Barastoc Grand Circuit Series
Stories:   Pacers 2008/2009 Season
Leg 12:  Find Thirty Every Day Australian Pacing Championship   2008/2009Results   Points
              23/01/2009  Gloucester Park, Perth, WA 2130m  Mobile Start  $125,000
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Perth’s father-son combination of Gary Hall (trainer) and Gary Hall Jnr (driver) won their fifth Australian Pacing Championship in seven years on Friday night when Washakie NZ collected its first points on the Barastoc Pacers Grand Circuit Series for 2008/09. 

Queensland mare Fleur De Lil (Luke McCarthy), the only visitor in the race from the eastern states and backed in late to start favourite, lost all chance at the start when she galloped out from the pole and then settled back near the tail of the field. 

When the APC was first introduced more than 20 years ago it was held in Brisbane, with the aim of conducting it at a metropolitan track around Australia each season.  However, for almost eight years now, the WATC in Perth has been the only club to put its hand up to host the race.  It is part of the Perth summer carnival, enabling Gloucester Park to hold three open Group One events over three subsequent weeks. 

The strong Hall stables started three pacers in this year’s Championship, sponsored for the first time by the corporate operation of Find Thirty Every Day. Hall’s two other starters finished sixth (Spirit Of Shard NZ) and last (Scruffy Murphy). 

With the recent local winner of the Fremantle Cup, Power Of Tara NZ, and the promising Imthemightyquinn NZ missing, punters in the eastern States would have had little real knowledge about the Perth starters, apart from the winner of the WA Pacing Cup, Mysta Magical Mach NZ, at its previous start.  


Gary Hall (Snr and Jnr) flanked by the
happy owners of Washikie NZ

NSW pacer, Divisive, favourite in both recent Group One races and finishing second in both, had left Perth for Melbourne to prepare for the BIG6 A.G. Hunter Cup on February 7.

The late scratching of Capitol NZ and Amongst Royalty left a field of nine to start from the one line behind the mobile.  

Seven of these nine had all been purchased as going horses in New Zealand by Perth-based syndicates – the seven finishing in the first seven positions, with Fleur De Lil and Scruffy Murphy clocking in late. 

Betting on the race settled down with punters concentrating on Mysta Magical Mach NZ and the Queensland mare, Fleur de Lil, drawing the coveted pole.  There was a rush of money for the mare in the final four minutes of betting with bookmakers, backed from 4/1 to start an 11/4 favourite, with the WA Pacing Cup winner next in betting. 

Galloping out from the pole, Fleur De Lil then faced an extremely difficult task, with Gary Hall Jnr dashing Washakie NZ to the lead after just a hundred or so metres where he was able to dictate his terms for the remainder of the race. Mysta Magical Mach NZ was caught three wide early which did not help its chances, while Lively Royce NZ was positioned up nicely by Justin Prentice after an early squeeze. 

Young Hall maintained an even speed up front with the five-year-old gelding and kicked away at the top of the straight to win by more than a length over Mr Yankee NZ and Lively Royce NZ. 

The four quarters for the last mile consisted of 30.3 seconds, followed by 29.1 sec. then 28.4 sec. and sprinting home the last section in 29.1 sec. The mile rate was a handy 1:57.4. 

The three owners of the winner – Kevin Jeavone, Gina Monaco and Lindsay Severn – purchased Washakie NZ (Badlands Hanover USA-Shoshonu Sunrise NZ) for $100,000 14 months ago in New Zealand.  It had won 11 of 32 starts before coming to Perth where it has since won a further seven races from 14 starts for stakes totalling $197,635. 

Perhaps the hard-luck story from the race was Lively Royce NZ, which had trouble gaining a run in the last lap.  Hayton Brain NZ was pushed five wide when making its run and battled on well to finish fourth.  But the honours of the event went to the winner. 

Prior to its unplaced efforts in the Fremantle Cup and the WA Pacing Cup earlier in January, Washakie NZ had won four races in a row, so it was no surprise it became the stable elect on Friday night. 

Previous Australian Pacing Championship winners for the Halls were Bengeeman (2003), The Falcon Strike NZ (2004 and 2005) and last season with Dartmoor. 

Meanwhile, this coming Saturday the Barastoc Grand Circuit moves to Victoria for the Ballarat Cup, then on to Moonee Valley a week later for the BIG6 A.G. Hunter Cup, the major staying event in Australian pacing.  


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

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