Chris Alford guides Wobelee to an impressive win in the Tatlow.
There is nothing shaky about star two-year-old Wobelee, who looks every bit the stable star at Alison Alford’s camp.
Driven by husband Chris, the fledgling son of Down Under Muscles-Tupenny Bit made it back-to-back feature successes at Tabcorp Park Melton tonight, careering away with the Group 2 Alabar Tatlow Stakes.
At the completion of the 2240m trip Wobelee had 16.3 metres to spare over runner-up Smashthemcalder. It was a majestic combination of power and professionalism from the young mover.
“He was really good tonight,” his driver stated post-race.
But for the second time in succession Alford pointed out Wobelee had been “a bit stirred up before the race”.
However, behavioural issues have not been a feature of the two-year-old’s races to date, his manners impeccable while some of his adversaries have struggled to find their feet.
Barrier one didn’t hurt Wobelee’s hopes tonight, either, Alford able to hold the front and control the tempo, eventually posting a mile rate of 2:01.3.
Owner-breeder Colin Murphy said Wobelee’s manners held him in good stead.
“They’ve just got to trot,” he said.
“They’re two-year-olds and a lot of them are not ready. This horse has a particular gate that makes him not gallop as much. One thing with the trotters, they’ve got to have a good gate,” he surmised.
Meanwhile, although most punters were struggling in the moments after Race 5, the Allied Express Pace, trainer-driver John Justice was beaming.
His Gotta Go Cullect-Jill Forsa six-year-old Gotta Go Henry had just wired its rivals in the 1720m M1 contest at rank outsider odds of $67.10. Justice issued a salute at the line.
“He’s been a marvellous horse,” he said before adding: “It shows you there is a god because I’ve been down on my luck a bit. I was sad when I saw the barrier draw at the start of the week, but he showed a lot of speed and a lot of heart today, so I’m really happy with him.”
History shows if Gotta Go Henry is able to head off his rivals early then there might as well be a continuous white line painted up the stretch, because he’s a hard horse to overtake.
Tonight he dashed around in 1:54.8 for the 1720m sprint trip, with Hoo Nien chasing gamely in second and Perspective, who most thought would lead from the pole, battling into third after travelling leader's back.
Speaking of horses bouncing back to form, eight-year-old It Is I-Glenlyon Glad gelding It Is Billy refound winning touch in the TAB.com.au Pace.
The Mick Barby-trained, Anne Maree Conroy-driven fan-favourite went 1:56.9 for the 2240m trip to overpower Bad Billy by a head, with Cold Major half a neck away in third place.
The win broke the longest run of outs for It Is Billy in his long and illustrious career, which has seen him capture a Geelong Cup and multiple metro free-for-all races.
“Every time you come back from a spell they’re a bit older and it takes them a bit longer to get them up against the hard ones,” Conroy said.
“It has taken two or three runs to find his fitness and to show he’s got it again tonight.”
Other winners at Melton were Stagger Lee (Major In Art-Lets Go Cullen) in the 2240m DNR Logistics Pace for Maree and John Caldow in 1:57.0, Whirily School (Courage Under Fire-Mayhappen) in the 1720m Empire Stallions Vicbred Platinum Metropolitan Pace Final for Emma Stewart and Greg Sugars in 1:55.0, Our Dreamlover (Love You-Dreamlands Nancy) for Matt Craven and Chris Svanosio in the Aldebaran Park Trotters Handicap over 2240m in 2:02.4, Anton Golino-trained Glenferrie Burn (Muscle Hill-Adellas Dash) in the Group 2 Bacardi Lindy Trot for four and five-year-old mares, Josh Aiken driving the mare to victory in 2:00.1, and Vinland (American Ideal-Sagrantino) for Emma Stewart and Mark Pitt in the Own the Moment Pace Final over 2240m in 1:57.6.
The night’s feature race, the Noel Simpson Memorial Trotters Oaks, went to Une Belle Allure for Golino and Zac Phillips.
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