Great turnout at Collie's first racing meeting of the year

Of the local connections Cody Wallrodt stole the show at Collie’s opening meet of the season last Sunday.

Cody drove a heady race out in front to score an upset win on the Michael Geurds trained Jacky Gee in the Blue & Greg Pace. He took full advantage of a front line draw to hold the finish of Bianca Ashcroft’s Call Me Ernie who had the sit behind him all the way. The winner paid a handsome $18 for the win and $5.50 the place with the runner up returning $1.90.

Wallrodt then drove his mother’s pacer Shelby Cruzin into third place behind the Matthew Scott trained, Shannon Suvaljko reined odds on favourite Cut Above after settling well back in the field. This win in the Collie Mail Handicap was the first leg of a double for the Scott/Suvaljko combination when they also led all the way with Compact Rocket in the John Martin Memorial Pace at the lucrative odds of $26.60 and $4.50.

Lorna Latham celebrated her 60th birthday on the day and a race named in her honour was won by Thatz Bobbie for the Thomas Elliot and Aiden De Campo combination at a very nice price of $9.90 and $3.

The main race of the afternoon, the Spry’s Meat Market King Coal Cup was taken out after an incident packed event by Michael Callegari’s consistent South West pacer Budd Sidewinder after being steered by Dylan Egerton-Green with a well timed run. He was a well supported $3.90 and $1.80 shot.

Dylan then backed up in the next event, the Collie Mowers and More Pace by coming home fast to catch the leader and favourite Andiamo Rusty with Nowuseemesmile for trainer Sarah Suvaljko. 

This double took Egerton-Green to a seven-point lead in the Ray Aramini Leading Reinsperson Award while the wins by Matt Scott and Sarah Suvaljko took them to within two points of Auburn Valley Trainers award leader in Terry Ferguson.

Earlier in the day the Dean Miller trained and driven Adda Rockinheaven held the lead from the pole and rated the horse well to win as a $3.20 and $1.10 favourite. 

Locally trained and driven Natural Temptation for Peter Hemsley and Trent Wheeler was forced to sit behind the leader and never saw daylight before finishing third at $2 the place.

This mare leads the Noel & Bev Holdsworth Leading Horse Award from Nowuseemesmile with Corey Peterson and Emily Suvaljko locked together on 21 points for the Cally & Brian Ellis Leading Junior Driver Award.

Two Pony Trot races were held with both being won by Little Miss Curious for Brooke Strachan. 

Other highlights were the Dual Sulky rides behind the ponies. Those selected looked the part with racing colours and helmets as they did a lap of the track. Neither the Pick 4 nor the Select the Order competitions were won so they will be on again at the next meeting. Twelve-year-old Matthew Corradetti was thrilled to win the bike draw. Another bike will be given away at the next meeting. 

This week’s Kalbarri Beach Resort prize went to Kiralee Shepherd with other prizes being won on the Chocolate Wheel by Teke Vernon from Collie Better Homes, Ken Truscott (Hendersons Hardware), Kevin Vanderham (SportF1rst) and Kevin Crowe (Jax Deli & Diner).

The Albany meeting on Friday night belonged to Trent Wheeler, Kath Melbourne and Cody Wallrodt. Wheeler piloted two winners and three runners-up. He started the night behind $1.90 favourite Bettor Copagoodone for Terry Ferguson, who faced the breeze before finishing too well. Trent then ran second behind Bettor Captured (Ferguson), Princess Major (Peter Fairless) and Avivo (Graeme Waters) before finishing the night in a thrilling finish when the Graham Cummins trained Righteous Brother jumped out of the ground in the last 50 metres to score narrowly as a $4.20 and $1.90 second favourite. 

Wallrodt was placed behind Aint Misbehavin as a $2.40 place chance with Kath Melbourne’s Art Lover finishing well in the last lap for Mark Johnson returning $3.30 for the place. 

Dennis Morton’s Handover Penny ran her second consecutive runner-up result at Narrogin on Tuesday night for Chris Voak, paying a welcome $4.30 place dividend.

Albany (Friday), Williams (Sunday) and Pinjarra (Monday) provide racing opportunities this weekend.