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  4. Queensland harness racing wrap - May 31

Queensland harness racing wrap - May 31

Catch up on the week’s harness racing action in our weekly review, thanks to Darren Clayton.

 

THE GOOD

Albion Park committee member and devoted owner and breeder Greg Mitchell secured a feature race quinella on Saturday night.

Lining up in the Australian Pacing Gold Three-Year-Old Consolation Final, Mitchell had a pair of runners represented under the banner of GSM Racing.

Jasper - already a Group 1 winner - was sent out the short-price favourite from gate one while Chamonix was not as fortunate from gate seven as he chased his first feature race success.

As it looked on paper, Jasper was able to hold the early advantage and once in control, trainer/driver Grant Dixon was able to dictate terms, a 32.4-second quarter from the 1200-metres to the 800 setting up the win.

Recording an official winning margin of nearly one-and-a-half metres, Jasper was never in danger of adding the Group 2 feature to her impressive record that now stands at seven wins and eight minors in 16 appearances.

The winning prizemoney also took the filly’s bankroll past $150,000.

It was her stablemate however, Chamonix, that was the run of the race in grabbing second placing.

Eased back early by Chris Petroff, he had the gelding on the move at the 800-metre mark.

Sliding up three-wide down the back straight, the son of Hes Watching moved up stylishly and was game to the wire, running individual splits of 55.49 and 27.70 while wide off the track.

Races

GSM Racing have been naming their horses after ski resorts in recent seasons with Saturday night’s quinella a great result for the alps enthusiasts, Greg and Sharon Mitchell.

The Saturday night quinella complemented two other winners in the week for the Mitchells, with Midnight Queen successful at Redcliffe on Monday and Virgil scoring in a Trot Rods event on Wednesday night.

With the upcoming Constellations, expect some of the GSM racing stars to shine.

 

THE BAD

A suspension is not ideal at any time for a driver, however when on the cusp of a major milestone it can become even more frustrating.

Nathan Dawson had to bear that frustration along with the wrath of the stewards after being handed a two-week ‘holiday’ at Redcliffe back on May 6.

Completing his engagements at Albion Park on May 8, Dawson was able to win the last race of the night aboard Kay Nora Shannon for in-form trainer Mark Rees.

While a good win, that left Dawson stranded on 999 career driving wins.

Next taking to the bike last Monday at Redcliffe, Dawson had eight drives on the ten-race card and looked a strong chance of landing the breakthrough.

The 1000th triumph finally came and when it did, it was with a dominant performance aboard the smart three-year-old Justa Little Bit for trainer Rickie Alchin.

Sent straight to the front, the race was never in danger as Dawson let the son of Cammibest roll in front, with a slick closing quarter of 27.7 seconds setting up a huge break for a winning margin of 22.5-metres.

After missing the 2020 Trot Rods night owing to suspension, Dawson made up for lost opportunities in this year’s iteration.

Last season’s leading driver at Redcliffe showed why he secured that title, firing home the first three winners on the big night of one-lap action.

Ending the night with four winners on the 10-event card, the 14-day suspension may just have been a blessing in disguise.

Dawson has come along way since his first career win back in 2012 when successful aboard Sea You Harry for Gary Gerard and with his current strike-rate, the next 1000 could be coming a lot quicker.

 

THE MILESTONE

Amy Cargill recently secured her training licence and has wasted little time in scoring her first career victory.

Taking over the preparation of Hit The Track from her father Brett, Amy prepared the gelding for his first start under her care at last Monday’s Redcliffe meeting.

With a smart third behind the talented filly Shes Miss Devine, Cargill would not have to wait long until securing her first training win.

Entering Hit The Track at Armidale for the North-West New South Wales Cup meeting, the five-year-old drew the second line in the second event of the day.

With Amy’s boyfriend Zac Chappenden also making the long road trip down to partner the five-year-old gelding, the pair were favoured and sent out the punters-elect.

Coming with a well-timed run, Hit The Track was able to power over the top of his opponents to claim victory by four-and-a-half metres in a memorable triumph.

HIT THE TRACK

Adding extra meaning to the victory, Cargill also leases the gelding from Bathurst couple Brian and Fay Frisby.

A terrific achievement so early in her career, we may get to see many more winners from Amy Cargill if the rapid-fire start is anything to by.

Overall, it was a successful day for Queensland-based trainers at Armidale, with Dayl March also bringing home a double from the meeting.

Clintal Do was a dominant winner of the Armidale Cup, the seven-year-old gelding competing in the race for the third time.

The victory was his second in the race with only his stablemate Our Major Day who scored a narrow victory in the 2019 edition preventing Clintal Do from having three victories in the race.

Dayl March made it a training and driving double on the day when successful aboard Artful Maid in the last race on the card.

 

THE WILDCARD

The latest Trot Rods series has wrapped up with Adam Crocker taking home the fastest time along with the $10,000 cash bonus and Otto Tuza float with his victory.

Although not competing in the big 10-race finale night, four-year-old Adam Crocker had the time on the board from heat nine, and the 63.8-second run proved out of reach.

Of the 10 races held on the final night, four-year-olds were the dominant age.

Six of the 10 races were claimed by four-year-olds; those winners being Teachers Pet, Sir Bulski, Pago Pago, Yep Got Chooks, Virgil, and Aqua Sancta.

However, proving the winners could come from any age, three-year-old filly Kendys Butterfly claimed victory, as did a pair of veterans.

Nine-year-old Donny Jones led throughout to claim heat 16, while not to be out-done, one race later the 10-year-old Barkway Arnold was able to swoop home to score.

Races

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Redcliffe | Redcliffe Peninsula Harness Racing & Sporting Club | 5:08 PM

TAB TROT RODS 2021 - HEAT NINE

Yep Got Chooks and Sir Bulski were able to back-up their wins earlier in the series with wins on the final evening as the only runners to do so.

From a breeding perspective, Bettors Delight was the only sire dually represented as a winner throughout the finale.

Across all 20 heats, it was only Bettors Delight and Pet Rock that were represented with a pair of individual winners - Aqua Sancta and Kendys Butterfly for Bettors, and Elle Jay and Teachers Pet for Pet Rock.

Trainer Peter Greig landed a winning double at the finale, with the other eight races claimed by eight different trainers, spreading the excitement.

 

THIS WEEK

Six race meetings will be held this week, with Albion Park and Redcliffe each hosting three meetings.

Racing from the headquarters of Albion Park will be Tuesday afternoon, Friday night and the metropolitan fixture on Saturday night.

Redcliffe’s three meetings will be Wednesday night, Thursday afternoon and Sunday night.

This week will see the BOTRA Queensland Young Drivers Championships be conducted with six heats held across three race meetings.

Two heats are set for Wednesday night at Redcliffe, two at Albion Park on Friday night and then the series culminates on Saturday night with the running of the final two heats.

Saturday night will also see the running of the Flashing Red.

Held under the conditions of discretionary handicap from the 2647-metre standing start, the race honours one of the toughest horses to grace a racetrack, two-time New Zealand Cup winner Flashing Red.