WITH Covid-19 restrictions beginning to ease, Bathurst was this week able to host its first meeting open to all regions since the pandemic hit.
Metropolitan-based trainers Michael Muscat and KerryAnn Morris made the most of this opportunity, both taking teams to Bathurst and both coming home with a winner.
Having to take on the older horses didn’t worry two-year-old My Buzz Lightning, with the Michael Muscat-trained gelding proving far too good for rivals.
Able to work forward and find the lead, Muscat didn’t look back, running away to win by 17.5 metres with My Buzz Lightning clocking in his fastest wining mile rate – 1:57:7.
Morris’s runner, Letsplayuni, was able to win in a similar fashion for driver Robert Morris.
The two-year-old was able to find the front comfortably, running along at an even tempo to take out the two-year-old pace.
Meanwhile, driver Doug Hewitt notched up his 100th career win in the sulky, courtesy of Crazy Shippo.
Trained by his father Bernie, the three-year-old was able to hold the lead from barrier one and prove too good for rivals over the concluding stages.
This was one of Bernie’s three training wins for the night and one of Doug’s two driving wins.
Bernie scored a race-to-race training and driving double earlier in the night, taking out the first two races with Voodoo Lou and Lady Swiss.
Another runner able find the lead and prove too hard to run down, Voodoo Lou reached the front with just over a lap to go and was able to hold on to score by 3.1 metres.
While, beginning from barrier two on the second line, Lady Swiss landed in the second half of the field.
With a brisk pace being set, Bernie elected to save ground, moving down to the fence in the back straight.
Proving to be a winning move, Bernie was able to work into clear running rounding the home bend, with Lady Swiss sweeping around runners to score by 2.3 metres.
Not to be outdone by his father, Doug’s second win of the night came courtesy of the Gemma Hewitt-trained Rocknroll Girl.
First up for the new stable, the four-year-old mare landed mid-field with a quick tempo being set for the maidens.
Making the most of the final quarter being the slowest one of the race, Rocknroll Girl was able to peel out 500 metres from home and win by seven metres.
Of the rest, trainer Mat Rue scored a race-to-race double with runners Fouroeight and Authoritative.
Driving Fouroeight himself, Rue was able to secure a cosy trip behind the leader, before making good use of the sprint lane to hold off race favourite Our Uncle Sam.
Meanwhile concession driver Tom Pay took the reins on Rue’s next runner Authoritative, and was able to find the front and lead all the way.
– AMY REES