An “old timer” and one of the sport’s most promising juniors combined to take out the SBG Accountants Pace at Cranbourne on Sunday night. Eight-year-old gelding Danman defied his advancing years to record his third home track victory this season with reinswoman Shannon O’Sullivan in the gig.
Trained at the Cranbourne Training Centre by Rick Cashman, Danman recorded his 12th win from 85 starts in a career that has provided plenty of highlights for his group of enthusiastic owners and now holds a slender lead in the Cranbourne Horse of the Year Award
Beginning well from his front row draw on Sunday, Danman was given a comfortable trip in the one-out-one-back trail by O’Sullivan and looked to have plenty to give with a lap to travel. The son of Village Jasper and Ritzy Emm appeared to be giving ground on the home turn however and his prospects of another success looked grim to say the least.
Not to be denied though, Danman rallied in the straight score a narrow victory over Big Gun Johnny with Fire Up Franco holding on for third.
O’Sullivan, who combines her involvement in harness racing with university studies in sports science, was full of praise for the veteran after his win.
“He came out well at the start and even though you have to keep at him he felt really good in the run. I was a bit worried on the turn when he lost the back of the horse in front but he just kept coming in the straight,” O’Sullivan said.
“I only had the one drive tonight but the trip home to Heathcote won’t take too long at all now.”
O’Sullivan has now driven 18 winners in her short career to date and can still claim a lift of five ratings points under the new national ratings-based handicapping system.
Cashman is enjoying his best season to date and volunteered after the race that he wasn’t surprised by his horse’s win.
“He worked really well on Wednesday but I never get too confident before a race. It’s really good to get another win with him and he and his brother (Dansbro) can now have a crack at the Winter Championship heats at Melton next Saturday night.”
By David Scott
Photo: Part owners Trevor Welgus and Paul Curtain joined Rick Cashman and Shannon O’Sullivan after Danman’s win at Cranbourne on Sunday night.