Santa Madre success

The final of The Laucke Mills Pace opened the programme on Sunday afternoon, during the Port Pirie Club’s third Sunday twilight meeting. Santa Madre, a four-year-old mare trained by Les Harding and driven by Danielle Hill looked the favourite and started as favorite in the 1609 metre race.

She had drawn barrier one and with the desire and liking the chance to lead, it was no surprise when she led out. With a lap to travel she still held the lead with High Class Lady sitting right up on her shoulder. Canelliesparkle Sparkle sat tucked in behind the leader, ready for a quick run down the sprint lane. She Envy, who likes to find a sit during a race was in a position to go three wide whenever it had been driver, Jayden Brewin’s, choice to go.

Into the straight and Santa Madre’s driver took a peek over her shoulder and the mare bowled away. Canelliesparkle had been in the prime position, broke and fell to the rear of the field. Her driver, Dale Afford had been reprimanded for lack of control. Santa Madre crossed the line first with High Class Lady second and She Envy, third. Carbon Crest after getting away from the mobile well, was placed back in the mobile draw. This race had seen Badelaide scratched, but she is OK and will be back on the track before we know it. Drawing gate six, outside of the front row, Glenrae Hanover was favourite to take out the second race on the card, he Risdon Hotel Sprint Lane Pace.

This was again a 1609 metre race and for R1 and R2 horse. As Apache Gold had been a bit frisky in the prelim and in scoring up, it was thought that he may take the lead. However, it had been Rhyflecite who got away well and held the lead. To the bell and Glenrae Hanover had shot around them, three wide, to take the breeze on the outside of Rhyflective. Into the back straight and Batman Bart, from the rear, had pulled out to take on the field three wide, off the track.  Rhyflective still led into the home straight, but it was Glenrae Hanover who mowed the leader down and finished a head in front. Valstrepo had charged home to take third place.

Thats Macs Girl, sounded like a sentimental favourite in the Hopkins Saddlery Pace, and so that was where my flutter lay. When the green light went on it had been Wells Crest who had galloped and landed itself at least twenty metres from the leader, That’s Macs Girl. My hope had been high. Zakharova had found itself falling fast through the field and was unable to hold a place. One had to wonder if something was wrong with the mare and as the Steward’s Report showed, there had been some sulky contact. At the bell, Riverboy Denzel, the one hundred and sixteen to one shot, left the safety of his one, one seat to tackle the leader, still Thats Macs Girl. Driver, Brenton Loizeau had tried hard to keep her in that sit but she had lost her steam and was falling through the field. Mostly Spirit tackled Riverboy Denzel and went on to win by 10 metres. The Quick Shadow, the race favourite found something at the last and just finished second over Riverboy Denzel. Zakharova, after a hot and cold race, finished a comfortable fourth.

The fast class event of the evening was “Follow The Stars” Pace, a 2050 metre race for C3to C6 horses. Favourite for the race had been Mymatethomo, and after his exceptional form this was not a surprise. Starlight Rainbow started well but it was Big Behemoth who crossed across to take the lead. My Matethomo was three back on the inside. Alldaybliss, on the tail of his good win last week took his place up on the outside of the leader. At the siren the speed was less than fast and Big Behenoth was strolling along nicely in the lead. With the field was tightly packed as they raced down the back straight, Mondo Sports  found an opportunity to pull three wide and make up some ground. Starlight Rainbow was sitting in behind Big Behemoth, waiting for the sprint lane, with My Matethomo in behind her, with nowhere to go. Into the straight and Starlightrainbow got her run down the inside, to narrowly take the win over Big behemoth, followed by Alldaybliss. Although My Matethomo had followed the winner through on the sprint lane, it had been too late for him and he had finished fourth.

All horses scored up well in the Henry Osborne Fodder Store Pace, the fifth event of the evening. Celestial Daybreak, with a burst of early speed took to the front position. Hez Declan from the fourth barrier soon found himself sitting on the outside of the leader with Poppy Had Courage at the back of the field. But not for long. Driver, Ken Rogers, took the Courage Under Fire horse three wide around the field and sat taking the breeze on the outside of Celestial Daybreak, who at this stage had had enough. Down the straight towars the post and it had been Poppy Had Courage who was tiring and Go Tango coming fast on the outside, A Judge’s decision gave the race to Poppy Had Courage with Barney Fella in third position. The two favourites, Eyre Space and My Valaroso finished seventh and ninth respectively.

Willie Hays, in his second start, after a great run last meeting, running second, started as favourite.  Four hundred metres longer than his last run, this race could prove to be his undoing. Adrian had taken the lead, having been hurried along to keep her spot at the front in front of Reactabelle. But Willie Hays from gate four charged three wide, looking to take the breeze on the outside of Adrian. However, his run was strong and he went on to take the lead by five metres. Masonjon, not content to sit at the rear took on the filed also three wide, finding himself in the second spot at the siren.Past the bell and Rodney Clarke looked most comfortable in Willie Hays’ seat, leading the field, with Reactabelle on a tight rein in behind him. At this stage Adrian dropped from the field, later being examined by the vet and stood down for one trial. At the bottom turn in to the straight for the last time and The Deal had taken the lead. Was Willie Hays spent? No, Willie Hays fought back, but not quite enough to finish of The Deal. The Deal went on to win comfortably, with his ears pricked.

And so we come to the last race of the evening, The Equissage Pace a race for R6 horses or better, over 2050 metres. The favourite in this last race had been the gelding from Gawler, Perfect Mach. Reva had held back a little at the start but was soon taking the lead position and fought to keep it over the challenging Regal Knight. Cheersbigears was determined to get his look in and took to the field, three wide. But it had been Regal Knight who had taken to the breeze and taken Reva on for the lead. Cheersbigears dropped off through the field towards the back positions. At the bell and through to the back straight,  the front runners had been Reva and Regal Might with the big moves coming from Prince of Zanzibar, three wide with Perfect Mach following him through. Regal Might suddenly called it a day with Quadentate coming through to race alongside Reva. Reva had looked like she was tiring but found a last burst of courage, just not enough to catch Quadentate at the line. Great to see Mostyn Clinton in with a win. Perfect Mach ran in third.

Another good night’s racing. Sunday night twilight meetings are a trial but so far so good. Many different faces on a Sunday evening, which is great. Come along and have a look. The next meeting is the Driver’s Invitation Meeting, one of the best meetings on this year’s calendar. Interstate drivers take on the locals. More next week on this.

See you at the track!

- SUE PENNY