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Favourites claim Group 1 QBRED Triad Finals

By Andrew Adermann

It was a night for the favourites at Albion Park, with both Big Wheels and Jasper justifying their short-price quote by taking out the respective Group 1 BRED Triad Finals at the weekend.

The driving rain did nothing to deter the masses, with a strong crowd on hand for the feature night.

 

Big Wheels keep on turning

Big Wheels kept on turning after taking out the $100,000 Group 1 QBRED Triad Final for Colts & Geldings.

The triumph adds to his last-start win in the Listed QBRED Breeders Classic Final, and made it a third win from seven starts - including three minor placings.

Drawn on the inside of the first row, the race mapped perfectly for the Turpin-trained two-year-old, who was taken straight to the lead by driver Peter McMullen.

McMullen steadied the tempo on the $2.20 favourite at the bell, and held a comfortable lead for the majority of the 1660-metre pace.

The only challenge came late in the form of the Grant Dixon-trained Dynamic Dan, who found a run in the sprint lane after box seating the majority of the trip.

The half-metre win was a first Triad Final success for Turpin, husband McMullen and owner John Polson.

Albion Park

QBRED TRIAD FINAL - 2YO COLTS & GELDINGS (G1) 1660m

Dixon adds to his stellar season

The nation’s leading trainer in Grant Dixon added another Group 1 to his cabinet behind Jasper in the $100,000 Group 1 QBRED Triad Final for Fillies.

Dixon – who also did the driving behind the $2.60 favourite – took a leaf out of McMullen’s earlier drive and ensured he got the lead from a wide front row barrier.

It was as easy as you like from there, who led the entirety of the 1660-metre pace, bursting clear down the straight to claim a near-seven metre win from Shes Miss Devine.

“You can never get too confident, plus it was a wet night so things could have played out a lot differently – but I felt I had them covered,” Dixon told National Trotguide post-race.

“I liked her chances and wouldn’t have swapped her for anything else in the race.

“She felt really strong up the straight and found the line quite well.”

The win was Dixon’s 262nd of the 2019/20 season, putting him 51 clear of Emma Stewart who sits second on the Harness Racing Australia National Trainers Premiership.

The two-year-old will now be set for the $100,000 APG Final at Albion Park on August 15, with heats kicking off the week prior.

“She’s a neat little filly; the APG series will be harder against the colts but all things even she will let them know she is there,” Dixon said.

“I will give her a few days off now then get her ready for the hearts in a fortnight.”

Albion Park

QBRED TRIAD FINAL - 2YO FILLIES (G1) 1660m

Ladies claim the remaining features

Il Pirata sprung a massive surprise late on the card to take out the Group 3 Queensland Trotters Cup.

The nine-year-old enjoyed a near-perfect drive from Shane Graham, who patiently sat off the pace before winding up at the top of the straight to claim a half-metre victory.

It was a first Group victory for trainer Stephanie Graham, and a 13th career win from 104 starts for the gelding, in what was only his second start in Queensland after the being sold to the Grahams from Victoria.

“We are all proud of Pirate’s effort to take out last night’s G3 Qld Trotters Cup,” Team Graham Racing said on Twitter.

“At only his second start for the stable, he trotted faultlessly to snatch a narrow victory.

“Under horrendous conditions, Shane Graham executed the perfect drive.

“As our first racehorse syndicate, it is a dream come true to have such success for our owners so quickly.

“We must also thank Kate and Andy Gath for sending this horse up to us in such good condition, and our staff for working hard to get him spot on.”

Earlier in the evening, Lola Weidemann once again showed why she is one of the state’s top horsewomen, with an expert drive behind Kid Montana to take out the Listed Lucky Creed Open Pace.

Sitting second-last at the bell, Weidemann followed the Chris Frisby-trained Our Uncle Sam into the race down the back of the final lap, and before she knew it was near-level with the leaders at the top of the straight.  

Race favourite Colt Thirty One struggled to find room in the sprint lane, allowing the four-year-old Kid Montana to capitalise on his growing momentum over the final 200 metres.

It was a rollercoaster week for Weidemann, who was forced to scratch her entire team at Thursday’s meet after suffering severe back pain.

Weidemann recently surpassed 3000 career victories, and sits clearly atop the list of female drivers in the state.

Only Kerryn Manning has more wins in the country, closing in on 4000 career triumphs.

Albion Park

2020 QUEENSLAND TROTTERS CUP (G3) 2138m