ON a weekend where the harness racing industry was devastated by the storms across the state, washing out the Northam and Albany programs on Thursday and Friday nights, meetings in Bunbury on Saturday and Collie on Sunday provided the highlights.
In Bunbury, Bad Boy Axel got into trouble on the home turn for Trent Wheeler before finishing a 1.4 metre third in the opening event.
The Dave Stringer trained three-year-old has loads of ability and will pay to follow after paying $3 for the place.
Jack Justins drove the well fancied Soho Chelsea into a half neck second place for Glen Elliot in the Garrards Concession Driver’s Challenge.
Errol Ashcroft engaged Kyle Harper for Kiss Me Cougar’s second in the mare’s race, paying $1.40 the place.
She led early before settling behind the leader and following that horse home.
The Ashcroft’s continued their form in Collie when Bianca prepared pint sized mare Tella with Kyle again in the bike.
She made an extremely fast move from last in the back straight to storm to the front and win handsomely from Donovan Bromac and Lively Shard in the Joey’s Soft Serve Ice-cream Handicap.
She was great value at $14.80 the win and $3.10 the place, meaning a fantastic result in the first leg of the quaddie for the Punter’s Club.
The feature race of the day, the 2700m Bendigo Bank King Coal Cup was won by the Matthew Scott trained, Chris Voak driven Telham Lane who flew out from barrier one to lead all the way in a carbon copy of the same race last year.
The 10-year-old absolutely loves the Collie track as he also ran second in this race in 2015 after winning the Collie Cup in 2014.
Major Spoilt and Bledisloe filled the placings.
This wonderfully consistent pacer was good value at $4.80 and $1.50 and was another good priced third leg of the Punter’s Club quaddie.
The other major event was the final of the John Martin Memorial a handicap over 2050m.
The heats the previous week meant there was plenty of exposed form for punters and they got good value from one of the heat winners in Full Package who powered home to defeat the favourite James Coburn and Mossdale Flynn.
Seven dollars eighty and $2.50 was a tidy return for supporters.
The opening event was the Davies Two Step Pace for 3y/o’s where Rich Maiden was the winner courtesy of a super drive by Jocelyn Young when she sat behind the leader and favourite Flying Margarita and collared that pacer in the run to the line in a fast time of 2.02 for the Collie circuit.
Rich Maiden was a handy $7.30 and $3.40 chance. Yankee Boots in third place gave a nice trifecta for the Punter’s Club to start the day off.
The On The Level Syndicate Pace had a short priced favourite ($2.60 and $1.60) in American Glamour who was the Punter’s Club selection.
Chris Voak flew the mare out of the barrier from outside the 10m line to lead from Cody Wallrodt’s Spoilt Talk ($4.10) who started almost as well.
This was the way they finished with Cyclone North filling third position.
Jules Vandenberg presented his trophy to the connections of Cavalry Call, winner of the third event from Dai Ben De and Live Life Fast.
The gelding was piloted by Dylan Egerton-Green and was well supported as a $4.20 and $1.70 chance.
The Sari Saunders Memorial Pace had trainer Sarah Hall and reinsman Kaiden Hayter saluting the judge with Lot Twenty One who came home fast in the last half lap to go past John Edgar and Loaded Aussie.
In his third career win Lot Twenty One gave supporters a great return of $12.80 and $2.70.
The final event had the club’s leading trainer and reinspersons in Frank Bonnett and Shannon Suvaljko combining with Hoiho to win from the locally trained and reined Jolly Jumper (Brian and Trent Wheeler) who tried to lead all the way as a $3.10 place chance.
Reigning Premiers battled on into third place to go to the lead in the Horse of the Year award.
Hoiho was a short priced $2.10 favourite and gave the Punter’s Club a $651 windfall in the quaddie.
The Punter had a fantastic day with collects in all eight races for a first day profit of $789.
Current $50 share value is $63.85 so here’s hoping he continues on his merry way.
Two pony trot events were held with eight competitors in each.
The first event was won by Marbles for Chaise Markham and the second by Apache Kitten, who was driven by Makayla Ruocco.
The Ruocco’s had a great day with Makayla’s sister Maria winning the Bike giveaway for the day.
Ron Schultz was the successful winner of the Kalbarri Beach Resort Holiday for the meeting with other prizes being won by Dawn Swan, Krysty Foster, Amie Harrison and Tony Kent.
Two mystery judges prowled through the crowd and awarded the Best Dressed Lady prize to Caroline Berg who will enjoy a $150 voucher for meals at the Federal Hotel.
Neither the Pick 4 nor the Select the Order competitions were selected so both will jackpot to the second meeting, Pick 4 to $250 Tote voucher and $2250 for the Select the Order.
Trent Wheeler sat three back on the pegs on Right Hand in Pinjarra on Monday before getting clear at the 500m mark to just fail to catch the favourite.
He paid $3.10 for the place.
A Narrogin meeting is set to be run tonight where Kath Melbourne (Art Lover), Bianca Ashcroft (Tella), Karen Wallrodt (Northern Bill) and Errol Ashcroft (Kiss Me Cougar) have starters.
Trent Wheeler also has a book of four drives for the night and has been named to sit behind six pacers at Albany tomorrow night.
Bunbury on Saturday night and Pinjarra Monday afternoon should also have local pacers engaged.