Day At The Track

'Reactor' looks the real deal

02:00 PM 28 Mar 2020 NZDT
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Reactor Now, harness racing
Avenel reinsman Josh Aiken and visiting junior driver Ryan Sanderson, of Sydney, are pictured with speedy pacer Reactor Now after a recent Shepparton win

The Central Victorian community of Avenel is perhaps best known as the hometown of one of our most famous bush rangers - but the town's pin up boy of harness racing is also as "game as Ned Kelly".

The town's famous bushranger terrorised country Victoria in the late 1800s, and the Avenel-based gelding Reactor Now (Auckland Reactor-Who's Sorry Now (Western Ideal) now seems to be following the same path, but with his eye on even greater deeds.

Father-and-son combination David Aiken and his reinsman son Josh have produced the gelding for three eye-catching wins from four outings.

At his most recent race start at Kilmore, the four-year-old sat parked outside the leader and then ran away from his rivals to win by 22 metres-setting a new track record along the way of 1.53-4.

The time shaved .01 of a second off the previous best performance, set back in October of 2014, by former Scott Stewart-trained champion Bitobliss, a winner of 24 races and nearly $500k.

Click here to watch the race.

And at his two starts prior to venturing to Kilmore, Reactor Now set tongues wagging at Shepparton. On the first occasion he spread-eagled the field with a 33.3 metre win on February 27, following up with a more "sedate" 2.9 metre victory a fortnight later.

Click here to watch the 27th February race.

Click here to watch the 13th March race.

Reactor Now has five wins from eight lifetime starts for earnings of $21,450.

He's without doubt a magnificent looking horse destined for bigger things.

He was fortuitously purchased after the APG Gold 2016 sale by Graeme and Liz Old, their nephew Frank and his wife Robyn, and their daughter Narelle Hall and husband Steve. The deal was sealed when the group decided to go looking at what had been passed in at the end of the day.

Reactor Now was purchased with the input of Craig Wight, husband of well-known Great Western trainer-driver Michelle, who is a keen student on breeding, and Frank who prides himself on picking them on looks.

The gelding made his debut in February of last year and after giving Wight's brother-in-law, reinsman Grant Campbell a tough time through being over excited, got around, albeit unplaced and 27 metres from the winner.

Reactor Now was back at the track a month later and showed his better qualities with a strong win at Ballarat after being "a mile" off them in the first lap. He then continued on his winning way 13 days later at Terang with a sub-two-minute mile rate.

The pacer was far from disgraced when fifth (beaten 11m) in the VHRSC Vic Sires Classic at Melton in 1.55-7 and was then sent for a spell.

Reactor Now is undoubtedly destined to be one of the smart ones from a fine crop of Auckland Reactor progeny of his season. Auckland Reactor now has 149 individual winners with more than $4 million in earnings in Australia and New Zealand combined.

Terry Gange

NewsAlert PR Mildura

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