Day At The Track

Whipair wipes the floor with rivals

03:35 AM 13 Nov 2010 NZDT
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Whipair - Seen here winning 2006 Renown Silverware Youthful Stakes
Photo by Simon Evans - 2006 Renown Silverware Youthful Stakes

Record breaking racing at Victorian harness racing headquarters has continued with underrated stayer, Whipair, taking advantage of a gun run in transit to obliterate Tabcorp Park's 2760-metre stand start benchmark winning the $12000 St Arnaud Sporting Club Pacing Cup on Friday night.

Just seven days after rising champion Villagem recalibrated Melton’s sprint distance standard in winning The Legends, Russell Jack’s enduring seven-year-old son of DM Dilinger stripped almost a second off Benny Mac’s previous yardstick, vanquishing a quality field of pacers in the process.

Displaying devastating speed from behind the 10-metre tape, Whipair – who was sent out at $17.80 – had little trouble in finding the top early, crossing initial lamplighter Jaccka Haughty in the formative stages of an 89.6-second lead time, before Nathan Jack looked to take a trail.

At first it appeared Kerryn Manning’s race favourite, Standelle ($2) would oblige, but that fellow’s languid attitude dictated that he could only advance to the breeze as Shardons Rocket exploded with a lightning move around the field from the rear to take up the running.

The 31.1-second opening split that followed this move would ultimately prove to be the slowest section of a brutal fourth leg of the Choice Hotels Country Cup circuit, as the power went on exiting the home straight the final time.

In arguably the fastest middle half recorded at Tabcorp Park, Shardons Rocket scorched around the back straight in scintillating splits of 27.8 and 29.0 seconds, with Standelle displaying a breathtaking combination of arrogance and futility by going with him every step of the way.

Upon entering the lane the race leader had understandably had enough as Manning and Standelle surged toward a most unlikely victory. Indeed it was only in the final fifty metres of a brutal 2:00.1 mile rate, whose last stanza was staggered in 29.2 that the brave favourite was hunted down.

During those closing stages, as runners emerged from everywhere late, it was Whipair, who had the box seat behind the leader in which to watch the earlier fireworks that prevailed, emerging through a needle-eye gap to hold out the volatile finish of Village of Dreams from near enough to last, prevailing by 1.1 metres.

Standelle announced himself as a horse with Hunter Cup potential to hold onto third a further 1.1 metres away after doing all the bullocking work, while Geoff Webster’s gifted stayer Tear It All Away was left to lament blowing the start again, careering home when it was all over for fourth.

Earlier in the night, former boom juvenile Danny Bouchea finally recaptured some of the form that once saw him the most spruiked squaregaiter in the land by winning the $12000 Weirs Supa IGA St Arnaud Trotters Cup.

Recording a mile rate of 2:03.1, constituted of a 91.3-second lead time and quarters of 31.1, 31.6, 29.5 and 29.9, Nick Youngson’s six-year-old son of Sundon made light of his 30-metre backmark by overwhelming Lenny Lewis (20m) late in the 2760-metre stand start co-feature, with Millburn Michael (10m) running third.


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