Grand Prix Glory; Anthony Butt & Brent Lilley are all smiles following the winning effort from mighty trotter Keystone Del in the $100,000 Grand Prix at Melton.
Star trotter Keystone Del delivered in the best way possible.
Following his shock loss at Shepparton three weeks ago, the multiple feature race winner rebounded with a track record breaking performance in the Gr.1 $100,000 Seelite Windows and Doors Australian Trotting Grand Prix at TABCORP Park, Melton tonight (Saturday).
Handled by champion reinsman Anthony Butt for trainer Brent Lilley, Keystone Del ($9.60) led throughout defeating game New Zealand raider Speeding Spur ($15.30) by a head with a half neck back to Arboe ($30.70) in third while race favourite Monbet ($1.40) galloped and finished at the rear.
The 2240m mobile start feature was covered in a time of 1:56.0, easily eclipsing his previous track record mark of 1:57.2 set in October last year.
With Keystone Del firing straight to the lead, emerging star Glenferrie Typhoon sat in the trail while the all-conquering Monbet sat without cover.
The lead time was covered in 46.5 seconds and no moves were made until Speeding Spur started a run at the 1300m mark.
As the field of eight reached the bell, Keystone Del led the way from Speeding Spur who took the breeze position which presented Monbet with the perfect trail.
The first half of the final mile was covered in splits of 30.8 and 28.3 seconds.
Heading down the back straight, Keystone Del and Speeding Spur continued to force the action while both Glenferrie Typhoon and Monbet sat patiently in the trails.
With the third quarter timed in 27.8 seconds, Monbet was the first to crack as he made a break and lost all chance while Glenferrie Typhoon waited until the top of the home straight before making a similar error.
In the straight, Keystone Del dug deep under the urging’s of Butt and held the game Speeding Spur while Arboe closed late after making an early mistake, adding further merit to her performance.
The final quarter was covered in 28.1 seconds.
Keystone Del has now won 33 of his 55 career starts while his prizemoney now exceeds $800,000.
The winning performance of Keystone Del has him sharing the lead with Master Lavros (Dominion) in the Australian Pacing Gold Trotting Masters with the next leg scheduled for March 12, the Gr.1 $300,000 Pryde’s Easifeed Great Southern Star at TABCORP Park, Melton.
Keystone Del won the Great Southern Star two years ago, the inaugural edition, when prepared by Nicole Molander.