Local trainer Ray Mathews enjoyed one his most productive days at the office in some time with a winning double at the Cranbourne Harness Racing Club meeting on Sunday afternoon.
The Skye horseman produced eight-year-old gelding Supplements to win the opening event on the program, the Aldebaran Park Trotters Handicap and was back in the winner’s circle later in the day when stablemate Jack William saluted in stunning fashion in the fast-class race of the day.
The impeccably named Supplements (by American stallion Muscle Mass) led from start to finish in race one in a performance that lived right up to his trainer’s expectations.
“I told Chris Alford before the race that if this horse happens to lead he should win on his recent work,” Mathews said after the race. “He began really well from his front mark and from there on the handicapped horses were always going to struggle to catch him.”
Jack William similarly lead all the way and proved much too good for Elteearr and Dream To Share in a bold front running display with Zac Phillips on board.
“He can be a lazy horse and doesn’t often travel on the bit,” Mathews explained. “But Zac fired him out of the gate and got the horse to travel in the run. I thought he’d go close but that was a little bit special.
Later in the day Pearcedale trainer/driver Simone Walker produced an aggressive drive on the heavily supported Reclusive to win the Seelite Windows and Doors Pace. Walker circled the field to sit parked outside the leaders for the last 1,200 metres of Sunday’s race and hammered her opposition into submission in a slick 1:56:7 mile rate.
Racing returns to Cranbourne on Saturday 8 December when the club hosts the final round of heats of the prestigious Inter Dominion series for both pacers and trotters.
The series is run over three gruelling rounds of heats leading into a grand final all in the space of a fortnight and is harness racing’s true test for its equine athletes. Last run in Victoria in 2008, this year’s edition kicks off at Melton on Saturday 1 December and moves to Ballarat on Tuesday 4 December before the combatants head to Cranbourne in a last ditch bid for a place in the grand final at Melton on 15 December.
The Cranbourne Club is looking forward to a huge night with plenty of entertainment off the track including a free concert by rock legend Ross Wilson and a free Kids Christmas Carnival.
For more details go to www.cranbourneharness.org.au
By David Scott
Photo: Claire Weston Photography