It was cool and it was very calculated.
That’s the best summation of Speeding Spur following his victory in tonight’s (Friday) Gr.1 $150,000 Reharvest Rowe Cup at Alexandra Park, Auckland – the 100th edition.
The father/son combination of John and Josh Dickie timed their run at the North Island trotting feature with pinpoint accuracy with their much lauded six-year-old entire.
Already a winner of six Gr.1 events prior to tonight, this is the race that the Clevedon based duo desperately cherished and he delivered a comfortable victory defeating Monty Python and Temporale in the 3200m stand-start feature.
Stepping safely and swiftly, young Josh Dickie applied immediate pressure to Monty Python and gained an easy lead soon after the start although outsider The Almighty Johnson briefly challenged within the first 600m of the event.
Race favourite Enghien also began safely but drifted back before settling in the second half of the big field.
The lead time was covered in 2:00.8.
As the field worked inside the final mile, Speeding Spur led the way from Monty Python in the trail but the moves from back in the field were coming with Destiny Jones peeling three-wide which was followed by last week’s Anzac Cup winner Lemond.
The first quarter of the final mile was covered in 32 seconds.
Entering the home straight to reach the bell lap, Ricky May set Enghien alight three-wide while defending champion Temporale tracked up behind him.
Passing the winning post with a circuit left to run, Dickie made the call to allow Enghien to stride clear in front which left Temporale providing cover for Lemond while Monty Python was pushed a spot further back against the pegs.
The second quarter was covered in 29.2 seconds.
With the major players occupying the key front-end positions, the pressure only intensified.
Enghien led the way down the back straight and traveled strongly but his rivals were starting to close the gap.
The third quarter was posted in 29.1 seconds.
Approaching the home straight, Enghien drifted slightly up the track which presented a great passage for Speeding Spur.
With Dickie driving aggressively, Speeding Spur raced clear from a game Temporale who gave strong chase while Monty Python and Lemond started to wind up.
At the finish, Speeding Spur scored by a margin of ¾ length from Monty Python with a further 2 lengths back to Temporale in third placing.
Enghien finished 7th.
The final section was covered in 29.8 seconds.
The overall time was 4:08.2 with the winning mile rate covered in 2:04.8 – well outside of the race record set by Stent three years ago at 4:03.6 (2:02.4).
“This victory is very special and deeply satisfying given what this horse has gone through over the past couple of seasons. He’s incredibly talented and possesses a deep desire to win every time he starts, this is a team effort and many have played a huge role to achieve this dream.” Winning driver Josh Dickie said.
Overall, Speeding Spur has won 20 of his 40 starts with earning close to $800,000.
The victory catapulted Speeding Spur into second place on the Australian Pacing Gold Trotting Masters leaderboard with 108 points while the Victorian trained Sparkling Success gripped to victory with 160 points.