Ararat cup success for Terang stallion
Terang-trained four-yearold stallion Jilliby Bandit made a successful stride into open class racing when he took out the $30,000 Ararat Pacing Cup for the Lee and Craven dynasty.
The lightly raced son of Rock N Roll Heaven went into the Ararat feature as winner of 10 races from 25 starts but for the first time was taking on opposition that had already earned their stripes in the heat of battle that comes with country cup contests.
Jilliby Bandit, with Jason Lee in the sulky, began quickly from the coveted pole position but was unable to hold off the fierce challenge from Rule Of Thumb and driver Greg Sugars, and after the slick lead time settled into the sweet seat behind the leader.
Sugars immediately steadied the tempo and ran through the middle stages of the 2195-metre journey in a leisurely 62.9 seconds.
This set a near impossible task for the bunch in the second half of the field.
The final quarters were run in 28.7 and 28.4 seconds and Jilliby Bandit, finishing solidly down in the sprint lane, ran down Rule Of Thumb to score by 1.5 metres with Motu Meteor – Kerryn Manning – a head away in third place.
“He’s always been a nice horse and I’m very happy with the way he has come back as a four year old,” trainer Marg Lees said after the cup win.
“He hasn’t done a lot of racing and should continue to improve as he goes along.”
Jilliby Bandit is highly unlikely to compete in upcoming country cups meetings at Mildura, Horsham, and Shepparton.
“Being only a four-year-old, those sort of races would be more suitable next year,” Lee said.
“At this stage his main aim is the New South Wales Breeders Fouryear-old Challenge so Marg will be just ticking him along until the semis in mid-june and hopefully the $100,000 final on July 1.”
Win at the trots
Don’t forget to look out for the coupon in this week’s edition of The Weekly Advertiser for your chance to win $3990 on Horsham Pacing Cup day in the Dunn-ezy Seed Cleaning Owner for a Day competition
Several lucky race-goers will have the chance to own a horse for the day. They will enjoy the spoils of the owners’ enclosure, talk tactics with the trainer and driver and the best part of all – the winner will take home a cheque for $3990.
This year’s cup day will be in a new timeslot on Sunday, April 22.
It’s the place for families to enjoy an autumn afternoon at the trots with loads of free children’s activities, a punters club, live music and giveaways.
Horsham Cup day also permits BYO in limited quantities, so grab a group of friends and book your mini marquee on 0407 871 206 or pack the picnic basket and esky and get trackside at the trots.