As the clock ticked 9.30am Sunday morning classy stayer Smart Betsy firmed from even money favourite for the 2009 Lockwood National Capital Distance Championship to long odds on as new record holder Bunny’s Reward scratching from the final was known by punters across Australia.
For those willing to take the short odds, hearts sat in mouths as the Bombastic Shiraz x Awesome Berger black bitch had to work hard to take the title, clocking 34.69.
Second favourite Licence To Dance as predicted made her early dash leading the pack into the home straight before Smart Betsy had to cut to the outside to take the lead, Bluey Tadmore finishing strong for second and Rough ‘Em Up third.
Trainer John Tyrell now setting his sights on the National Distance Championships, with the hope there is enough distance races at headquarters to get the bitch the lead up she needs.
“This race was my second pick but it works well in getting her some more distance runs hopefully ready for the Nationals,” Tyrell said.
“It now hangs on her getting sufficient 700’s to prepare her for the big event, hopefully we get enough runs in town for things to pan that way.”
Supporting the final, the Col O’Brien Appreciation stake saw John and Jane Carruthers’ Material Journey fly the lids to post a brilliant 8.05 first section and take out the event in 25.32.
The race held in honour of Col O’Brien who has just finished as the club’s groundsman after 10 years of service, John Carruthers thrilled to take out the event after forming a relationship with Col over his 10 years of racing at the club.
“This means a lot to take out this race, I’ve been coming here for 10 years and Col has always done a great job and been helpful,” Carruthers’ said.
The remainder of the 11 race program producing some sensational racing including Carruthers’ first starter Pristine Journey posting a lightning 17.73 to given the Castlereagh camp a double for the evening.
Jodie Gilbert claiming a treble with Sticky Boots, Buckle Bunny and Cawbourne Texas all recording good wins.
Buckle Bunny the pick after flying the lids to lead all the way and post a 30.34, 7 ¾ length win.
Lorraine Roy also taking home a double with wins to Habmak (18.00) and Dark Cavalier (17.74)
Other wins for the evening going to Ken Staines Viva Lauretana who prevailed over her much favoured kennelmate March Maiden, Viva Lauretana finish 1 ½ lengths ahead of Roll On By, Marley Lane coming in third.
Victor Lane for Margaret Bannerman leaving it to the death to pip another Ken Staines favourite Exotic Ghost over the 530, Daytona Kent rounding out the placings in 30.85.
All continues this week with what is set to be a great 0-1win Ranger Geale 530m heat and final series.