Passionate Swan Hill owner/breeder Noel Watson was in the winners stall at his home track on Tuesday, when first starter Courageous Saint greeted the judge in the Braemar Air Conditioning 3Y0 Pace over 1750 metres. Trained at Bolinda in the Macedon Ranges by Vince Vallelonga, Courageous Saint (Corey Bell) enjoyed a sweet passage one/one from gate three and when taken wide in the home running, finished strongly to prevail by 1.7 metres in advance of a death-seating Our Summer Bay, with Wanted Lady third 1.5 metres back after leading from the pole. A son of Courage Under Fire from Torridon, Courageous Saint is a half brother to Watson’s much travelled prolific winning 2012 Nyah Pacing Cup winner Saint Flash (by Grinfromeartoear). The mile rate 1-57.
Kyabram trainer Mark Watson combined with Nathan Jack to land the DNR Logistics Pace for C1 class over 1750 metres with 5Y0 Sportswriter-Whatacorka mare Recork in a rate of 2-00.5, leading all of the way from the pole to register a 2.3 metre margin over Emoji (one/two – three wide last lap) and local Bernies Idol which trailed the winner using the sprint lane to no avail.
The Toshiba Air Conditioning Pace for C3 to C5 classs\ over 1750 metres went the way of Koorlong trainer/driver Luke Watson’s Kiwi bred 6Y0 Art Major-Kennys Kid gelding Fat Kennys Drop, giving the Watson brothers a running double. Raced by Mildura harness fanatics Peter and Avis Argiro, Fat Kennys Drop began brilliantly from gate three to lead and rated a treat, was never headed, accounting for Hezthebigbopper which trailed using the sprint lane to go down by a half head, with Des Hilton’s Itmademyday (three wide last lap) and Manassa Sky (last at bell) dead-heating for third a neck away. The mile rate 1-55.9.
Havelock (Maryborough) trainer/driver Ash Matthews recorded a huge victory with 5Y0 Courage Under Fire-Madam Narryna gelding Superband in the Laser Electrical Lighting Showroom Pace for C0 class over 2240 metres. Restrained from outside the front line to the tail of the field as polemarker Gunnareign led, Superband quickly made ground three wide solo in the last lap to shoot away on turning and win by 17.1 metres from Mister Shelby which trailed the weakening leader, with My Two Eves third after racing exposed. The mile rate 2-00.7.
Six year old Somebeachsomewhere-Western Tingira gelding Babalaas Jack scored his first victory since December 2016 when successful in the Laser Electrical Swan Hill Pace for C2 class over 2240 metres. Trained and driven by Terang’s Mattie Craven, Babalaas Jack exploded away from outside the front line to lead and allowed to bowl, ran his rivals ragged, winning by 11.3 metres in a new track record rate of 1-55.9 from track specialist Nuggetpan (three back the markers) and the hot favourite Flight Officer who was most disappointing after trailing the winner.
The fast class race of the night – the 2200 metre Solarhart Solar Hot Water Pace for C6 or better class was taken out by Kerryn Manning’s quality former New Zealander Ideal Success, breaking Babalaas Jack’s newly established record set one race earlier by two tenths of a second (1-55.7). In an intriguing race of tactics, Ideal Success lobbed one/one from gate five, moving to face the breeze at the bell as Repeat After Me eased off the back of the leader Gollahman, with Macterra Lad which originally was caught in the open being shuffled to three back in the moving line. Taking over on turning, Ideal Success, a 7Y0 gelded son of American Ideal and Maheer Glen was too strong at the finish, scoring by 1.6 metres from Yerrington Bob and Beachstar which looked like he may have caused a giant upset when flashing along the sprint lane, only to be short lived.
Deep Lead trainer Marnie Bibby combined with Glenn Douglas to snare the Laser Electrical Kerang Pace for C0 & C1 class over 1750 metres with 5Y0 Santanna Blue Chip-Talk To Me gelding Wotchawaitingfor. In a casual run affair with Ronzel Grinner leading from the pole, Wotchawaitingfor after being taken back to last from outside the front line, ran home best out wide to nose out a death-seating Major Jamane, with Ronzel Grinner holding down third 1.2 metres back. The mile rate 2-00.4.
The Solarhart PV System Trotters Handicap for T0 or better class over 2240 metres proved that perseverance pays at times when Maryborough trainer John Douglas’ 12Y0 Wind Cries Maori-Lopsided gelding Right Side Up scored at Supertab odds of $23.30. Beginning at 100 miles an hour from 10 metres, Right Side Up driven by Bungaree junior James Herbertson led throughout to register his second success (his first being at Charlton in September 2013), defeating Scottish Sardius from last by a head in a rate of 2-09.5. Fabio was third after galloping away, then racing in the open.
The next Swan Hill meeting will be Tuesday December 19.