Day At The Track

Alabar Echuca Pacing Cup night at Echuca

12:19 PM 22 Mar 2013 NZDT
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Kerryn Manning
Kerryn Manning

It was Alabar Echuca Pacing Cup Night at the Murray River town of Echuca on Friday March 22, with the $25,000 harness racing feature event going the way of Great Western trainer/driver Kerryn Manning's Kiwi bred 5-Y-0 Bettors Delight/Starling gelding Our Blackbird in a rate of 2-02.6.

Stepping cleanly from barrier three on the second line, Our Blackbird settled on the back of the pole marker Pacific Soul which began best to lead.

Enjoying a cosy passage all through the 2530 metre Discretionary Handicapped race for M0 or better class, Our Blackbird sailed along the sprint lane on turning to record a 3.2 metre victory over Pacific Soul, with the Wedderburn and Albury Cup winner Baltic Ice third after following the pair.

Raced by Merv and Meg Butterworth,  has fronted the starter on 42 occasions for 13 wins. Our Blackbird

The other feature on the massive twelve race card was the $12,000 J A Connelly Crystal Bucket for Trotters T5 or better class (D-H) over 2560 metres which was taken out by most consistent 6-Y-0 Kadabra/Kwik Kiss gelding Illawong Magic giving owners Martin and Kaye Hartnett a tremendous thrill.

Trained at Hopetoun Park (Bacchus Marsh) by Ross Sugars and driven by son Greg, Illawong Magic raced in the open all of the way shadowing Enjoy A Coldie who was rated a treat by Daryl Douglas.

Rallying on straightening, Illawong Magic made a last stride lunge to gain the day by a head over Enjoy A Coldie, with Posimistic a head away in third place after trailing the leader and using the sprint lane. The mile rate 2-06.1.

Nathalia's Noel Tyndall snared the Dinki-Di Houseboats 3-Y-0 Pace over 1755 metres with Live Or Die/Crystal Reign gelding Die Tryin.

Trailing the front runner Gohardorgohome from inside the second line, Die Tryin used the sprint lane to score from the roughie Miss Tanami (three back the markers) and Sicilian Slumber which faced the breeze. The mile rate 2-01.2.

Kangaroo Flat part-owner/trainer Tim Mannix and partners landed the Tiffany Murray Memorial Pace for C1 class over 2160 metres restricted to female reinspersons, with former Kiwi 4-Y-0 gelding Stormy Tara, a gelded son of Bettors Delight and Lena Dillon.

Driven by Kilmore's Monique Burnett, Stormy Tara began with a wing on every foot from outside the front row to lead throughout, defeating Egyptian Art which trailed and Trottin Rossco (one/one) in a rate of 2-05.

Euroa trainer Danny Thackeray combined with Chris Alford aboard 4-Y-0 Art Major/Posh Jacca mare Kensington Palace to capture the 17th Heat of the Vicbred Platinum Mares Sprint Championship for C1 & C2 class over 1755 metres in 2-00.5.

Beginning fast from the pole to lead, Kensington Palace was never headed, in accounting for Thisiswhoiam which trailed, with Acesneights third after following the pair.

Very smart Modern Art/Sokyeni gelding Sokys Bigbullet was a brilliant victor of the $20,000 George Croxford Tribute for Three Year Olds 3C0 to 3C2 class over 2160 metres in a mile rate of 1-58.8, running his last half mile in a sensational 56.6 seconds which is unheard of at Echuca.

Trained and driven by Junee's Bruce Harpley, Sokys Bullet led from the pole, but had to work hard to hold off Hayden and Burra Sullivan who both made serious challenges.

Given his head approaching the home turn, Sokys Bullet bounded away to register an impressive 16.4 metre victory in advance of Burra Sullivan which stuck on well, with Hayden (one/one - three wide at bell) game in finishing third.

Our Blackbird

Illawong Magic

Die Tryin

Stormy Tara

Kensington Palace

Sokys Bigbullet

by Len BAKER

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