Day At The Track

Lewis aims for a special victory

05:16 PM 22 Feb 2018 NZDT
Comment (...) Tweet Share Email Print
Chris Lewis, harness racing
Chris Lewis
Gloucester Park Photo

Champion reinsman Chris Lewis is upbeat about his prospects of winning the $25,000 Lewis Mares Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night, a feature event named in his honour to acknowledge his remarkable career in harness racing.

Lewis will drive the Ross Olivieri-trained four-year-old who has drawn perfectly at barrier one on the front line in the 2130m mobile event.

“This is probably the best chance I’ve had to win this race,” Lewis said. “Madame Meilland is definitely going extremely well and this is the best draw she’s had. The plan will be to lead and it will be quite a thrill to win. Her run at Northam last Saturday night was an excellent effort when the last lap was covered in very good time.”

Madame Meilland began speedily from the No. 4 barrier at Northam and raced without cover before finishing strongly to be a close second to Vampiro, with the final 800m whizzing by in 55.7sec. This followed solid efforts with third placings behind Better B Chevron at Northam and Mon Lillies at Gloucester Park.

The New South Wales-bred Madame Meilland has excelled under Olivieri’s care in Western Australia, with her 12 starts producing five wins and six placings to improve her career record to 33 starts for eight wins, eight seconds and five thirds.

“She’s quick out and is certainly going to be the testing material,” said a confident Olivieri.

Madame Meilland is the first foal lout of New Zealand-bred mare The Peace Rose, who earned $79,920 from nine wins and 18 placings from 66 starts.

The three other four-year-old mares in Friday night’s race loom as the main rivals for Madame Meilland. They are Gotta Go Gabbana and stablemates Better B Chevron and Covered N Diamonds.

Gotta Go Gabbana, to be driven by Chris Voak for Banjup trainer Annie Belton, will have many admirers. A winner at each of her past three starts, all over 2130m at Gloucester Park, Gotta Go Gabbana will start from barrier four on the front line and looks certain to go forward at the start before racing on the outside of Madame Meilland, the likely pacemaker.

“She shouldn’t miss the first three,” declared Voak, who added that the mare had improved her manners immensely in recent weeks.

Skye Bond trains Better B Chevron and Covered N Diamonds, New Zealand-bred mares who are racing with admirable enthusiasm. They will start from the back line, with Ryan Warwick opting to drive Better B Chevron and Colin Brown being engaged to handle Covered N Diamonds.

Better B Chevron had a tough run in the breeze when a fighting second, beaten a head by Mon Lillies over 2130m last Friday week. That followed wins at Albany and Northam, and she now has raced 22 times for 12 wins, seven placings and stakes of $103,983.

Covered N Diamonds has won at six of her 17 starts and should enjoy a soft passage from barrier two on the back line.

Cardup trainer Sarah Suvaljko will be represented by Auctioneers Elsu (Jocelyn Young), Its My Lucknow (Dylan Egerton-Green) and Sea Cider (Michael Grantham). They have a combined total of 542 starts for 43 wins, 117 placings and $405,988 in prizemoney. All three will be at handsome odds on Friday night.

The prospects of speedy frontrunners Mon Lillies and Tajies Girl slumped considerably when they drew the two outside barriers on the front line.

Ken Casellas

Comment (...) Tweet Share Email Print

Read More News About...

Stallion Name

Next article: