In a dramatic climax to the 2016/17 Australian Pacing Gold Trotting Masters, emerging stayer Temporale proved triumphant tonight (Friday) in the Gr.1 $156,000 Canam Rowe Cup at Alexandra Park.
Prepared by champion horseman Tony Herlihy, the four-year-old Monarchy gelding finished fast along the passing lane to beat quality mare and race favourite Habibti Ivy and Bordeaux in a driving finish.
The victory provided Herlihy with his 5th success in the event.
Previous winners came via Gee Du Jour (1991), Diamond Field (1994) and One Over Kenny (2007 & 09).
Beginning brilliantly to lead, Temporale was quickly taken on by Habibti Ivy before Prime Power attacked for the premier position.
With Todd Mitchell dictating terms in front with Prime Power, the lead time was covered in 2:07.1 while Habibti Ivy and Temporale both secured soft trips on the inside.
The first half of the final mile was covered in 32.9 and 30.1 seconds.
With little or no pressure applied to Prime Power, the race quickly developed into a sprint home with those close to the marker line holding the advantage.
Heading off the back straight, Prime Power tripped the third quarter in 28.8 seconds while Habibti Ivy and Temporale sat poised waiting on the passing lane.
In the straight, Habibti Ivy quickly raced to the lead but Temporale was coming fast deep into the sprint lane and scored by a neck margin at the finish with a further length away to Bordeaux in third.
The final quarter was timed in 28.8 seconds.
The Cup was covered in 4:07.9 – a mile rate of 2:04.6, well outside of the race record of 4:03.6 which is held by Stent who set the mark in 2015.
“He’s a nice little trotter that got away perfectly and ended up with easy trip on the inside, he sprinted really well in the straight and it’s a pleasing victory.” Herlihy said.
Since returning from a break, Temporale has been placed in four of his five starts which includes two victories.
Temporale has now won 6 of his 18 starts with 9 minor placings while amassing more than $170,000.
Not only were runners vying for the lucrative prizemoney and bragging rights for the North Island’s major trotting event, the race was on to be crowned the Trotting Master for the current term.
Heading into the final leg of the five race series, the leaderboard was a logjam with 11 runners a chance of picking up the title.
Sydney trained performer On Thunder Road led the way with 101 points but connections elected to bypass the remaining two legs staged in Auckland during the past week leaving the door open for a New Zealander to swoop.
And swoop they did.
With her victory last week in the ANZAC Cup followed by her second placing in the Rowe Cup, flashy mare Habibti Ivy has come from virtual obscurity to be crowned the 2016/17 Trotting Master.
Habibti Ivy is prepared by Paul Nairn.