Victoria’s leading reinsman of last season Chris Alford made a rare visit to Swan Hill on Sunday and finished the afternoon with a double – I Am I Cried and PleadThe Fifth.
Lightly raced 10Y0 Wind Cries Maori-Diamond Copy gelding I Am I Cried trained at Riddell in the Macedon Ranges by John Heffer, brought up two wins in succession when successful in the Tennotrump @ Northern Rivers Equine Trotters Handicap for T0 or better class over 2240 metres. Making only his 32nd race appearance, I Am I Cried coming from 20 metres enjoyed a charmed passage one/one following Spirit Walker which started from the same mark to park outside the leader Tenno Sho which was quick to begin from 10 metres.
Easing three wide on turning, I Am I Cried despite running about, prevailed by a half neck from Tenno Sho which refused to give in, with Bridie Okane a half neck away in third place after trailing the runner up and using the sprint lane. The mile rate 2-04.7.
Shelbourne’s Larry Eastman is a regular at most Swan Hill meetings and 4Y0 Rocknroll Hanover-Dont Answer That mare Plead The Fifth greeted the judge in the 2240 metre Sir Lincoln @ Alabar Pace for C1 class. Starting from the extreme draw, Alford posssied the mare mid-field in the moving line as Escape The Fate led from gate four. Finishing best, Plead The Fifth scored by 2.4 metres in advance of a game Flight Officer which raced uncovered in a rate of 1-58.3. Escape The Fate held down third 11.4 metres away.
The opening race – the Pegasus Spur @ Woodlands Stud 3Y0 Pace saw a thrilling dead-heat finish with the judge unable to separate Torque Tothe Starz and Ideal Suspect in a mile rate of 1-58.8. Ideal Suspect trained and driven by Euroa’s Cameron Maggs led from gate two, with the Peter Manning (trained) and Dwayne Locke (driven) Torque Tothe Starz trailing. Holding a margin on straightening, Ideal Suspect looked like winning all the way down the running until the shadows of the post when Torque Tothe Starz made a desperate last stride lunge to share the major prize in a finish where many were undecided. Whats In The Esky was 7.9 metres away in third place after following the pair.
Tapitallee trainer Gavin Kelly combined with Nagambie reinsman Paul Weidenbach to land the Sebastian K @ Trump Bloodstock Pace for C1 class over 1750 metres with much travelled 5Y0 Mach Three-Power Player gelding Blackbird Power. Settling mid-field from gate four, Blackbird Power finished best to record a 2.9 metre margin over the pacemaker Elfonzo, with Zipping Elmo 2.4 metres back in third place after trailing the pacemaker from inside the second line. The mile rate 1-57.1.
Kyabram trainer Mark Watson is no stranger to Swan Hill and provided 5Y0 Sportswriter-Whatacorka mare Recork to capture the Sweet Lou @ Woodlands Stud Pace for C0 class over 2240 metres. Driven by nephew Luke Watson, Recork was given every opportunity one/one from gate two on the second line trailing a death-seating Heathbern Emily as Yeah led from gate two. Finishing full of running on turning, Recork registered an easy 8.6 metre margin over the leader in a rate of 2-01.2. Major Lies (three back the markers) was a head away in third place.
Rockbank’s Allan McDonough scored a huge victory with 6Y0 Courage Under Fire-Exotic Flash gelding Flash Under Fire in the Guaranteed @ Goodtime Lodge Pace for C0 class over 1750 metres. Breaking in the score up from the extreme draw, Flash Under Fire once pacing was sent forward in a rush to park outside the pacemaker Huddy a short priced ($1.40) favourite from the Larry Eastman camp. Despite doing all of the work in the race, Flash Under Fire careered away to register a 19.5 metre margin over Veestar (three back the markers) and Night Performer from five back. Huddy dropped out to be beaten 23.8 metres and had to undergo a veterinary examination. The mile rate 1-57.2.
South Australian Derby victor of last season Our Jimmie looked to have yards on his rivals in the 1750 metre Heston Blue Chip @ Empire Pace for C2 to C4 class and that’s the way the race panned out. Trained at Bolinda by Brent Lilley and driven by the stables number two reinsman Josh Duggan, Our Jimmie a gelded son of Big Jim and Trinity College was sent forward from outside the front line to lead and once there, dictated terms, winning easily by 9.3 metres from Joe Costa’s Bernies Idol and Fleeting Grin (one/two) in the fastest rate of the day 1-54.9.
Track specialist – 10Y0 The Wrath Of Pan-Fly Home gelding Nuggetpan trained at Pyramid Hill by Andrew Grogan toyed with his rivals in the Racing Hill @ Alabar Pace for C1 class over 2240 metres. Taking a concession for Burrumbeet concessional reinsman James Herbertson, Nuggetpan raced in an unfamiliar role from gate five, parked in the open outside the leader Major Patron which was backed into favouritism. Despite the tough passage, Nuggetpan treated his rivals with contempt, winning by 21.8 metres from Major Patron and Shelleys Star (one/one) who was 19.4 metres in arrears of the runner up. The mile rate 1-57.5.
*** The next Swan Hill meeting will be October 10.