Len Baker’s Victorian Scene – 30th September 2014

Mick the Master of Terang

Len Baker
Len is a freelance columnist who writes for HarnessLink, amongst others, and broadcasts a weekly program on 979fm Community Radio in Melton.

Balliang trainer Michael Armstrong was deserved of all the accolades at Terang trots on Tuesday after chalking up a stable double – eleven year old Earl/Love And Leavme mare Mountain Earl breaking a six year drought by taking the Dick & Anne Box Trotters Handicap for T0 or better class over 2180 metres and five year old Art Major/Promise gelding Truman the Book For Ladies Night Pace for C1 class over the same distance.

Mountain Earl with the state’s leading reinsman Greg Sugars in the sulky, stepped safely from inside the 10 metre mark (there were no front markers) to trail Rough Voyage drawn next door, before moving around the leader  to assume control.

Rated beautifully, Mountain Earl ran out an easy 8 metre winner over Lombo Scrutinizer which raced wide throughout from 20 metres, with equal 20 metre marker Ainthatrightmacca (three back the markers) third.

Raced by Michael, Mountain Earl returned a mile rate of 2-09.6 in recording her first victory since May 2008.

Truman raced by the Peter Tonkin Racing Syndicate No1, spent most of the race at the tail of the field after being taken back from gate five at the start by Nathan Jack, with Lifes Tough piloting the field from gate two.

Appearing to be under pressure in the final circuit, Truman commenced a forward move approaching the home turn and despite being four and five wide on straightening, swamped his rivals to score by a runaway 12 metre margin in advance of a death-seating Kellalac and Irish Blues (one/one – three wide home turn) in a mile rate of 2-04.2.

Glencoe (Mount Gambier) father and son – Barry & Jayson Finnis also snared a stable double on the night – Three Queens taking the Greavesy’s Fruit, Veg & Flowers Pace for C0 class over 2180 metres and Purple Royale the Dalvue Motel Pace for C0 class over 1680 metres.

Three Queens (Mach Three/Surfing Queen) crossed to lead at the bell after circling the field from the extreme draw to race in the open, scoring a fighting half head victory over Bobby Fabulous which appeared to have his measure on turning, with Sentimental Hope third for the local father & son combination of Laurie and Kieran O’Keeffe. The mile rate 2-02.2.

Purple Royale (Royal Mattjesty/Indigo Rose) did it easier, winning by 5.7 metres in advance of Murano and Goodtime Rusty in a rate of 2-00.4.

Quickly away from inside the second line to possie four back in the moving line, Purple Royale sprinted sharply in the back straight on the final occasion to join the leader Goodtime Rusty prior to the home turn and race clear on turning. Murano battled on gamely after facing the breeze.

Quality six year old Art Major/Jilliby Diamond gelding Jilliby Master made a one act affair of the Barastoc Pace for C4 to C6 class over 2180 metres following a most disappointing sixth to Flaming Flutter at Melton the previous Friday.

Trained at Terang by Glen Craven, Jilliby Master taking a concession for cousin Jason Lee was sent forward from gate five to cross the polemarker Xavier Jack shortly after the start before running his rivals ragged to score by 12.7 metres in a rate of 1-58.9 from Flaming Hero which trailed the winner into the straight after a sweet one/one trip from gate three. Aqua Luvvy first up since July ran on late from the rear to finish third albeit 21.2 metres in arrears of the runner up.

Terang’s Matt Craven snared the Terang Home Hardware Pace for C1 class over 1680 metres with smart four year old It Is I/Sky Star gelding Okelerho Lad in a rate of 1-59.

Driven by brother Glen, Okelerho Lad first up since June was sent forward to surprisingly cross his stablemate Dagati Image having his first outing for the camp and proceeded to lead for the rest of the journey, just lasting to score by a half head over Dam Lucky which shadowed him from the bell, with Dagati Image third after easing three wide on the final bend.

Great Western’s Kerryn Manning was successful with ex-Kiwi mare On Ice in the Goodtime Lodge Pace for C2 & C3 class over 1680 metres.

Given a cosy passage mid-field as the leaders scorched in the early stages, On Ice gained a lovely three wide trail home on the back of Whats The Big Idea in the last lap which was applying plenty of pressure to the hot favourite Rate Highly which had been forced to race wide from gate six with Volatile Girl attempting to lead throughout.

When Whats The Big Idea dashed away prior to the home turn, he looked to have the race in his keeping, however after an easy trip, On Ice ran home best to score by 3.2 metres in 1-56.9, with Rate Highly a further 20 metres away in third place.

Raced by the Butterworth Racing Syndicate, On Ice a five year old daughter of Grinfromeartoear and Chiavari has fronted the starter on 18 occasions for 6 wins.