The Border Watch : February 3rd 2015
34 harness racing VisiT Us OnLine borderwatch.com.au home town cup victory for Finnis stable Three Queens holds off Sign No More to win by a head in feature race arness racing VisiT Us OnLine borderwatch.com.au home town cup victory for ss racing VisiT Us OnLine borderwatch.com.au home town cup victory for Finnis stable Three Queens holds off Sign No More to win by a head in feature race PRE-RACE PRE-RACE betting on Friday s 2015 Glencoe Cup at the Greenwald Paceway suggested it would be nothing more than “a stroll in the park” for Three Queens, which stifled betting as a $1.30 favourite. However, it was anything but plain sailing for the Barry Finnis trained and Jayson Finnis driven Three Queens over the final 150 metres when Sign No More arrived on the scene as a genuine threat. In what was the closest finish of the night, Three Queens made it a home town cup victory with a head to spare, to the delight of the strong contingent of Glencoe supporters in the crowd. Three Queens ($1.60-$1.30) made it five wins from only seven starts at the Greenwald Paceway at her return to racing from a three month spell. For much of the 1790 metre journey, Three Queens faced the breeze outside the leader Ruffiano which led the cup field a merry dance until the top of the straight. Posied to pounce was the second favourite Sign No More after enjoying a soft run on the back of Three Queens, and an upset was on the cards when Sign No More laid down the gauntlet to Three Queens in the charge up the straight. The way the third placegetter Adams Express finished off the race to be only 4.5 metres away suggests the gelding is on the verge of winning his first race of the season very shortly. Success for Three Queens was the middle pin of a winning treble for the Finnis stable as well as her Glencoe owners, Peter and Lesley Medhurst. Ecklin (via Terang) trainer Matthew Craven, who is better known in harness racing circles as a very good driver, trained his first double in South Australia. Craven was due to drive here on Friday night but was a late withdrawal as a result of an injury. Thanks to an excellent roll up by the Glencoe community, in direct contrast to the previous week for Heywood Cup night by its community, there was an above average crowd and a good atmosphere prevailed for the entire meeting. Missed the interference THE Finnis juggernaut got off to a flying start when, as expected, Royal Jacquard had an easy, all the way win in the opening event. The task for the hot favourite, which firmed from $1.75 into $1.40, was helped with a brilliant beginning which saw Royal Jacquard cross the field from barrier four and go straight to the lead. In doing so, Royal Jacquard, Case Forty Seven and Hey Peggy Sue (the eventual placegetters) missed all the interference on the first turn when Our Mackalena (back on the pegs) galloped and threw her driver David Drury into the on coming field. Drury was extremely luck to escape virtually unscathed and RACE 1: Royal Jacquard (driven by Jayson Finnis) was a clear winner of the opening race on the program at Greenwald Paceway. was able to fulfil further driving engagements. As a result, only three pacers were left with any winning chance as half of the field were retired from the race. There was speculation that stewards may declare it a no race and, after a long delay (some 20 minutes), the all clear was eventually given. Stewards did order that Our Mackalena be stood down for 14 days. 34 - The Border Watch, Tuesday, February 3, 2015 Fought on tenaciously A TIRING, well beaten third the previous week, Im Lonely ($9-$8) still had plenty of admirers in the betting ring prior to winning the Reg Hinton Memorial. A strong battle between Maybe Cruising and Jilliby Diablo for early supremacy played into the hands of those back in the field when the race was there to be won. With the leaders putting up the the hunt at any stage. Give Me A Hand could not sustain the hectic speed all race, and Juliet Dreams finished too stoutly to win her first race following a debut fourth the previous Friday. Luv Me Or Hate Me (10th) had good late backing ($26-$12.80) but was always mid field before breaking on the home turn. There was a lot to like about the way Marcus Brutus ran home to fill the minor placing. Too speedy THE Howard stable were denied a double when its representative Grinfromheaven ($11-$8.60) ran home strongly over the final 500 metres but could not gun down the leader – and favourite - Ducale Bromac in the R0 pace. RACE 4: Main event on the program was the Glencoe Cup, won by Three Queens (right) driven by Jayson Finnis. Fill-in driver Peter Craven took Ducale Bromac ($1.35-$1.60), reportedly a $60,000 purchase as a youngster, straight to the lead as expected, and the mare opened up the field with a ten metre lead with two laps to run. That lead was maintained throughout to give Matthew Craven the first leg of his training double. Favoured pair dominated WITH the late scratching of Masterofthurles, the R0/R1 pace looked a logical quinella between the in-form pair of Cryptic Chance and Jax Navaro, and the pair had a two horse war over the final 400 metres. Cryptic Chance was coming off a last start Victor Harbor success while Jax Navaro was chasing his fourth win from five starts this campaign. Jax Navaro trailed Cryptic Chance throughout and then applied the pressure from the 500 metres when the pair put a space on their rivals. The class of Jax Navaro prevailed easily in the end to complete the treble for the night for the Finnis stable. GLENCOE CUP: At the trophy presentations of the Glencoe Community Cup were (from left) Phil Woods (Mount Gambier Harness Racing Club president), Ted Peacock (Glencoe football co-ordinator), Les Edwards (Glencoe football president), Cassie Edwards (Glencoe netball president) and Lesley and Peter Medhurst (owners of cup winner, Three Queens. Mighty effort Pictures: TREVOR JACKSON white flag on the home turn and the easing favourite Just Like Elle ($1.60-$2.40) in need of a run, Im Lonely out three wide quickly loomed as a major player with Sweet Forty Seven in hot pursuit. Im Lonely boxed on like a caged lion to give popular local trainer Andy Gray his first winner of the local 2014-15 season. It was a Barker driving quinella with Jim having a neck to spare on the line over son Rodney. Finished too stoutly ALSO in the winner’s stall for the first time this season at the Greenwald Paceway was Mount Schank trainer Graeme Howard after the three-year-old pace. Unwanted in betting, his pacer Juliet Dreams ($9-$30) was always a winning chance after lobbing behind the leader Give Me A Hand which had speed to burn early. Favourite punters were out of business early in proceedings when Red Starlet ($1.70-$1.45-$1.60) blew the start and was never in IT’S been a long time since local harness racing fans have seen a horse come off the 80 metre mark and win. That occurred in the trotters handicap, and the win by Star Gun was even more meritorious given the gelding was first up for nearly three months. A brilliant beginning saw the Craven trained Star Gun up running fourth to end up in the preferred one-one sit after the first lap. It was a perfect display of square gaiting by the second favourite as Star Gun sailed past the odds-on favourite Lombo Scrutinizer and the leader Peters Passion in the final half lap. February is the pinnacle of the local harness racing season with heats of the Mount Gambier Gold Cup on Sunday, February 15 followed by the Gold Cup final on Saturday night, February 28. Drive of the night: Caleb Lewis (Star Gun). Black bookers: Marcus Brutus (drew badly and ran home very strongly for third in the three-yearold pace); Adams Express (ready to win an R1 when he draws a good gate).
January 30th 2015
February 4th 2015