WHEN Harness Racing Victoria launched the Breeders’ Crown the premise behind the concept was the series would define the season’s titles.
By making it the last feature of the term and bringing together the stars of each crop from across Australasia, the futurity would determine which performer is the ‘best’ of the crew.
That original mission statement will ring loud and clear in the Three-Year-old Colts’ and Gelding’ Final at Tabcorp Park Melton next weekend.
Long touted as the most exciting member of his age group, New South Wales pacer Ignatius was unbeaten this season until he clashed with local star Poster Boy in their semi-final at Bendigo last night.
Winner of the New South Wales Derby and Vicbred Final, Poster Boy finished second behind Queenslander Colt Thirty One in the Victoria Derby last February.
Add the likes of semi-final winner Ride High into the mix and the Group One is destined to determine which youngster can lay claim to the throne.
A newcomer among the ranks, Ride High has been impressive since debuting last April, winning seven of his eight starts, while finishing third in the other!
Driven by Mark Pitt during his latest victory, Ride High was given time to settle from his second row draw before being sent forward to test the leader, Konan, from the ‘death seat’.
Proving too strong during the latter stages, the son of Art Major completed a two-and-a-half metre win from Konan, with Major Times a head away third to give premier trainer Emma Stewart a stable trifecta.
Rating 1:56.3 over 2150 metres, Ride High’s time was 2.1 seconds slower than his stablemate, Poster Boy.
With Chris Alford holding the reins, Poster Boy accounted for Ignatius and Maraetai – a stablemate of the winner – to stretch his record to 15 wins and five seconds from 21 starts.
“I couldn’t be happier with any of them, especially the winners,” Stewart said. “Each did a great job and will be a strong chance in the Final.”
In a night of domination, Stewart also captured qualifiers with Pistol Abbey, Speak No Evil, Centenario and Hurricane Harley.
Stewart’s runner also registered three seconds and five thirds.