Spur Sizzles in Great Southern Star

13 March 2016 | Chris Barsby
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Gotcha; Josh Dickie salutes the crowd as star trotter Speeding Spur claims the Gr.1 Great Southern Star Final at TABCORP Park, Melton.

Gotcha; Josh Dickie salutes the crowd as star trotter Speeding Spur claims the Gr.1 Great Southern Star Final at TABCORP Park, Melton.

The 2015/16 Australian Pacing Gold Trotting Masters continued in Melbourne with the running of the Great Southern Star, a true test for all involved with the heat/final concept staged on the same night.

And star New Zealand trotter Speeding Spur underlined his class with an emphatic victory in tonight’s (Saturday) Gr.1 $300,000 Pryde’s Easifeed Great Southern Star Final at TABCORP Park, Melton.

Prepared by father/son combination of John and Josh Dickie, Speeding Spur ($5.40) produced a stunning sprint over the concluding stages to defeat a game Glenferrie Typhoon ($10.20) and Quite A Moment ($26.90) in a time of 1:55.5 for the 1720m event.

The star four-year-old started from the inside of the second-line and raced three back on the marker line behind Maori Time and Quite A Moment while race favourite Keystone Del ($1.60) was left without cover.

The first half was covered in sectionals of 29.4 and 31.2 seconds.

Visiting North American based driver Yannick Gingras continued to control the speed with Maori Time while Keystone Del raced on her outside, as the field headed down the back straight for the final time, Glenferrie Typhoon loomed three-wide and forced the action.

Heading by the 400m marker, Maori Time led narrowly from Keystone Del who was put to immediate pressure while Glenferrie Typhoon still loomed deeper off the track.

The third quarter was covered in 28 seconds.

In the straight, Glenferrie Typhoon raced to a slender lead while Maori Time tried to rally on the inside but Speeding Spur was being angled to the outside and unleashed his finishing burst wider on the track.

At the line, Speeding Spur quickly raced clear to score 3.3 metres from Glenferrie Typhoon with a further half neck away to Quite A Moment who came through via the passing lane late.

The final quarter clocking was 27.7 seconds.

Keystone Del finished fifth.

“He raced so well tonight, heat and final and I’m just so proud with the way he’s handled everything this campaign. We’ve got a lot of faith in him and he didn’t disappoint us, he’s such a great horse.” Winning driver Josh Dickie said.

The Pegasus Spur – Della’s Speed entire will now return to his Auckland base in readiness for the remaining legs of the Australian Pacing Gold Trotting Masters, the $80,000 ANZAC Cup on April 22 followed by the $150,000 Canam Rowe Cup the following week, both events will be staged at Alexandra Park.

Heat 1;

The first $50,000 qualifying heat was dominated from classy Australian trotter Glenferrie Typhoon ($1.60 Fav) who sprintlaned to defeat Maori Time ($13.40) and Sun Of Anarchy ($68.90) in a time of 1:55.7.

Big striding mare Maori Time was able to lead comfortably despite her wide draw while Glenferrie Typhoon sat comfortably in the trail throughout.

Sectionals were covered in 29.4, 30.1 28.5 and 28.6 seconds.

Prepared by Andy and Kate Gath, Glenferrie Typhoon sprinted stylishly over the concluding stages to score by 1.8 metres.

Also qualifying for the final from this heat was Claudys Princess, Quite A Moment and Super Zeck.

Heat 2;

In the second $50,000 qualifying heat, star trotter Keystone Del proved why he was the series favourite with his sensational front-running victory in track record time.

Keystone Del ($1.30 Fav) led from his inside draw and proved too strong for Kiwi raider Speeding Spur ($4.10) who sat without cover throughout while Kyvalley Blur ($20.70) filled third place after sitting in the trail.

Prepared by Brent Lilley and handled by Anthony Butt, Keystone Del recorded sectionals of 29.3, 29.2, 27.6 and 27.8 seconds.

The mile rate was a staggering 1:53.7 – shaving almost a full second off his previous track record at 1:54.5.

Also advancing to the final from this heat was former European trotter Daryl Boko.