Locally trained mares Kira Jo (pictured) and Elteearr book-ended the Cranbourne Harness Racing Club's latest meeting on Sunday night to provide reinsman Emmett Brosnan with a winning double and driving honours on the night.
In the first race on the program, the talented but fickle Kira Jo produced her best effort for some time to score a come from behind victory. Settling three horses back in the outside running line, Kira Jo was set alight from the 600 metre mark and sustained a long run to score by two metres on the line from That Chill Devine and race favourite Captain Snoozzze.
The mare's win brought a please explain from the stewards who queried her apparently improved performance but the result did not completely surprise trainer Viv Tomren.
"She can mix her form but I thought her last two runs were quite good even though she was unplaced," explained Tomren. "Even when I was getting her ready to leave for the races she was in a bit of a mood and I thought to myself that she might just put her best foot forward tonight."
Kira Jo, who is part-owned by Tomren, is a daughter of Art Major and the mare Jasper Jo who has been a success both on the track and in the breeding barn. Jasper Jo was the winner of 13 races and over $90,000 in stakes and aside from Kira Jo has left the good performers Madison Louise (7 wins and $82,000) and Flojos Gold (17 wins and $166,000).
The final race on the card looked a match-race between the Charlie Wootton trained Elteearr and the consistent Magical Delight from the powerful Garry Quinlan stable.
Elteearr siezed an early advantage when she was able to hold the lead from Magical Delight in the run to the first turn leaving the the odds-on favourite to race without cover for much of the remainder of the race.
The pair travelled through the first half of the last mile in a liesurely 65 seconds before Brosnan and rival Chris Alford upped the ante turning into the back straight the last time. Elteearr on the inside and Magical Delight to her outside ripped down the back straight in a sizzling 27:2 second quarter and quickly put paid to the other runners.
The two then staged a stirring battle in the home straight with Elteearr prevailing by three metres on the line from Magical Delight with the winner's stablemate Madison Louise filing third placing some 22 metres astern.
Elteearr is a relatively late bloomer having only started racing as a five year old in the 2015/16 season. She has now recorded five wins and a further seven placings from just 24 race starts and should continue to work her way through the country grades in the coming months.
By: David Scott
Photo: Clare Weston Photography