Fastest qualifier Mudgee Man put in a concerted effort over the last few strides to take out the rich Blue Paws Final at Casino last Friday.
Early leader, and favourite Bralyn Shorty, looked to have an unassailable lead when he sped out of the boxes and held a big advantage going into the back straight. Slowly and surely Mudgee Man chipped away at that advantage, and dived on the wire to score by a half length.
The time of 23.12 was the best of the day on a track that had received two deluges over the previous two nights. The Trevor Salmoni trained sprinter is now racing in the best form of his career.
Hippy Free Love made it two wins on the trot when she won the Rapidvite distance stake for Glen and Jake Northfield. It was a bunching field that greeted patrons in the first lap, after Mr. Imagination had taken up the early running. At a similar point to where she made her run last week, Hippy Free Love joined in, and went to the line full of running to win by 1 3/4 lengths in 36.25.
The Matthew Reid trained Grand Canyon continued on his winning way taking out the Casino RSM Club stake. Having won three of his last four starts, puntres sent him out a short priced favourite, and they had no fears as he took over the lead at the first bend and raced away. In the “wash up” he won by 2 3/4 lengths in a very handy 27.47.
Aero Ace has been knocking on the door in recent runs and he finally broke through for a well deserved win in the Royal Hotel stake. The Shane Robinson trained sprinter got out well from box six and led all of the way recording 23.38. It was his third career win from only six starts.
Grafton conditioner Bob Merillo won a double with littermates Bokarm Supreme and Bokarm Rocket. Bokarm Supreme flashed home to get up in the last stride clocking 23.69, whilst the Rocket showed more early pace and led throughout running 23.55. Keep those socks pulled up Bob.
One of the more impressive wins on the day was by the Keith Boan trained Phil's Holiday who had a good record out west before venturing to this part of the world. He trailed the customary early leader Kooinga Squirt for the majority of the race, angling in and out several times for a run. He finally found the break, and went on to win by 1 3/4 lengths in 23.50.
Vene La Vici led and held on for a neck win in 23.58 for Pat Lavis, while the Tweed to Casino Final was won by Grub's Pricde who ran 23.88 for Darren Crates.
In the remaining events Cindy Rose Hi continued Trevor Thompson's good run in scoring by a neck in 27.98; Blue Fergie won the 484 metre maiden in 28.25 for Vic Sherwell, and Go Wild Me returned to his best form after injury to get in by a half length in 23.30. Brad Northfield trains him.
Racing continues this Friday afternoon, with another twelve events programmed.
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