A record-breaking performance by debutante Major Times in the first on the program at Cobram’s Harness Racing Meeting on May 25 set the tone for an exciting day on the track, where only three of the nine favourites saluted.
Driven to perfection by cadet reinsman Mark Pitt, the 2YO parked in the death for a large percentage of the journey outside the favourite, Russell Jack’s Hakuna, piloted by Nathan Jack.
In what was a sizzling debut Emma Stewart’s star two-year-old put his head in front on the home turn, surging away to score an impressive 14m win in the Ken and Marjory Wadeson Memorial 2YO Pace, recording a class record-breaking mile rate of 1:55.1 and just 0.5 of a second off breaking the three-year-old track record for 1670m.
Greg Wadeson and Paula Wadeson-White had travelled great distances to be trackside; Greg presented the trophy donated in memory of his parents, Ken and Marjory Wadeson.
Next David Moran, in the Strathy Hot Bake Pace with Geoff Martin’s Littlebadgirl, rolled another favourite, Liberty Tee Jay.
Starting off the second row the 7YO mare settled mid-field.
Littlebadgirl literally flew three wide around the field down the back straight to snatch the lead from the highly fancied Kyabram-trained 4YO gelding, Liberty Tee Jay, charging home for a big win to record a mile rate of 1:57.8 and a return to the winner’s circle after almost 12 months.
Albury’s Royce Gregory-Jack, lining up in the cart behind Artistic Bella from the outside of the second row, also caused a boilover.
Catching the rest of the field napping, Gregory-Jack whipped around the field to sit outside the leader with a circuit to run.
Powering home, the 4YO mare saluted in style to score at great odds and secure her first win after 21 starts in the Ranvet Pace, with an impressive 1:58.4 mile rate.
Patrons were treated to a faultless trotting exhibition in the Katunga Clydesdale Hotel Trot when favourite Aimforthemoon, trained by David Aiken, stopped the rot and rewarded punters for their loyalty.
Dashing into the pacemaker’s role from a wide front row barrier draw the 5YO gelding, with Lisa Bartley in the sulky, scored a brilliant all-the-way victory to bring up win number five.
The Peter Haag Memorial 3YO Pace followed and once again the favourite reigned supreme in an action-packed race loaded with talented 3YOs.
The Amanda Turnbull stablemates, Scotlynn Beach NZ reined by Nathan Jack and Lead Singer piloted by David Moran, fought out an exciting finish with Scotlynn Beach NZ hanging on to snatch $1000 worth of spoils donated by Chrissie Gill in memory of her father for the winning owners, trainer and reinsman.
Laura Crossland in the cart behind OK Mara was not about to let the side down in the Katunga Lucerne Mill Pace.
The red-hot favourite, trained at Marungi by Linton Power, proved to be more than okay, flying out from behind the mobile to take up the pole position. At the 400m mark it was just a case of how far, romping home for an easy 29m win in a lazy 1:59.6 mile rate.
All good things do come to an end, especially when David Moran lines up on a long shot — anything can happen and it did.
Reining Arty Guy for Kyabram trainer Brent Thomson, the 4YO gelding’s chances looked slim at the turn into the home straight, however the skilful Moran never misses an opportunity, powering his way through to run down the favourite Twoforsixty and snatch the money in the Carbine Chemicals Pace to chalk up a brilliant driving double for the day.
Donna Castles and the Max Govers-trained Maggies Grin proved a formidable combination in the VHRSC Pace; the pair backing up a Shepparton win the previous week.
Racing away from a desperate Gary Pekin in the cart behind the favourite, Illawong Fantasia who was keen to pick up the VHRSC $1500 bonus, Maggies Grin had too much class for Pekin’s 7YO mare on this occasion.
The final race of the afternoon, the Motor Mega Vehicle Spectacular Pace, was the start of a big few hours for Bunbartha reinsman, Matt Newberry.
Driving 6YO gelding Rapata to a classy win over the favourite, Rocknroll Noah reined by Nathan Jack for Amanda Turnbull, Newberry picked up the impressive trophy donated by Barry Bennett for the delighted Kyabram owner/trainer, Bruce Rose.
Less than five hours later, he saluted with the Newberry stable’s Diamond Ace at Kilmore.
●The next race meeting will be held on a Sunday afternoon in July featuring the Jim Howes Memorial, Aldebaran Park 3YO (fillies) Trot and AAA Woolbuyers 3YO Pace.