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  • Topliner from the ‘halcyon days’ honoured Topliner from the ‘halcyon days’ honoured

    YOUNG PEDRO

    ANOTHER of the Melbourne Inter Dominion champions will be honoured at Tabcorp Park Melton on Saturday night with the running of the Young Pedro... Topliner from the ‘halcyon days’ honoured

    ANOTHER of the Melbourne Inter Dominion champions will be honoured at Tabcorp Park Melton on Saturday night with the running of the Young Pedro Free-For-All.

    One of the lesser-known winners of the time-honoured series, Young Pedro captured the feature at the Ascot Vale Showgrounds in 1959 in what was the 18th running of the Trans Tasman event.

    Owned, trained and driven by South Australian Leo Hunt, Young Pedro became just the second four-year-old to secure the Championship, following Springfield Globe’s triumph in Launceston 20 years earlier.

    Foaled in 1954, the chestnut colt was by Van Derby from Pedro’s Salute by Pedro Pronto from Royal Salute by Royal Lulu.

    Fifth in his opening heat won by Dusty Miller, Young Pedro was then successful on the second night before running third behind Caduceus in his third qualifier.

    Caduceus and Dusty Miller were the only unbeaten performers during the heats.

    The rank outsider at 33/1 in the 12,000 pound Final over 14 furlongs (2800 metres), Young Pedro began well from the front line to settle in the coveted one-one as Dusty Miller led.

    Angled into the clear around the last bend, Young Pedro dashed past the pacemaker at the top of the straight before scoring by three yards from Dusty Miller, which was second favourite at 9/2.

    Billabong Scott, which also won a second round heat, was two yards away third at 25/1.

    Caduceus, a 6/4 favourite despite his 36-yard handicap, could only manage fifth.

    Young Pedro rated 2:11.8 in front of a crowd of 30,153, which was considered disappointing due to “bad weather conditions”.

    Overall, the four-night series attracted 92,042 patrons.

    Young Pedro’s triumph rounded out a hat-trick for South Australia, with Radiant Venture winning in Perth in 1957 and Free Hall in Adelaide in 1958.

    Young Pedro was also victorious in the 1959 South Australia Cup with Hunt in the sulky.

    As for this week’s race in Young Pedro’s honour, a handy field of open class performers will battle over 1720 metres.

    Fittingly a talented four-year-old is the early favourite, with Rackemup Tigerpie listed at $1.45 with TAB Fixed Odds despite several obstacles in his way.

    Not only is the Michael Stanley-trained son of Rock N Roll Heaven first-up since finishing at the tail of the field in the Chariots Of Fire around Menangle on February 16, he has drawn the outside of the second row.

    “He only had a short let-up after the Chariots so hasn’t taken a lot to come to hand,” Stanley said. “He’s had two good trials and is in good shape.

    “I gave him a solid hit out at Maryborough on Sunday to tune him up and he is ready to go.”

    Following his pending assignment Rackemup Tigerpie will be aimed at the Vicbred Super Series – the same target as his stablemates Soho Burning Love and Macey Jayde which are also chasing feature success in Melton.

    The pair will contest the Alabar Silver Chalice for four-year-old mares, with Macey Jayde drawn barrier six and Soho Burning Love on her outside.

    Stanley will partner Soho Burning Love, leaving Ryan Duffy to take the reins behind Macey Jayde.

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