Australasian Grand Circuit
Stories:   Pacers 2005/2006 Season
Leg 13:  Be Active WA Pacing Cup   2005/2006 Results   Points
               20/01/2006  Gloucester Park, Perth  WA  2548m  Mobile Start  $250,000
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Perth pacer Maheer Lord NZ raced itself into A.G. Hunter contention with a huge staying performance to win the Be Active Western Australian Pacing Cup at Gloucester Park on Friday night from a desperately unlucky Ohoka Ace NZ and No Blue Manna. 

The six-year-old gelding raced wide throughout in what many at the track said reminded them of how the mighty Pure Steel won some of its races more than 20 years ago. 

The day prior to Perth’s major annual race on Friday, newspapers in the west carried the story how legendary horseman Fred Kersley had launched a broadside to drivers there on the boring manner they had driven in the previous fortnight to let Lookslikelightning to have set its own pace leading and winning the Australian Pacing Championship, then Money Magnet NZ a week later doing exactly the same to win the Fremantle Cup. 

Perhaps Kersley was wearing his new hat as Vice President of the Western Australian Trotting Association when he had explained: “All the talk in the east is how boring our Grand Circuit races have been. I make the point that I am not singling out any one driver, because they all have their obligations to drive to get the best possible placing. But this is a big thing we have to address.” 

On Friday night in the Western Australian Pacing Cup, he personally did something about that with his driving tactics on Adams Mate for trainer Paul Flemming. The race was only seconds old when the 15-time winning premiership driver set Adams Mate alight three wide from back in the field. His move sent most rival reinsmen into action, with the leaders breaking into a sprint for a quarter or more.  This left Kersley with no chance of getting up near the front in endeavouring to win his fourth Western Australian Pacing Cup. Meanwhile rivals at the back seemed suddenly interested in striving for some imaginary prize to win the next lap. 

Outsider Nats Nifty and Queensland representative Flashing Red were among the first to charge forward in trying to get around Adams Mate. 


Maheer Lord NZ

Lookslikelightning, which had retained the lead after starting from pole position, was given little chance to take a breather, especially with Maheer Lord NZ up and eye-balling it. 

While all this action was taking place, Chris Lewis had planted the well-backed Ohoka Ace NZ back in the field with good cover, no doubt thoroughly delighted with the mid-race sprinting as Ohoka Ace NZ is at its best in any staying test, usually producing a big finish when saved up for one run. 

The quarters of the last mile tell the story, as the first was put behind the leaders in a smart 29.1, then followed by the next in 30.2. With the speed back on at the bell the next quarter came up in 29.8. But the effort was taking its toll on some of the participants, with the final quarter being the slowest of the race – a moderate 31.8. 

Surprisingly, Maheer Lord NZ was still persisting under solid driving from its trainer Grant Williams, while a frustrated Lewis could not gain a clear run with Ohoka Ace NZ until mid-way up the straight. So fast did this pacer close that it was in front two metres past the winning post. 

The overall mile rate by the winner was 1:58.5. No one could possibly have left the track not having been in awe of the stop and go tactics, and the non-stop action that took place up front, out the back, and three and four wide. Only a tough horse with a great set of lungs could have raced away from the fence throughout and still have won. 

Maheer Lord NZ was a member of the Tony Herlihy stable in New Zealand before being sold to Perth’s Robbie Tomlinson, who syndicated the gelding to seven other happy locals. Tomlinson has enjoyed good success with a number of pacers he has obtained from across the Tasman. Among the owners of Maheer Lord NZ is Elio Galante, a part-owner of well known Perth galloper and Victorian Derby winner Plastered.  

The $500,000 A.G. Hunter Cup, Australia’s major staying event, will be held at Moonee Valley in mid-February, the first time this event has been on a Sunday afternoon. The Western Australian Pacing Cup is now one of many good previews for Australasia’s ultimate staying test, the Hunter Cup. 

Meanwhile, the Grand Circuit this week moves on Saturday night to the Ballarat Cup, the first time this popular provincial event has been included in the Grand Circuit. It has attracted a top class field, as has the strong support program which includes three heats of the Victorian Pacers Derby and heats of the 2006 Inter Dominion Trotters Series. 



All Time Pacing and Trotting Records pre-2001 please refer to the Australian Harness Racing Annual.

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