Day At The Track

Ana Malak a gem in the Nugget

09:08 AM 17 Dec 2018 NZDT
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Ana Malak,Harness racing
Ana Malak
Scott Hamilton Photo

Star four-year-old Ana Malak has delivered trainers Greg and Skye Bond their first win in the Group 1 Retravision-Golden Nugget (2536m) and led home a first five for the in-form trainers.

Following his tough win in the 4YO Classic a fortnight ago, Ana Malak was again the one to beat for last night’s feature after he drew barrier one earlier in the week.

With six runners in the race, the Bond stable were able to dictate how the race was run and had the first four in running for much of the event.

Ana Malak had a comfortable time in front, while Mighty Conqueror sat outside of him in the breeze, with Bettor Aim and Bright Diamond the next pair in running.

The son of Bettors Delight held off a game Mighty Conqueror in the run to the finish, winning by a short half-head and rated 1.57.5.

The outsider of the six Bond runners Fizzing ran home strongly for third, ahead of Bright Diamond and Bettor Aim.

Golden State was the first of the non-Bond runners across the line in sixth position.

Winning reinsman Ryan Warwick, who brought up his second success in the Group 1 feature last night, paid tribute to Ana Malak’s toughness.

“Around the corner I was going really well and I thought I had the other horse off the bit,” he said.

“I probably tried to kick away too early.

“Because he hasn’t done a lot of racing, he probably gets caught looking around…the other horse (Mighty Conqueror) was really game.

“If you flip the draws around, you flip the result around.”

WATCH: Ana Malak's Nugget Win Here

Ana Malak is now expected to progress towards next month’s Fremantle and WA Pacing Cups, where he may be joined by Galactic Star, who is engaged in tonight’s Inter Dominion Final.

Warwick takes the drive on the six-year-old from barrier one and said he’s yet to make his mind up on whether he would try and hold the front or hand up to one of his rivals.

Saying Grace was the Bond’s other winner on the evening, taking out the third heat of the Christmas Gift.

Meanwhile, Rocknroll Lincoln showed why he would be a force to be reckoned with in the upcoming Pacing Cups, taking out the Retravision Free-For-All Pace (2130m).

Fresh from his win in the Bunbury Cup a fortnight ago, Rocknroll Lincoln was able to find the front comfortably from barrier two.

Vultan Tin ensured the Justin Prentice-trained pacer wouldn’t get it his own way in front, putting pressure on his outside.

Rocknroll Lincoln showed his class in the closing stages though, pulling away to win by 5m to Vultan Tin.

Reinsman Gary Hall Jnr said he was confident the five-year-old would measure up in the feature events next month and gave a strong indication he would stick with him, given Chicago Bull would be absent from those races.

“He’s got a great characteristic where can do what I tell him to do and drop the bit,” he said.

“When you really ask him, the speed is there and the toughness is there.

“They say everything happens for a reason, so I’m hoping that this guy is the reason behind Bull’s demise.

“As unfortunate as that was, I’m pretty happy to team up with this guy.”

Tim Walker

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