EMOTIONS bubbled over and smiles were broad as the trotters captured Haras des Trotteurs Vicbred Super Series glory, with wins that rewarded widespread dedication and another that was dedicated to a friend lost.
The Locomotive kicked off the Group One delight at Melton, taking the three-year-old trotting colts and geldings division, which reinsman Nathan Jack declared was in honour of a great mentor and friend.
“The first thing I want to say, that one’s for you Tom,” Jack declared, a nod to bookmaker and harness racing enthusiast Tom Hogan, who sadly passed this week.
It was also a significant result for Haras des Trotteurs, which not only sponsored the night’s trotting finals but also proceeded to dominate them.
Owner Pat Driscoll and trainer Anton Golino’s team produced a breeding quinella in the first race courtesy of Wayne Potter trained The Locomotive and second-placed Stevie Gee, and then repeated the dose in race two.
Gardena Ronda scored ahead of Revelstoke in that four-year-old trotting mares final, gifting the team not only another breeding quinella but also a training one-two for Golino.
“It’s been a great start to the night for the farm, we bred the quinella in the first two Group 1s,” Golino said. “We are all super proud.”
That feeling only blossomed further in the On A Streak two-year-old trotting colts and geldings class, wth Haras des Trotteurs breeding the winner Valtino, who Greg Sugars steered to victory for trainer Blake Fitzpatrick in the Prostate Cancer Foundation of Australia silks.
Outside of that triple treat were two outstanding performances to land Group 1 trophies for trainers Chris Svanosio and Emma Stewart.
The former drove Arcee Phoenix with unbreakable confidence and was rewarded with a dominant display in the four-year-old trotting entires and geldings class, overcoming the worst of draws with a blazing finish.
Arcee Phoenix tracked Keayang Chucky into the race and was then set free off the last turn, quickly mowing down frontrunner Gaelic Lad to continue an outstanding season, which has produced six wins from eight outings.
“I didn’t know if I was going to catch (Gaelic Lad), I could barely see it it was that far in front of me,” Svanosio said. “I was hoping I could get close enough when I had to make my run. (The leader) started getting a bit tired and this guy still had plenty to give.”
Even more extraordinary was Susan Is Her Name’s victory in the three-year-old trotting fillies final, which gifted Emma Stewart a fifth victory for the night and Mark Pitt a fourth.
As she had done in her heat, the Breeders Crown champ broke at the start but recovered to tag back on to the field, and a window opened when favourite Rockinwithattitude also made a mistake and joined her at the rear.
With a tick over 600 metres to go Susan Is Her Name advanced from last and, despite having to go four-wide, she put in a stunning burst, rounding the field and careering away in a spectacular eight-metre win.
“She’s a very serious horse this horse,” Pitt said. “It’s unfortunate that her manners were a little bit off as well tonight, but she did get a good track into it and then she used her speed. She really is a top quality mare.”
The night then fittingly concluded in the same way it started, with Jack piloting the winner which on this occasion he also trained.
Violet Stanford was a dominant force in the two-year-old trotting fillies class, improving her unbeaten record to five wins.
“She just doesn’t miss a beat, she’s just a little natural,” Jack said. “At home she’s got speed that a lot of the pacers don’t show, so it didn’t worry me where she lobbed.”
- HRV Media