Brilliant pacer Lennytheshark joined an elite group of pacers after securing his second $200,000 Allied Express Victoria Cup at TABCORP Park, Melton tonight (Saturday).
Starting at near unbackable odds after landing the coveted inside draw in the 2240m mobile start feature, the eight-year-old Four Starzzz Shark entire led throughout defeating Ameretto and Tiger Tara in a time of 1:53.2.
Lennytheshark joins dual winners Popular Alm, Bag Limit and Desperate Comment while Koala King is a triple Victoria Cup champion.
His maiden success came back in 2016.
Prepared by David Aiken and handled by master reinsman Chris Alford, the $2.8 million earner led comfortably while Tiger Tara and Major Crocker both pushed forward from the wide draws.
The lead time was covered in 44 seconds.
With less than a mile to run, Lennytheshark led from Major Crocker while Yayas Hot Spot and Tiger Tara secured handy positions before My Field Marshal quickly raced around the field three wide to park outside the favourite with a just over a lap to run.
The first half was covered in splits of 29.5 and 28.3 seconds.
Entering the back straight, Lennytheshark travelled powerfully while there was little or no movement from rivals back in the pack.
The back straight quarter was timed in 28.1 seconds.
Approaching the final turn, Alford appeared to be swinging off Lennytheshark while My Field Marshal and Yayas Hot Spot struggled with the pressure.
Lennytheshark ($1.20 fav) raced clear and scored nicely by 3.6 metres from a game Ameretto ($22.90) who used inside runs after sitting three back against the pegs while a gallant Tiger Tara ($20.70) was a further neck away after closing hard deeper off the track for third.
The final quarter was posted in 27.7 seconds while the last mile was covered in 1:53.6.
It was Cup victory number three for Alford after previous triumphs with Golden Reign (1995) and Lennytheshark (2016).
“We burned hard for the first 100m and then he just relaxed and felt awesome throughout, we had it under control a long way out.” Alford said.
The win was Lennytheshark’s 36th from 69 career starts, his next target will be the Inter Dominion series in Perth starting next month.
The 2016 Australian Pacing Gold Grand Circuit champion gained maximum points with his victory tonight and looms as genuine threat for the title once again this season.
The next leg of the Grand Circuit takes place in Christchurch at Addington with the running of the $800,000 New Zealand Cup on November 14.
Owner Kevin Riseley is chasing further success with defending champion Lazarus whom he races with Phil and Glenys Kennard and Trevor Casey.
Riseley shares ownership of Lennytheshark with his son Martin.