Day At The Track

Footie everywhere you looked

06:24 PM 12 Jun 2018 NZST
Comment (...) Tweet Share Email Print
Lord Denzel,Harness racing
Lord Denzel pictured winning at Bathurst last Wednesday

There were two State of Origin events to choose from, for Bathurst district followers on Wednesday evening.

Most opted for the comfort of the lounge room and the television, to watch the Rugby League version taking place at the MCG ; only the participants, plus a small band of owners and true-blue diehards, fronted up for the nine-race program at Gold Crown Paceway.

The final four races of the night were for maiden two-year-olds, and with preference given to NSW Breeders Challenge-eligible juveniles, there was an added state-of-origin feel to the meeting.

All four races, in fact, were taken out by the NSW-bred youngsters.

Mat Rue won the two fillies events, the Peter Bullock-trained Merci Shannon producing a brilliant sprint to overpower her five rivals and, two races later, Soundslikeart (trained by his wife Gemma) taking the sprint lane home to a narrow victory.

The two-year-old double completed a driving treble on the night for Rue, after an earlier all-the-way win  in a 2260 metres C3 with the Dennis Picker-trained Rave On Rabbits.

That Rabbitohs race name, and the sets of green and red racing colours he wore with it and later with Merci Shannon, added to the unmistakeable footie feeling of the meeting.

The colts and geldings divisions were taken out by Jake Davis with Nifty Studleigh, trained by his dad Leigh, and Lord Denzel for another son/father combination in Doug and Bernie Hewitt. Both powered home from back in the field for convincing wins.

For Doug Hewitt, the win completed a driving double at the book-ends of the meeting, after a win by Trunkey Digger in C1 grade,  a race that set the pattern of close finishes for the night, with a wall of horses across the track.

And for Bernie it completed a training treble, his other winner coming in the second event, a 3YO sprint, where Cobbity Chic (Blake Hewitt) got up in the last stride for that narrowest of margins, a short half-head.

The other winners mid-meeting were El Gran Senor NZ ( Nathan Turnbull for Steve) in the fast-class, producing a sub-1:56 last half for a brillant win, and Modern Attitude in a C1 sprint, with Dennis Picker bringing the half-brother to Intrude through in the sprint lane for a narrow but impressive victory.

The six successful drivers all selected the Blues as the winners of that MCG event, with three prizes subsequently needed for Blake Hewitt, Nathan Turnbull and Dennis Picker, who each correctly nominated a winning margin of 10 points.

And the domination of the Bathurst young guns over their older, more experienced, rivals appropriately matched the win of those NSW debutants against the more battle-hardened Maroons.

To complete the analogy, four of those drivers have very strong footballing pedigrees:

Doug Hewitt is currently the captain-coach of the Bathurst Panthers in the Group 10 Premier League; Blake Hewitt plays for the Panthers, and has previously represented NSW Country; Dennis Picker previously played for the Raiders and the Bathurst Panthers, while Jake Davis represented the Panthers and Western Division before switching recently to Rugby Union.

There mightn’t have been “quite” eighty-seven thousand at Gold Crown Paceway this week but it’s fair to say that, as with the other event south of the border, footie was the winner.


TERRY NEIL

Comment (...) Tweet Share Email Print

Read More News About...

Stallion Name

Next article in Australia: