Shepparton News - - SPORT - By GUS UN­DER­WOOD

A copy­book Gavin Lang drive on the favourite Im Pats De­light earned him his fourth Shep­par­ton Gold Cup on Satur­day night.

Lang was able to get the New Zealand pacer into a one-one sit for most of the 2690 m trip and Im Pats De­light beat NSW pac­ers Our Triple Play and Our Un­cle Sam in a thrilling fin­ish.

The Cran Dal­gety-pre­pared son of Bet­tors De­light pre­vailed by 1.3 m from 30-1 shot Our Triple Play in 1:56.2 mile rate time, which was just 0.1 sec­ond out­side the track record the David Aiken-trained and Kima Fren­ning-driven Im The Boss set last year.

The Goul­burn Val­ley hopes in the $60 000 Group Two race, San Carlo and Share The Road, had no luck.

Reinswoman Bec Bart­ley made an un­suc­cess­ful bid for the lead early on San Carlo, a $4.40 chance, with Let It Ride, the $3.50 sec­ond favourite, but then was left fac­ing the breeze for the en­tire trip.

The ef­fort told in the home straight and San Carlo fin­ished fourth, but still only 10 m from the win­ner in an­other com­mend­able ef­fort given the cir­cum­stances.

The Laura Cross­land-trained and driven Share The Road bun­gled the start and was never a fac­tor.

The dis­ap­point­ment of the race was the well-fan­cied and well­drawn Tim Butt-trained and An­thony Butt-driven Let It Ride, who made the fron­trun­ning, but was the first horse beaten and fin­ished last.

Let It Ride also ended vet­eran Flaming Flut­ter’s cup bid, drag­ging that pacer back through the field when he punc­tured get­ting off the back straight the last time.

Lang, who also won the cup on the lo­cally-trained pacer Unique Icon on 2002, the El­more-trained Tan­abi Bro­mac in 2010 and Our White Knight in 2013, said Im Pats De­light was a nice horse, but still a year away from be­ing a gen­uine top-liner.

A re­puted seven-fig­ure sum to buy Im Pats De­light was re­jected in Novem­ber be­fore the pacer cam­paigned in the In­ter Do­min­ion, where he was a fi­nal­ist, fin­ish­ing fifth to run­away win­ner Tiger Tara.

At four years of age, he was the youngest pacer in Satur­day night’s race.

● The other fea­ture on the card, The Ge­orge Gath, went to the heav­ily sup­ported Red Hot Tooth for Bolinda trainer Kari Males and reinsman Zac Phillips.

The six-year-old mare got the per­fect run in the trot­ters race on the back of the pace­maker Big Jack Ham­mer and was able to sprint lane to vic­tory over the gal­lant vet­eran Ky­val­ley Blur, with Big Jack Ham­mer hold­ing on to third spot.

Shep­par­ton-owned Sky Petite, who was in an early burn for the lead, bat­tled on well for fourth.

Shep­par­ton club of­fi­cials were happy with the crowd, given the meet­ing started in 40°C heat.

But a cool southerly swept in af­ter race two and tem­pered things down and made for pleas­ant view­ing for the rest of the night. ● More on the meet­ing in Sulky Shorts in Fri­day’s News.

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