Day At The Track
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A father and son harness racing combination from the small north west Victorian township of Ouyen teamed up with boom sire Auckland Reactor to steal the limelight in spectacular fashion at Mildura on Wednesday night. Astute horseman Murray Jardine produced highly-talented Mallee Reactor (Auckland Reactor NZ-Our Angel Flight (In The Pocket) and Ian Raymond (Auckland Reactor NZ-Black Dress (Village Jasper) to post an eye-catching double. Both winners were handled by his reinsman son Simon, who drove copybook races to get “the chocolates” on the short-priced fancies. “I’m really enjoying it at the moment because dad has them flying,” a jubilant Simon said. “They’re the only two by Auckland Reactors in our stable, and we are now wishing we had a few more,” he said. “They are two nice horses and we aren’t rushing them, just bringing them along slowly and picking out suitable races in our area as we go. “I don’t know if dad will be tempted in a few months to make a trip south to Melton or not, but I reckon he should certainly think about it.” Mallee Reactor was at least 40 metres off the leaders in the early stages of the opening race on the Mildura program, the DNR Logistics Pace for C1 class pacers, after being caught wide and snagged back to second last. Come On Elvis and Friends set a blistering pace with a sharp lead time, followed by quick opening quarters of 28.6 and 29.7 secs. “I was actually wondering when they were going to ease up because they certainly weren’t waiting for anyone,” Simon said. Friends, a well-backed second-favorite, was pulled up out of the race with broken gear with a little over a lap to go, but Denbeigh Wade still kept her foot on the accelerator with Come On Elvis, recording closing splits of 29 and 29.6 secs. Mallee Reactor, three wide and three back with a lap to go, appeared to be cruising. And this was certainly the case, because when Jardine launched down the back straight, they charged to the lead on the home corner for a super win. While the mile rate of 1.56-4 was a few seconds outside the track record, it’s rarely posted by C1 class competitors on the not-so-spacious 805 metre Mildura circuit. “I think I might have made a bit of an error in running Mallee Reactor at Mildura on December 28 when it was so hot,” Murray said. “His next run about 10 days later when he got third was okay but he wasn’t as sharp as he could have been,” he said. “In saying that, I’m not taking anything away from the two who beat us. They were very good on the night.” Mallee Reactor now has the awesome career record of seven starts for six wins and a third placing for over $21,000. He will race at the Ouyen Cup meeting on Sunday week, March 24, then Mildura on April 2 with his major assignment, the $14,000 Mildura Guineas, on Mildura Pacing Cup night, April 13. The second leg of the Team Jardine/Auckland Reactor double came via four-year-old gelding Ian Raymond, who took out the Tasco Petroleum Pace, also for C1 horses. The pacer, raced by popular Ouyen identity Helen Chisholm, was bred by Helen along with her late brother Ian Raymond, hence the name. “He was always travelling comfortably and dug deep when I asked him for an effort,” Simon said. Ian Raymond lobbed in the sweet seat from the wide six draw and did look the winner a long way from home. After zipping out three wide at the bell, the gelding worked past the leaders on the home corner and cruised to the line with plenty in the tank. Former SA junior driver Jayden Brewin, now based in Victoria, drove a well-deserved double at Mildura, with Cashwrangs Smoker (Chief Marty-Glassawyne (Sports Town) and Ned’s Beach (Somebeachsomewhere-Winter Rose (In The Pocket). Terry Gange NewsAlert PR Mildura

