Dis­trict crew hot to trot in the new year


AN OUT­SIDER upset the ap­ple cart in the trot­ting fea­ture event — the Frank and Carmel Ryan Memo­rial — at an­other suc­cess­ful Echuca New Year’s night meet­ing on Tues­day, Jan­uary 1.

Heath­cote trainer Terry French and reinswoman Michelle Phillips blew most quad­die pun­ters out of the wa­ter when they com­bined to score with the con­sis­tent but un­wanted mare Nel­bell.

Nel­bell looked to be on a sui­cide mis­sion when sent by Phillips to pres­sure the leader and hot favourite Winkin Nod with 500m to run.

But the eight-year-old Dawn Ofa New Day mare proved up to the chal­lenge to score a cheeky and gutsy win at tote odds of 45/1.

Dis­trict train­ers en­joyed suc­cess at the meet­ing.

Rochester horse­man Neville Pan­grazio scored a well-de­served win with the sec­ond favourite Mi­randa Maid in the TO Only class trot in a stir­ring duel with the favourite, Se­vere Storm, to start a run of three suc­cess- ive wins by north­ern Vic­to­rian trained horses at the meet­ing.

Mi­randa Maid low­ered the track record in win­ning with her 2.03.3 mile rate, bet­ter­ing the pre­vi­ous mark for the 2160m trip from mo­bile of 2.03.5 set by Bring The Ac­tion in Fe­bru­ary 2016.

Mer­rigum horse­man Luke Bryant pro­duced Mickilla Ex­press in the next race — for C1 Only class pac­ers — to win in a crowded fin­ish in what was the first of a driv­ing tre­ble at the meet­ing for con­ces­sion reins­man Darby McGuigan.

Com­plet­ing the dis­trict tri­fecta of wins was the Shep­par­ton trained Elianna Franco, who looked one of the good things on the pro­gram and vin­di­cated that opin­ion by claim­ing the C2-4 class race for trainer Laura Cross­land and reins­man David Mo­ran.

After scor­ing on Mickilla Ex­press, McGuigan went on to claim the T1 or bet­ter class trot in run­away fash­ion on the Zac Steen­huis trained Jeri­chos Trumphet and was also aboard Ima Sassy Girl trained by his fa­ther Tim, in the CO Only fi­nal, which brought the cur­tain down on the meet­ing.

ABOVE — David Mo­ran brings home red-hot favourite Elianna Franco to take out the Mal Kee­ble Rich River Auto Body Pace over 1770m at Echuca on New Year’s Day.

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