Day At The Track

Terang trainer-driver hoping history repeats

05:54 AM 05 Mar 2009 NZDT
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The Matthews Petroleum Hamilton Pacing Cup has always been a race of special memories for Kerry Clarke. Waitaki Direct provided the Terang trainer-driver with one of the most memorable wins of his harness racing career when he took out the 1971 edition.

Sunday will present Clarke with the chance to celebrate the 38th anniversary of that win with another victory when Lombo Lumber Jack goes around in the $25,000 handicap on his home track.

"That (Cup) win was a few years ago now, so it would be good if we can win another," Clarke said.

With Hamilton notyetback up and running as a harness venue, this year's Matthews Petroleum Hamilton Cup will be run at Terang's Dalvui Raceway.

That was what prompted Clarke to take on the likes of Make Waves, Few Good Men and classy mares Lucky Elsie and Sophie Pass despite believing Lombo Lumber Jack was poorly handicapped.

"At the handicaps I wouldn't have run him if I had to travel, but because it's just across the road and not far for the owner to come, he lives down near Portland, we'll run," he said.

Making the decision easier is that Lombo Lumber Jack is in career-best form and has drawn well for Sunday night's2680-metre race, to be run at 8.19pm.

He is yet to miss a place in seven runs this season and made it back-to-back wins when he held out talented pair Dilinger Girl and Trojan Luck last time out.

The son of Aces N Sevens has drawn barrier three but will come into gate two if emergency Longtan Safari (one) doesn't get a run.

"At the handicaps he's very harshly treated, but in saying all of that, I firmly believe that if he goes away(from the start) they'll know he's in the race," Clarke said.

"He's going to have to step up another notch because there are some very nice horses in the race and they're all going to be very hard to beat, but he has already stepped up a couple of notches this season."

Luv Tha Aces Lombo (four), Sophie Pass (five) and Lucky Elsie (six) are the other key players off the front, while likely favourite Make Waves (eight) is the sole horse off the second line.

Standing start specialist Few Good Men headlines a 10-metre crew including Echuca Cup winner Wideford Hill, Ouyen Cup winner Doolan Jack, Cosmic Under Fire and Monarco Man.

Brad BISHOP

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