The popular veteran of Victoria’s northern region harness racing region, Wrinkle Knutt, has again given his younger rivals a pacing lesson with another win on his home track. Courtesy of a gem of a drive by leading reinswoman Kerryn Manning, the 13-year-old scored by two metres at Mildura – a result that blew most punters out of the water! Wrinkle Knutt (Safely Kept-Styx Mistress (In The Pocket USA) won at 50/1 in the Tenderprint Australia Pace last Friday, his 17th victory in a racing career now spanning more than a decade. Trainer Jason McGinty said the veteran, with a total of 323 starts (17 wins and 66 placings for $120,000) beside his name, just loves going to the races. “We actually decided to retire him a while ago and he went around in the double-seated sulky exhibition events at Mildura for a win and a third,” McGinty said. “I hadn’t changed his daily routine – he was still getting fed, trained and shod the same as when he was racing,” he said. “I was still preparing him as a race-horse, and one day just out of the blue I decided to nominate him for a Mildura meeting. I got into trouble with my wife Natasha, because she’d thought his time was up when we made the decision, and he’d only been retired a few weeks! “But he hasn’t any issues at all and thoroughly enjoys competing and Natasha’s happy to have him back at the races. “He’s such a lovely old fella and I really like him probably because he’s no fuss – each day he just does whatever I ask of him in his training and then he happily goes back in his paddock.” Wrinkle Knutt is owned by Natasha and sons Josh, Sam and Wil. The McGinty family has raced Wrinkle Knutt in all but 15 starts of his career starts. “Ballarat trainer Rob McCartney had him early on and after running five placings from 15 starts, he decided to sell him. I think we paid $3000 or $4000 for him so he’s certainly paid his way,” McGinty said. The Victorian “drop back rule”, which allows horses to go back a class if they don’t win in 10 starts, has undoubtedly enabled Wrinkle Knutt’s extended racing career. “He put two or three wins together a few years ago and was down to a C5 so that would have nearly ended him, but the drop back rule has been the greatest thing for longevity of horses,” McGinty said. “We have had a few milestones set for his retirement, like $100,000 in stakes and 300 race starts – but we’ve passed both of those, so we’ll keep plodding along while he’s fit and healthy.” Over the years, of the many drivers engaged to drive Wrinkle Knutt, the most successful has been Ellen Tormey, of Bendigo, with six wins; followed by McGinty with four; Bec Bartley and Jake Kerridge two apiece, and Josh Puckeridge, Andrew Vozlic and now Kerryn Manning with one win each. “As for a long-term investment, he’s been a damn good one...we just wish a few more like him would come along!” McGinty said. Terry Gange NewsAlert PR Mildura

The Mildura Harness Racing Club has announced a new major Pacing Cup Carnival Sponsorship deal in local fuel distributor TASCO Petroleum. The three-year deal is the largest that the harness club has secured in its history and promises to provide the club with the support needed to improve its Pacing Cup Carnival. Mildura Harness Racing Club CEO Tim Scala said "the Club is thrilled to have secured a local sponsor for our Cup Carnival and we thank Ross Lake and his staff for their support". "The Carnival will be bigger than ever this year with new attractions including a Mechanical Bull Ride and The Optus Movie Van," Mr Scala said. "We also have a new major sponsor for the Cup race previously known as the Mark Gurry and Associates Cup, which will now be known as the Tenderprint Australia Cup. Malcolm Campbell has generously supported the Carnival and the Club and also sponsors the winning post." The Club also wished to thanks the generous support of Park Douglas Printing, which have sponsored our Cup Carnival for over 20 years. "Shane Smith and his family have been very big supporters of our Carnival and we thank them for their continued support of our Club, as has Mark Gurry in over 20 years of his sponsorship as well," Mr Scala said. This years’ Cup Carnival begins on Tuesday April 9 with heats of the TASCO Petroleum Cup and the Tenderprint Australia Cup. The Thursday night (April 11) will see the Ladies and Men’s Invitation race and Fashion on the Field Event as well as the Seelite Windows and Doors Trotters Cup. The Pacing Cup will then be held on Saturday April 13 and many great races will attract a huge crowd. Tickets are available for all events from the Club on (03) 5023 2454. Mildura Harness Racing Club

AN on-course veterinarian at this week’s Mildura Harness Racing Club’s meeting has moved to allay concerns about the welfare of horses due to extreme heat. The club pushed back the start time for the first race to 7.30pm when the temper­ature was still 41.6C and the mercury failed to drop below 35C until well into the eight-race meeting. Mildura GP Gerald Murphy described a decision to proceed with the meeting on Tuesday – which recorded a maximum daytime temperature of 45.8C – as “totally ­unacceptable”. By Allan Murphy Reprinted with permission of The Sunraysia Daily

