Major Upset In Dominion

17 November 2017 | Chris Barsby

It was an upset of gigantic proportions.

But it was also history in the making.

Talented trotter Amaretto Sun and teenage driver Sheree Tomlinson proved victorious in today’s (Friday) Gr.1 $300,000 Haras des Trotteurs Dominion Handicap at Addington in Christchurch.

Prepared by respected horseman Ken Ford, Amaretto Sun was friendless in the betting and saluted at odds of $91.20 while defeating The Foot Tapper and Monty Python in the 3200m stand-start classic, the biggest trotting event staged in New Zealand and first staged in 1911.

Tomlinson, 19, becomes the first female driver to win the time-honoured trotting feature and showed patience beyond her youthful years when guiding the Sundon gelding to victory.

The pre-race hype focused on Tuesday’s Trotting Free-For-All winner Great Things Happen with many expecting the giant trotter to repeat his crushing victory while the flashy Bordeaux was tipped to be his biggest challenger.

When the strands released, Amaretto Sun pounced on the early lead before releasing The Foot Tapper while Great Things Happen quickly moved forward and tackled for the lead role.

With Great Things Happen controlling the speed, there were little or no moves within the first mile of the event which had punters on good terms with themselves.

The lead time was covered in 2:06.8.

The first move in the race came via Bordeaux who moved three-wide with 1300m to run while Daryl Boko and Dark Horse joined the developing cover.

But Great Things Happen continued to cruise in the leading role and posted sectionals of 29.1 and 29.5 seconds for the first half of the final mile.

Approaching the home turn, Great Things Happen found little when challenged quickly by Bordeaux while The Foot Tapper and Amaretto Sun went to the passing lane with Monty Python and Harriet Of Mot both starting to charge deeper off the track.

At the 100m mark, it was Amaretto Sun who struck the lead while The Foot Tapper, Bordeaux and Monty Python battled hard.

Harriet Of Mot, who almost fell soon after the start, made a break in the final stages and cost itself a certain placing.

At the finish, it was Amaretto Sun who sprinted best to score by over a length from The Foot Tapper with another half-length back to Monty Python in third while Bordeaux finished a close-up fourth.

The final half was covered in splits of 29.4 and 29.7 seconds.

The gross time was 4:04.7 – the mile rate was 2:03.0.

It was well outside of the race record set twelve months earlier when Monbet trotted 4:00.7.

Race favourite Great Things Happen weakened to finish 11th.

"He felt good in the running and has so much speed. It felt amazing," Tomlinson said.

“It’s very special for the family.” She added.

Tomlinson is the granddaughter of Ford and the family has enjoyed tremendous success in recent times with outstanding trotter Marcoola.

The shock result provided Tomlinson with her maiden Group One triumph and it’s a victory she will never forget.

Amaretto Sun's sire Sundon won the Dominion in 1990.

The next leg of the 2017/18 Australian Pacing Gold Trotting Masters takes place at TABCORP Park, Melton on January 27 with the running of the $300,000 Pryde’s Easifeed Great Southern Star.