Day At The Track

Exciting finish looms in driving series

05:53 PM 28 Jan 2016 NZDT
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Cheyenne King-Davies (right) won the third concession drivers series.
Cheyenne King-Davies (right) won the third concession drivers series.

The Harness Racing Training Centre Bendigo Central Victorian 2016 Concession Drivers Championship is set for an exciting finish, with one race remaining in the four-race series.

There appear to be three concession drivers with a realistic chance of taking out the title.

Nathan Weightman currently heads the leaderboard on 30 points, having picked up points in all three races thus far.

He will be hard to beat, given that he would only require a top five finish to secure the title.

He also has the choice to pilot either emergency Sir Dasher Dee (8) or Mister Bellisimo (11) in the final race of the Series on Sunday.

Jackie Barker on outsider Guilty Rama (3) and Brad Chisholm on likely favourite Chirpy Chuckles (7) would require at least a top-two finish to have a show of taking out the title, and for other results to go their way.

Win or lose, all concession drivers who participated in the series will also have the chance to secure the much sought-after drive aboard Smoken Up as he leads out the Bendigo Cup Field on Saturday, February 13.

Trainer Lance Justice has said that Smoken Up is in fine fettle at present for his appearance at Bendigo.

This privilege would undoubtedly be a thrill for the lucky person selected, with the driver selected being announced at the Central Victorian Championship Finals at the Wedderburn  at Maryborough Meeting on Sunday, January 31.

The third race in the series at Charlton on January 25 was taken out in fine style by the Andy Gath trained four-year-old mare, Shadow Flag, courtesy of an exemplary front-running drive by young Cheyenne King-Davies.

The second favorite, Shadow Flag jumped straight to the lead from the pole mark in a slick 29.1secs second quarter before King-Davies gave the mare a breather with a second quarter of 31secs.

She then upped the ante in the latter part of the race, running home the last half in 57secs to win untouched by 6.2 metres from the favorite in the race, Blurred Lines, with Brad Chisholm aboard.

The overall mile rate for the event was 1:57.1 for the mile trip.

In her post-race interview, King-Davies explained how she had recently moved across from Western Australia to join the Andy Gath stable to gain some valuable experience.

At such a young age she is already a well-travelled young driver, having spent six months in her teenage years at Mark Purdon’s stables in New Zealand before home sickness drew her back to the West.

King-Davies has had around 80-100 previous drives, with this win being around her 10th.

During the presentation her current mentor, Andy Gath, complimented her on her fine work ethic and suggested they may need to find her a few more drives in the near future, given her excellent performance here.  

STANDINGS AFTER RACE THREE

Nathan Weightman 30
Jackie Barker 23
Brad Chisholm 23
Patrick Franklin 22
Ashley Ainsworth 17
Robert Caton 17
Denbeigh Wade 16
Cheyenne King-Davies 15
Kevin Weidenbach Jnr 12
Lisa Bartley 11
Xavier O’Connor 11
Ashleigh Stewart 9
Daniel Rose 9
J. Murphy 8
Matthew Horsnell 7
 
CODY WINNELL

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