Harness racing trainer David Jack confesses that he’s not a real fan of hot, uncomfortable summer weather, but he put that aside to make a successful hit-and-run visit to Mildura this week. “I reckon I changed my mind at least a half dozen times as to whether I was going to be brave enough to make the 500km road trip in the searing heat,” Jack said. The mercury was forecast to reach 45 degrees Celsius on Tuesday, and trainers are permitted to scratch without penalty if the forecast temperature is predicted at 38 degrees or higher. However, the professional harness racing trainer-driver, based at Euroa in Victoria’s cooler north-east region, decided that the feature event was ideal for his pacer Deeceeten. After leaving at 12.30pm to make the six-hour trek north west, Jack was actually still traveling on the road when Mildura reached its maximum temperature for the day at 5pm, a blistering 45.5 degrees (in the old terms 113.9 degrees Fahrenheit). “Fortunately, Deeceeten is an excellent traveller and that’s probably another thing that tipped the scales to do the trip,” Jack said. “We stopped at Swan Hill to give him a drink and check he was okay, and then continued on when we found him to be happy and relaxed. “I reckon we become a bit spoilt with the air conditioners in the car.  But horses seem to handle heat and I do think it’s humidity that can knock them about. “After arriving at the Mildura track, we gave him a long soaking under the cold hose and he was fine.” And Deeceeten (Rocknroll Hanover-Lombo Pow Wow (Million To One, USA) didn’t give those who took the short odds one moment of concern with an impressive all-the-way victory in the $10,000 Empire Stallions Vicbred Platinium Country Series H Final. Jack virtually had a stroll in the park, with Deeceeten coasting in 30.6, 31.8, 29.7 and 29.3 over the 1790m journey. The winner was bred by Jack’s step brother Bill H. Thorn and the dam, Lombo Pow Wow, would be remembered by many for her deeds on the racetrack. The mare had 47 starts for 10 wins and 11 placings. David Jack races Deeceeten in partnership with his wife Anne. “I thought we’d placed him well and to come up with the number two saddlecloth helped out heaps,” Jack said. “We did some research and believe that we’ve only ever raced at Mildura on one other occasion —-and it wasn’t memorable as we finished 4th or 5th.” Deeceeten has now had only eight starts, but amazingly they have been in three different States. The gelding began his career in spectacular fashion with consecutive 2yo wins at South Australia’s Globe Derby Park, in Adelaide. “Bill, who bred him, lives over that way so it was fitting for the him to make his debut there,” Jack said. After four starts in 2016, the pacer was tipped out owing to some niggling problems. He came back two years later and was runner-up on two occasions at Leeton, NSW, then saluted at Swan Hill prior to the Mildura victory. Jack said they would have normally travelled home the following day after the races but with high temperatures forecast in the north west, decided it was best to travel in the cool of the night. “He is a very honest horse, but can go better than he shows at the races – hopefully the penny will drop soon,” Jack said. Other long distance travellers to make hot (but successful) trips to the Mildura meeting included Zac Steenhuis, of Portillo (936km round trip) near Ballarat who got a double with Jules Peach and Our Summer Bay; David Smith, of Salisbury, SA (734km trip) who was successful with Glider; and Aaron Bain, of Gawler, SA (690km trip), who got the money with Rocknroll Legend. Terry Gange NewsAlert PR Mildura

Trainer David Vozlic claimed a hat-trick on Thursday night at the Mildura Harness ­Racing Club Sunraysia Daily Family Fun Night, including the Sunraysia Daily Summer Cup.  Vozlic’s Causenfriction took out the night’s main race and training honours for the night, but overall it was the South Aust­ralians who gained revenge from their ­defeat the previous week in the State of Origin ­series against Victoria.  Danielle Hill drove a treble and her brother Wayne scored a good win, driving Frank Mercieca-trained Our Little Actress. To read more on this article click on link; Reprinted with permission of The Sunraysia Daily

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