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.