A small compact meeting was held at Swan Hill on Tuesday and even though the fields were small, the racing was exciting with fancied horses winning all races.
The DNR Logistics Vicbred Platinum Country Series J (2nd Heat) for C1 class over 1750 metres opened the program and raging $1.10 favourite Nomi Malone was successful in a mile rate of 1-56.3. Trained at Bendigo by Ellen Tormey with Zac Phillips taking a claim, Nomi Malone, a 4Y0 daughter of Major In Art and Golden Showgirl coming off a close second at Melton on February 3 settled four back along the markers from gate three as second elect Spic And Sparkled led from gate two. Moving to race exposed from the bell, Nomi Malone was too strong at the finish, scoring by 2,2 metres over the leader, with 11Y0 Superstar Xpress (one/two – three wide last lap) third 4.6 metres away.
Owners Rod and Anne Pollock were ecstatic when their honest 5Y0 home bred Framework-Reigle Anne mare Scottish Sardius saluted the judge in the 2240 metre Swan Hill Ford Trotters Handicap for T0 or better class Trained and driven by Inglewood’s Peter Sanderson, Scottish Sardius starting from 20 metres stepped cleanly to settle four back along the markers in a strung out field with the tempo being set by equal 20 metre marker Tenno Sho. Coming away from the markers to lead up the outside division for the final circuit, Scottish Sardius ($3.40) showed a great will to win when challenged strongly by favourite Valley Ess Jay in the run to the wire, registering a head margin in a rate of 2-05.3. Tenno Sho weakened to be third 3.9 metres back.
The Swan Hill Holden Pace for C1 class over 2240 metres saw another almost unbackable favourite in Jet Laag-Orta Be Ruthless filly Weeks End (1.10) victorious. Driven by Ararat freelance Michael Bellman for Rochester’s Mark Thompson, Weeks End starting solo on the second line was soon off and running to assume control from Wantalinga Dream, before toying with her rivals to record a 10 metre margin in advance of Wantalinga Dream and Angrist from last along the sprint lane. The mile rate 1-58.2.
Smart 5Y0 Art Major-No More Trouble mare Alessa bred and raced by local Harvey Delmanico was an easy winner of the Swan Hill Nissan Pace for C2 to C4 class over 1750 metres. Trained by Burrumbeet’s Michael Stanley and driven by in-form stable “apprentice” Ryan Duffy, Alessa ($1.50) from gate four first up since May last year raced in the open, but was much too strong and classy for her rivals, scoring by 2.8 metres from Pow Wow Bromac (four wide home turn from last) in 1-57.3. Paddy mach (one/one – three wide home turn) was third a half neck away.
There were local cheers all round after Noel Watson’s impressive 3Y0 Courage Under Fire-Torridon gelding Courageous Saint led throughout from gate five in the 2240 metre Swan Hill Automotive Pace for C0 class. Trained at Bolinda by Vince Vallelonga, Courageous Saint ($2.10) gave plenty in the straight to defy a challenge from ex-Kiwi Share The Road which raced parked from the bell when first up in Oz, with Hionjolt third after trailing the winner. The margins 4.7 by 24.1 metres in a mile rate of 2-00.9.
Country Week Tennis-Welcome To Team Teal Raceday 3Y0 Pace over 2240 metres closed the program with punters happy after another favourite in Amendment Thirteen ($1.90) was successful. Trained by Emma Stewart in Ballarat and driven by the stable’s Sidney Van Den Bra, Amendment Thirteen coming off a heat of the Victoria Derby at Ballarat on January 20 had too much quality on his rivals and after racing exposed from gate three defied all challengers to register a 1.6 metre victory in 1-58.3 over Thomas Burns which trailed the weakening pacemaker Andrew Jay, issuing a strong challenge in the straight, with Artistic Saint (three back the markers – three wide home turn) 7.9 metres back in third place.
*** Swan Hill race again Anzac Day April 25.