The John Mc Grory trained Happy Hopper returned to his “happy” hunting ground with strong win in the “Bluey” Leis Memorial Free For All last Friday. After an unsuccessful tilt in Victoria, the son of local sire Watch The Web began like a bullet, and at the first bend swept to the front.
Relishing being back on his favourite grass circuit, he kicked away going into the back and the race was all over. He recorded 27.35 in a 5 1/2 length victory.
The race was named in memory of a great stalwart of the club who passed away three years ago, and it was great to see family members on track to present the winner with the prizemoney and trophy.
A couple of handy runs highlighted the two heats of the Blue Paws maiden over the 411 metre trip.
Teddy She Goes began fast and got the “fly” at the first bend to lead clearly as the went down the back. Clearing out, the Jason Fredericks trained runner won by 9 3/4 lengths in a fast 23.12. Not to be outdone, Neil Falls’ Gwapo also came out running and recorded a 5 1/2 length win in 23.10. The battle between these two should ensure a great final this coming Friday.
Veteran performer Special Phantom, at start one hundred and sixty one, gave his younger rivals a touch up when he won the 4th and 5th grade stayers event. Well drawn out wide, he coasted to the lead as they went into the back section before holding out a determined Miss Sarajevo to win by a neck. John and Deidre Free have done a wonderful job with this five year old, who continues to race with great zest.
The other staying race was won by Flaming Grace who virtually led all of the way. The Toni Northfield trained runner recorded a speedy 35.51 in a 1 1/4 length win.
Another old timer, She Rose High ran the best time of the day over 484 metres in winning the Charcoal Inn Stake. Box eight has a good record over this journey, and She Rose High crossed them early to grab the lead at the winning post with a lap to go. Although Uno Missie tried hard over the final stages, She Rose High held too many “guns” to win by 1 1/2 lengths in 27.34.
Bonnie Sal returned from a short let up to salute by a half head in 23.34 for Peter Fuller, whilst Norway Miss was able to come from well back to win a “mixing” fitth grade race in 23.81. Shane Staples trains her locally.
Beverley Debono’s Too Many Kisses appreciated the drop back in class to win the lucky last in all of the way fashion, and outsider Loosen Up took control of the Casino RSM Club sprint when he hit the front in the back. He won by 4 1/2 lengths and clocked 23.18.
In the other events, Lucky Karanne finished all over the top of Miss Black to win the Shane Newstead Auto stake by 1 1/2 lengths, and Silver Hurdler took out the Mc Donald’s Pharmacy maiden in 27.96.
Casino will race agin this Friday with the first race just after 12 noon.