Gunbower Harness Racing Club fixture held at Echuca on Tuesday December 18.
Mount Gambier trainers Barry Finnis, David Drury and Mick Micallef enjoyed a super evening at the Ararat harness racing fixture on Tuesday December 11, winning three legs of the TAB Quaddie.
Speewa trainer Matthew Kearns a former HRV steward, was successful in taking out the Laser Electrical Lighting Showroom Vicbred Pace for C1 class over 2240 metres at the Nyah harness racing fixture conducted at Swan Hill on Tuesday November 20 with 6-Y-0 Grinfromeartoear/Starorama gelding Tapper Torney.
Doreen's Craig Turnbull combined withharness racing driver Chris Alford to land the Kilmore Cup Sunday Pace for C1 class (mares) over 2240 metres at Tabcorp Park Melton on Friday October 26 with Charlotte Two, a 5-Y-0 daughter of Live Or Die and Polly's Atom, making it two from two this time in.
Veteran Elmore harness racing trainer Neville Welsh was in the winners stall at the Wangaratta HRC meeting held at Shepparton on Wednesday October 17, when honest 4-Y-0 Sundon/Sorry Hall gelding Sans Frontiere greeted the judge by a narrow margin in the Frank Dimetz Jewellers Trotters Handicap for T1 or better class over 2190 metres.