Tough task for King Denny
Connections of Ararat-owned trotter King Denny have again been cruelled by the barrier draw in the Inter Dominion Trotting Championships.
The eight-year-old gelding put up a mighty effort from gate seven in his opening-round heat at Melton on Saturday night but fared even worse when handed the same marble for URXQG WZR RI WKH VHULHV RYHU WKH À\LQJ mile at Ballarat.
Driver Denbeigh Wade was forced to restrain King Denny to the back of WKH ¿HOG ZKHQ WKH VWDUW ZDV DFWLYDWHG hoping for a quick tempo throughout to allow her charge to run home VWURQJO\ RYHU WKH ¿QDO VWDJHV
Rival driver Josh Dickie had differHQW LGHDV KRZHYHU DV KH DOORZHG WKH hot favourite Speeding Spur to dawdle during the middle stages before dashing home in a slick 56.2 seconds and a nine-metre victory.
King Denny was forced to race three DQG IRXU ZLGH LQ WKH ¿QDO ODS DQG JRW WR ZLWKLQ ¿YH PHWUHV RI WKH WKLUG placegetter in a brave effort after FORFNLQJ D VXE VHFRQG ¿QDO KDOI
Round three of the series will be at Cranbourne on Saturday night and seven days of rest then leads to the JORULRXV ¿QDOH DW 7DEFRUS 3DUN 0HOWRQ on December 15.
Veteran trainer-driver Geoff Webster and six-year-old stallion Motu Gatecrasher combined to take out the
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Webster gave his charge a soft trip two back in the running line for the ¿UVW KDOI RI WKH PHWUH MRXUQH\ before making a lightning move three ZLGH GRZQ WKH EDFN RQ WKH ¿QDO occasion.
The race changed complexion at that point with Mad Robber – Chris Alford – and Motu Gatecrasher opening up a break on the rest of the pack as the leaders tired and dragged several well-fancied runners back through the ¿HOG
Webster sat on Alford’s back around the home turn then switched down to the sprint lane to nail a very brave Mad Robber right on the line in a new track record rate of 1:58.1.
A pair of victories by Wimmera owned and trained horses highlighted last week’s seven-race card of harness action at Horsham Racing Centre.
Balmoral owner-trainer Janet Exell made it into the winner’s circle when her nine-year-old mare Keepthedream scored by a neck in a Trotters Handicap with legendary horsewoman Kerryn Manning in the sulky.
After making a safe beginning from behind the tapes and striding to the OHDG 0DQQLQJ ZDV FRQWHQW WR KDQG up when challenged by Sherrif Brown ± 7LQD 5LGLV ± DQG HQMR\HG D VRIW WULS for the remainder of the 2200-metre MRXUQH\
A dash up the sprint lane at the business end of the race gave the chestnut mare her second career victory and a wonderful result for the Exell family. Horsham pacer John Richard made it two for the locals when successful in The Weekly Advertiser C1 heat IRU WKH &DUEHUU\ &RQQHOO\ DQG $UQHO families.
Driver Jackie Barker bought the four-year-old gelding home with a SHUIHFWO\ WLPHG UXQ WR QRWFK XS LWV ¿IWK FDUHHU ZLQ IURP MXVW VWDUWV
ROUGH BREAK: Denbeigh Wade and King Denny.