2007 Trotters Series
Globe Derby, Adelaide, SA

2007 Inter Dominion Trotting Championship Final  $200,000
Heats:  29 December 2006 (Moonee Valley), 6 January 2007 (Globe Derby)
Final:  13 January 2007

Victorian trained and South Australian owned Uncle Petrika NZ caused a major boilover leading all the way to hold out the odds-on favourite A Touch Of Flair in the Final of the Inter Dominion Trotters Championship at Globe Derby Park with Whatsundermykilt NZ running on for third. 

It was only when one dissects the race times (mile rate of 2:03.6 for the 2645m) for the winner racing off the front, that it becomes clear just what a super effort was turned in by second-placegetter A Touch Of Flair, starting off the backmark of 20m and beating the track record -- and the splendid tactical drive by winning reinsman Lance Justice. 

After two rounds of heats, Uncle Petrika NZ collected less than half the points A Touch Of Flair had in winning both its heats impressively, which no doubt led to one reason why the winner was sent out a $51 chance on SuperTab compared to the red figures for the favourite. 

Not the most reliable trotter around, though it does settle better when out in front, Uncle Petrika NZ was cleverly driven by Justice who adopted perhaps the ONLY option to bring about the defeat of A Touch Of Flair. Stepping away smartly, he dashed Uncle Petrika NZ to the lead and kept his foot on the accelerator. 

This not only maintained plenty of space back to the favourite, ensuring Darryl Douglas was having to keep Australia’s top trotter whacking away right from the start, but it virtually took the usual brilliant sprint of A Touch Of Flair seen in both heats, out of the horse. 

After the race, Justice explained how if he had been content to have just led on his horse and maintained a normal rate for a leader over this distance, the favourite would have finished all over him. 


In winning, Uncle Petrika NZ has now been invited to go to North America and contest the 2007 Hambletonian Breeders Crown at Mohawk Raceway in Toronto in September that carries stakemoney for the trotters of $A800,000. A similar offer has also been made to the connections of Blacks A Fake for the pacing section, worth $A675,000. 

Invitations are also to be extended to the winners of the French Prix d’Amerique, Sweden’s Elitloppet, and Italy’s Gran Preux. If all are accepted, it would make a most unique gathering of the winners of the world’s top trotting races. 

South Australian’s had their first glimpse of Uncle Petrika NZ when on a visit to Australia it won the SA Trotters Derby in 2003. It later lost the race following a positive swab. It was then Justice stepped in, suggesting to his major client, Colin Croft, how the three-year-old trotter could be purchased, and was well worth doing so. 

Croft’s first brush with fame came in 1978 when one of the several partners who owned Markovina, winner of the Melbourne Inter Dominion for pacers that year. Later he purchased Sokyola NZ in New Zealand, also on the advice of Justice. It has since won numerous Group 1 events, including two Miracle Miles. 

New Zealand’s two big hopes on Saturday night – stablemates Glenbogle NZ and Whatsundermykilt NZ – turned in mixed efforts. The former stopped in the last lap after making a forward move mid-race, with Whatsundermykilt NZ seemingly dropping out early in the final lap, only to sprout wings and run on well at the finish in a fine staying performance. 

But all honours for the night to the clever drive by Lance Justice on the winner, and to a gutsy effort by the runner-up having to try and make up its handicap with the speed up front right on. It was the second time in two years A Touch Of Flair has finished second in the Inter Dominion Final. Eight of the 12 starters in Adelaide were New Zealand-bred. 

Final points after two rounds: A Touch Of Flair 32, Glenbogle NZ and Whatsundermykilt NZ 29, Flying Hardwick NZ and Viva La Fever 24, Motu Miss Anna NZ 18, Bonito and What Ever You Like NZ 17, Jauriol and Uncle Petrika NZ 15, Code Of Honour NZ and Tamra Dawn NZ 14.  


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