Day At The Track

Double celebrations for president Geoff

05:41 AM 15 Jun 2020 NZST
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Beekaecee, harness racing
Reinsman Jason Lee returns to the winner’s circle with Beekaecee – delighted co-owner and birthday boy Stawell President Geoff Sanderson was on-hand

Stawell Harness Racing Club President Geoff Sanderson received an early birthday present when four-year-old mare Beekaecee broke through for a long overdue win at his home track.

Trained by Michelle Wight, Beekaecee (Four Starzzz Shark - Carly Michelle (Albert Albert) squeaked home by a short-half-head in the Sign Online Pace last week to reward Sanderson and co-owner Brett Crouch a VicBred bonus for their patience. The winner was driven by young gun, Jason Lee.

To watch the video replay click on this link

The consistent mare has had 22 starts and failed to weigh in only five times, but Wight said it had been frustrating to finish so close, so many times.

"She's run a heap of seconds and thirds, and I wouldn't know how many fourths, to it's great to finally get there," Wight said.

"It's taken a while, but sometimes when they get that first win, that can be a turning point for them. A pacer we raced a few years ago called Pacquiao took nearly 40 starts to win his first one - then went on to win four from six starts! So things can turn around once they get the hang of it!" she laughed.

Wight said a large group of interested supporters had a small interest in Beekaecee.

"It was a pretty popular win. There are some of Brett's mates, some poker mates and some other friends. And I didn't realise at the time, but being Geoff's birthday the next day, it certainly made it that much sweeter for him."

"And it was actually a Great Western First Four in that race! We won the race, dad (Peter Manning) ran second, with Sport Dreamer, Jason Ainsworth, who works for dad ran third, and (Michelle's sister) Kerryn and Grant finished fourth."

Beekaecee (inside) scored a narrow breakthrough win at Stawell

Geoff Sanderson has enjoyed a long association with the sport, most notably as the owner of superstar square-gaiter Knight Pistol during his early racing in the 1990s.

"Geoff's been in the sport a long time, and Brett and Geoff raced Babalaas Jack with me," Wight said.

"But he won a few and got on his mark, then he got claimed, so they were looking for something to replace him and ended up buying Beekaecee," Wight said.

"She's been a nice little horse who's kept earning, without getting that VicBred bonus, so it's now great to have won that for them."

Wight has reduced her usual team of three or four horses in work, to just two racehorses for the time being, over the winter months.

"I'm just racing Beekaecee and Outback Feather at the moment, but I've been inspired by the lovely wintery weather to bring another young one in to break in and another to jog up!" she said

"Things have been full on at work (Hotondo Homes), so that will keep me busy enough."

Terry Gange

NewsAlert PR Mildura

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