Day At The Track

Nova gets up but Bling comes down

08:46 AM 18 Jun 2017 NZST
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Avonnova
Avonnova scored a dramatic victory in the Listed $25,500 Lucky Creed Open Pace at Albion Park.
Dan Costello Photo

Triple Queensland Horse of the Year Avonnova proved triumphant in the Listed $25,500 Lucky Creed Open Pace at Albion Park tonight (Saturday) in the most dramatic circumstances.

The mobile start 2680m mobile start feature was packed with action, largely owing to the fall of race favourite Bling It On at the home turn.

The millionaire pacer was handled for the first time by stand-in driver Mark Jones and was making his move wider on the track before being checked by Watch Pulp Fiction and then falling heavily.

Driver Pete McMullen was later suspended for three weeks.

Having his first start since being unplaced in the Miracle Mile back on February 25, the Craig Cross trained star was taken off the gate at the start and settled towards the rear of the field while the pace was genuine throughout.

Hokonui Ben led the event and repelled challengers from both Ideal Scott and Alleluia before giving ground quickly with a lap remaining.

Driver Chris Petroff was later suspended for six weeks.

Entering the back straight on the final occasion, Ideal Scott held a narrow lead from his stablemate Avonnova while Alleluia, Joys A Babe, Watch Pulp Fiction and Bling It On sat just off the pace.

With many feeling the pressure at the top of the straight, Bling It On looked set to unleash his trademark sprint before coming to grief.

Bling It On quickly got to his feet before being attended to by officials before then being sent to the Gatton University for further analysis on his knees.

Sadly, his Brisbane winter carnival is now over.

At the finish, Avonnova lasted by a 1m from Alleluia while Joys A Babe finished a neck away in third.

The mile rate was 1:57.3.

“It was tough performance but a race filled with drama, it got a bit crazy at the home turn.” Winning driver Shane Graham said.

It was back to back victories in the Lucky Creed for the Ian Gurney trained free-legged star after winning last year in a nail biting finish over Ultimate Art.

The ten-year-old Art Major gelding has now banked more than $900,000 in prizemoney and is exempt from ballot in the Gr.1 $200,000 UBET Blacks A Fake at Albion Park on July 15.

Next week, the Listed $25,500 Wondais Mate will be staged over the 1660m.

Hoofnote; Driver Shane Graham was suspended for two weeks for his drive aboard The Charging Moa from the $15,000 Seymour Rising Stars Championship Final, race two on the program.

Chris Barsby

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