Australasian Grand Circuit
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Leg 10:  Cadbury Ballarat Pacing Cup 2006/2007 Results   Points
              3/02/2007  Ballarat, Vic  2710m  Mobile Start  $125,000
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Sting Lika Bee put the gloss on owner-trainer Brian Tuddenham’s decision to bypass the Adelaide Inter Dominion to concentrate on Victorian country riches by culminating its recent victories in country Cups with a win in Saturday night’s $125,000 Cadbury Ballarat Cup. 

In beating Flashing Red and Foreal NZ, the 8YO won its third country Cup in four starts, giving Tuddenham, 71, his first ever win in the Australasian Grand Circuit.  This takes Sting Lika Bee’s lifetime record to 31 victories and 51 placings from 115 starts. 

The horse was driven by Australia’s leading reinsman for last season, Daryl Douglas, a son of a Ballarat trainer who grew up there before relocating to Bendigo. 

Australia’s top two rating pacers, Blacks A Fake and Be Good Johnny both gave Ballarat a miss, but the race still attracted a top class field with ample depth.  Punters did send Sting Lika Bee out favourite, though there was plenty of money for the extra smart Kiwi mare Foreal NZ for her to have taken a lot of beating.  Her stablemate Tribute NZ was also in the betting, with Robin Hood and Winforu NZ both having their share of supporters in what was an excellent betting race. 

Robin Hood, winner of the race last season, which has been troubled in recent weeks by a virus and failed dismally in the Inter Dominion Final at its latest outing, had pleased its Ballarat stable leading up to the race, raising the hopes of its supporters that it was returning to something like its previous best. 

Since arriving from Christchurch, Tribute NZ, has made rapid improvement, picking up one Grand Circuit event in Tasmania on the way.  Drawing the second row did it no favours, with Anthony Butt electing to stay with the mare, giving John Caldow the chance to drive Tribute NZ. 


Sting Lika Bee

Last season Sting Lika Bee so often drew the second line in major races, especially the Hobart Inter Dominion, that to many, the horse always seemed to be well back early in its races and might not have been able to lead. 

The stable believed otherwise. When the local son of Walton Hanover USA and Armbro Caprice USA drew barrier 4 at Ballarat, there was growing confidence from Tuddenham his horse would get the job done for him.  

At barrier rise, Reba Rajah (Chris Alford) began best, handing over to the favourite when Sting Lika Bee was quick to go forward seeking the front. 

Gavin Lang wasted little time in taking Robin Hood around the field to race in the ‘death’, a position soon after to be filled by Flashing Red when Geoff Webster took the Queensland-owned pacer to its familiar position in so many big races these past two years. 

This latest move then had Robin Hood in the fancied position of one-out, one-back. With no one prepared to go up and eye-ball the leader.  The second line draw had done no favours for Sir Galvinator, The Warp Drive and Franco Heir NZ.  Tony Herlihy had Mighty Cullen NZ placed just off the speed, and David Butcher waited for a chance to get Winforu NZ out of a tight pocket, even this far from home. 

Douglas had no intention of holding up the favourite and turning the race into a sprint to the line in the late stages, using his horse’s well known stamina in the mid-stages by pacing the first quarter of the last mile in 30.5 seconds, followed by a 29.1 seconds for the following 400 metres. 

With Tribute NZ out three wide in a bid to improve its position, it was obvious a long way from home that Sting Lika Bee was going to take some catching. On kicking away when turning for home the last time, the favourite then appeared to have plenty left in the tank, with gallant efforts from noted stayers Flashing Red and Foreal NZ finishing on to fill the placings – the last quarter by the favourite in 28 seconds flat. 

This returned an overall mile-rate for the staying race of 1:59.8. Robin Hood again knocked up badly in the closing stages, which is not the Robin Hood we knew last season. Tribute NZ would not have disappointed its admirers with a solid fourth, and Winforu NZ came in fifth after having little room for much of the last lap being four back on the inside. 

The win was a belated birthday gift for Daryl Douglas who had turned 34 years of age on February 1.   According to the records, no Ballarat-based driver has ever won a Ballarat Cup until now.  

Sting Lika Bee firmed in early markets on this Sunday’s Hunter Cup, though one would think the Group 1 victory will now see the horse penalised for Sunday with a handicap behind the front mark.  The barrier draw for Australia’s premier staying race will be Tuesday afternoon. 

Immediately after Saturday night’s win, an emotional Tuddenham said he went into the Cup not wanting to let anyone down with his horse, in local publicity leading up to the race, Sting Lika Bee and Robin Hood had been “in the spotlight” in promoting the big race at Victoria’s most successful Country Club.   


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

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