In form three-year-old colt Sahara Sirocco was successful in the Gordon Lockman Memorial held at the Cranbourne HRC meeting on Tuesday 10 March. Mr Lockman was a long time Cranbourne Club Secretary/Manager and was recognised as one of the sport's most innovative administrators.
Sahara Sirocco was bred by HRV Board member Peter Watkinson from the former smart race mare Sahara Miss. Watkinson now races the gelding in partnership with a small group of harness racing enthusiasts from the Gary & Debbie Quinlan stable in Drouin.
Driven by leading reinsman Chris Alford, Sahara Sirocco was restrained from gate five as the start was effected and settled at the tail of the field with last start Kilmore victor First And Erst leading from his pole draw. Producing a lightning burst of speed mid-race, Sahara Sirocco ran to the top with a lap to travel and went on to blitz his rivals to record an untouched 9.2 metre margin from Ozzie Battler (one/one – three wide home turn), with Maxines Delight running home from last to be third 1.2 metres back. The mile rate 1-56.3.
Later in the evening Watkinson and his partners, including HRV Chairman Dale Monteith, took out the Hygain Pace with Sahara Sirocco's 4Y0 half brother Sahara Tiger in a 2-00.9 mile rate.
Given a sweet trip three back in the moving line racing for the bell, Sahara Tiger trailed the race favourite Millah Joy into the race in the last lap. Millah Joy joined the pacemaker Reclusive turning for home and and looked set for victory before Sahara Tiger, desperately driven by Alford, grabbed the filly in the shadows of the post. Reclusive held down third 22.9 metres away.
By Len Baker
Photo: Claire Weston Photography