Lexia’s Isaac’s youngster Knight Fun has taken out the 2013 Mandurah Derby final with a faultless display of chasing against a quality field. As was reported earlier in the week, the final comprised of the four heat winners from last week and the associated runners up, with many of the dogs posting similar qualifying times.
As expected, the market was wide open leading up to the feature race of the night, with former Victorian Set Sail South starting at $3.60 favourite despite drawing the awkward box six. Jack O’Rielly from box two was the next fancied runner for Linda Britton at $4.60, while Moodich ($6.70) and Merlot Monelli ($6.90) were given similar chances after nearly dead-heating at their previous clash. In fact every runner in the field was paying under $12.00 by the time the green was switched on, and as it turned out, the winner would pay a double-figure dividend.
Starting from the 490-metre corner point, all connections would have been holding their breath with the anticipation of an even start, and hoping their runner gets every chance to snare the $12,000 cheque and trophy. With that in mind, it was Moodich who was first to show from box three, with Knight Fun quickly joining it on the outside from box seven. Celtic Coin ($10.30) was enjoying the space wide on the track and was positioned closer than it has last start, while Set Sail South had missed it fractionally, and quickly faced an uphill battle.
Heading towards the top of the course, and all entrants had enjoyed a smooth run in transit, resulting in only six lengths separating first to last. Knight Fun had taken over the lead, with Moodich finding itself with dogs all around despite its sharp beginning. Celtic Coin was presenting itself wider out and Jack O’Reilly was pressed against the fence trying to make a run.
Around the bend the leading duo had become the likely quinella of the race, with Celtic Coin looking a big chance to finish the stronger. Moodich was still there behind them, but the rest of the pack had a too much to do from there.
Entering the home straight as a two-dog battle, Knight Fun had a length break and although Celtic Coin had seemed poised to make a winning move on the corner, it wasn’t to be and the money was heading Lexia Isaac’s direction and to owner, Isaac Pollard. Celtic Coin was game in defeat, while Moodich held off Jack O’Reilly’s challenge for the final step of the podium.
Knight Fun’s Mandurah Derby win paid $10.10 for any wise punters on board, and the race was clocked at 27.37 – a significantly faster time than the four heats. Lexia should be lauded for a great example of training a dog to the minute.
Sired by Premier Fantasy and out of Bombastic Shiraz bitch, Alotta Fun, the black chaser has just turned two year of age during the week. His career started back in December last year, and after taking three attempts to crack his maiden, Knight Fun has now racked up eight wins from only 17 starts and is expected to work his way through to open grades on all tracks very shortly.
The prospects of W.A racing is in good shape with Miata and Dyna Nalin already attracting a national audience, along with Celtic Coin’s littermates Boss Coin and On Coin deservedly obtaining ‘star’ status. If the next wave of young dogs such as Knight Fun can continue on winning, it adds much needed depth to the ranks and builds the platform for a healthy, sustainable industry.