Bendigo area trainers Danny Curran, Barry Quigley, Trevor Monk and Gary Donaldson took the honours at last Thursday’s Swan Hill Trots fixture, winning four of the six races on the program, while Burrumbeet concessional reinsman James Herbertson snared a double on the program.
Marong’s Danny Curran was successful in the opening race of the night – the $10,000 Empire Stallions Vicbred Platinum Country Series J Final for C1 class over 2240 metres with 5Y0 Vintage Master-Sunrose Mary gelding Sunrose Master in a mile rate of 1-57.7. Raced by Danny, Sunrose Master driven by Herbertson led throughout from the pole and was always travelling comfortably, coasting to the wire 2.2 metres in advance of Ozzie Major which trailed using the sprint lane to no avail, with Ian Raymond 12.7 metres away in third place after racing in the open.
James Herbertson’s second winner came up in the C0 class DNR Logistics Pace over 1750 metres aboard Stawell trainer Owen Martin’s 4Y0 Blissful Hall-Longtan Ebony mare Marjorie Jean. Given a sweet trip one/one from gate three as Whosashadylady led from gate two, Marjorie Jean when eased three wide approaching the final bend, ran home strongly to record a 3.3 metre margin (her fourth in 37 outings) from Magnified (four wide home turn from last), with Ideal Velocity using the sprint lane off the back of the weakening leader third 3.4 metres back after being slightly held up for a run. The mile rate 1-9.7.
Ardmona trainer/driver Donna Castles’ very smart Safari-Sass And Bling 5Y0 gelding Sofala returned to the winners list when greeting the judge in the Murray Downs Golf Club Country Club Pace for C3 to C5 class over 2240 metres. Taken back to the tail of the field from outside the front row as the start was effected, Sofala was sent forward as the speed slackened to park outside the polemarker and pacemaker Delightful Mia within a lap. Content to dictate the terms, Donna judged the race to a nicety applying pressure to the leader prior to the home turn. Nursed to the wire, Sofala had too much quality for his rivals, scoring by 3.4 metres in a rate of 1-56.8 over Delightful Mia. Jakarras Ace after trailing the leader was third 9.8 metres away.
Popular Huntly part-owner/trainer Barry Quigley’s lightly raced honest 7Y0 Art Major-Janoela Star gelding Sixty was successful in the fast class race of the evening – the 2240 metre Swan Hill Club Pace for C6 or better. Driven by Chris Svanosio, Sixty (gate 2) began best to lead, but was pressured by the heavily backed Ararat Cup runner up Perspective which was allowed to take over on the first turn. With the speed hotting up in the last lap (third quarter 27.3) as Lucky Lombo joined the pacemaker, horses were five wide in the straight as local hope Makemyday and Repeat After Me both put in claims, with Sixty using the sprint lane to stride clear in the shadows of the post to gain the day by a head from Repeat After Me and Lucky Lombo who was 3.7 metres back in third place. The mile rate an excellent 1-55.6.
The Spoons Riverside Pace for C1 class over 2240 metres saw Junortoun trainer Trevor Monk’s 4Y0 We Will See-Sharnica mare I See You victorious in a rate of 1-58.6. Driven by Bendigo reinsman Haydon Gray, I See You at start number four settled three back in the running lane from gate two, with Glenn Douglas’ former NSW mare Chinook Winds beginning best to lead from gate three. Easing three wide on the home turn, I See You in a thrilling finish prevailed by a half head from Chinook Winds which looked to have the race in her keeping all the way up the running, with Quamby Reactor a half head away in third place after racing exposed.
Junortoun breeder/owner/trainer Gary Donaldson combined with Rod Petroff making the long trip from Lancefield, to snare the Murray Downs Community Club Trotters Handicap for T0 or better class over 2240 metres with 5Y0 Angus Hall-Skye Rocket mare Skyeski. Beginning swiftly from 10 metres to lead, Skyseki ambled around at her own speed, defying all challengers to defeat outsider Someones Singing which trailed, using the sprint lane to be beaten 2.4 metres in a rate of 2-08.7. Gooroc Gambler (one/one) was third 6.7 metres away after backmarker Endsin A Party which had raced parked galloped approaching the finish line.
Swan Hill are to be commended for programming a trotters race each meeting.
*** Swan Hill race again Anzac Day April 25.