Three-year-old pacing filly Lakey Lou completed the second leg of a winning double for leading concession driver Michelle Phillips when she was successful in the Decron 3YO Pace at Cranbourne on Sunday afternoon. The talented young reinswoman scored earlier in the day with a bold front running drive on race favourite Rocking Bugatti in the Woodlands Stud Pace.
Phillips was having her first drive on the Dylan Stratford-trained Lakey Lou and exploded off the gate to lead from the despised outside barrier. In a race-winning move Phillips then wisely elected to take a sit behind the well fancied Naamark when challenged at the 1,400-metre mark and the filly settled to travel kindly in the trail.
Turning for home, Lakey Lou angled to the outside of the leader and after a stirring battle in the home straight she prevailed by a head from Naamark and Easy Rolling in a 2:01:5 mile rate.
A daughter of Develish Smile and Hilton Dream, Lakey Lou was bred by prominent owners Pam and Russell Hockham who raced both the sire and the mare and named the filly after their grand-daughter. Stratford, who races the filly on lease from the Hockhams, was understandably delighted after the win.
“Gee Michelle drove her well. She is a filly who can pull hard in her races and tends to lock on one rein. But Michelle got her to settle after she handed up and then made the right call to take her to the outside to make her run knowing she would run up the track.”
“I think she can have a few easy days now before I decide on where to take her next,” Stratford explained after the race. “She had a few little sore spots leading in to this race and I think she’ll be better if I can space her runs a bit. I’ll just see what’s about.”
Stratford has also had Lakey Lou’s full brother join his stable in recent weeks and is planning for the two-year-old, named Devil Of A Smile, to make his racetrack debut at Cranbourne next Sunday.
“I’ve only had him for a short time and has shown he has a bit of speed. It will just be interesting to see what he does when he gets to the races.”
By David Scott
Photo: Claire Weston Photography