Much travelled Kiwi bred entire Messini chalked up his 24th victory and first since the Ouyen Cup back on March 17, when victorious in last Saturday’s $30,000 (Group 3) 3SH Swan Hill Pacing Cup for M0 or better class over 2790 metres. The race drew a quality field to contest the event, with the interesting runner being Thereal Usain Bolt first up in Oz for astute Avenel mentor David Aiken. With plenty of action on from the outset as Lucky Lombo (gate 2), Egodan (5), John Of Ark (11) and Our Jerico (9) all taking turns to lead, the race developed into a terrific spectacle.
Kerryn Manning took the opportunity to send Ideal Success forward mid-race after quickly easing off inside the second line to park outside her stablemate as Thereal Usain Bolt moved three wide from three back in the moving line entering the back straight on the final occasion being followed up by Messini (one/three) and Milly Perez from last. Striding past Our Jerico approaching the final bend, Ideal Success went for home, with both Thereal Usain Bolt and Messini giving chase. Still in front as the winning post came into view, Ideal Success was claimed by Messini in the shadows of the post to score by 1.3 metres, with Thereal Usain Bolt running out of puff to finish third 14.6 metres away, 2.1 metres in advance of the roughie Resurgent Spirit. A 8Y0 son of Art Major and Mesmerizing trained at Bolinda by Brent Lilley and driven by Anthony Butt for the long time owners group of John Wilkinson, Gary Dowling and Rob Owen and others who have joined the partnership, Messini returned a mile rate of 1-58.1 (last half 56.1 – quarter 27 even).
Lilley earlier in the night snared the first two races on the program – the #TrotsSW $10,000 Community Group Giveaway Pace for C0 class over 1750 metres with 4Y0 gelding Loveisamyth (Josh Duggan) and the Mixx FM Trotters Handicap for T0 or better class with fully USA bred 7Y0 stallion Kyvalley Vice (Chris Alford). Loveisamyth (Village Jolt-Mythical Lover) was tough in his victory after racing exposed throughout, defeating Macelli from last by 1.1 metres in 1-58.2, with the pacemaker Gunnareign 2.8 metres back in third place.
Kyvalley Vice (Donato Hanover-Ms Naughty) was given the run of the race one/one from 20 metres. Easing three wide for the final circuit, Kyvalley Vice ran on best to gain the day by a half neck over Justtentrumps which trailed him all of the way, The favourite Matatoki followed the pair home after a slow beginning from a 40 metre equal backmark to finish third 2.2 metres away. The mile rate 2-02.5.
Terang trainer/driver Mattie Craven’s 7Y0 Majestic Son-Cyclone Vance gelding Cyclone Lucky Seven was a strong victor of the $13,000 Haras Des Trotteurs Jim Roberts Swan Hill Trotters Cup for T5 or better class over 2790 metres. Beginning with a wing on every foot from outside the front line, Cyclone Lucky Seven pounced on the lead and rated to perfection, ran his rivals ragged (last half 57.8 – quarter 29.4) to register a 1.8 metre margin from Sky Majesty which trailed, with Kyvalley Barney a meritorious third after racing exposed. The mile rate 2-03.3.
Kialla duo Laura Crossland (trainer) and David Moran (driver) were big winners of the Swan Hill Rural City Council Pace for C1 class with talented Grinfromeartoear-Uncork 4Y0 entire Lochinvar Beauty. Forced to race in the open from gate five after making an unsuccessful bid for the front running, Lochinvar Delight outstayed his rivals to prevail by a nose margin in 1-59.8 over Seaside Beauty from last, with the pacemaker Catch Me If You Can weakening to finish third 10.5 metres away.
Heavily backed favourite Apache Shark was an all of the way victor of the Kiel Tiling Pace much to the delight of the sponsors who race him. A 5Y0 intact son of Four Starzz Shark and Mustbeheaven trained at Cardigan by Emma Stewart, Apache Shark driven by Gavin Lang speared away from gate seven to assume control and was never headed, accounting for Stroke Of Luck (one/three – three wide home turn) by a head only in 1-57.6. Ardens Concord used the sprint lane off the back of the leader to finish third 2.4 metres away.
Beautifully bred 5Y0 Rocknroll Hanover-Dancingonmoonlight stallion Moonrock greeted the judge in the Swan Hill Stockfeeds Swan Hill Mile over 1609 metres in 1-54.8. Trained at Melton by Sonya Smith, Moonrock driven by partner Anthony Butt led throught from gate two, just lasting to gain the day by a half head from Cant Refuse (one/one – three wide home turn) and a death-seating G I Joe. Moonrock could be feeling the effects of a long campaign which took in the Breeders Crown Series in August.
South Australian (Kadina) trainer Tyson Linke made the journey worthwhile when bonny 5Y0 Four Starzzz Shark-Paris Rainbow mare Queen Of Sharkz scored in the Empire Stallions Vicbred Platinum Mares Sprint Championship (1st Heat) for C1 & C2 class over 1750 metres. Driven by Greg Sugars, Queen Of Sharkz went forward from gate five to cross Plead The Fifth which began very quickly from gate six to park outside the heavily supported leader Our Celebrity inside her, before forging clear on turning to register a 1.2 metre margin over Plead The Fifth (one/one) and She Keeps Coming along the sprint lane from three back the markers. The mile rate 1-55.6.
The Blast AfterThe Last At Barrells Pace for C0 class was a “walk in the park” for 6Y0 Changeover-Rhythm Devine mare Harper Valley raced and trained by young Glen Park (Bungaree) resident Zac Steenhuis after the heavily backed favourite Emoji galloped wildly heading into the first turn. Driven by Bendigo’s Neil McCallum, Harper Valley led throughout from the pole to record an easy 17.1 metre margin in advance of One For Granny from near last and Ozstar Dragon which trailed the winner.
*** Swan Hill race again on the traditional Melbourne Cup Night fixture of November 7.