Sniper Snares Inter Glory

14 December 2019 | Chris Barsby
Ultimate Sniper NZ

Ultimate Sniper NZ

With a simple squeeze of the trigger at the top of the straight, Natalie Rasmussen and Ultimate Sniper raced themselves into the record books.

The pair combined for a historic victory in the Gr.1 $500,000 IRT Inter Dominion Pacing Grand Final at Alexandra Park, Auckland tonight defeating Mach Shard and Thefixer in the 2700m feature.

Ultimate Sniper becomes the first four-year-old since Mark Hanover back in 1991 to clean sweep a traditional series while the victory for Rasmussen propelled to her to the same mark as close friend Brian Hancock with a record equaling five finals.

Hancock landed his quintet with Koala King, Weona Warrior and Our Sir Vancelot (x 3) while Rasmussen won four with her champion pacer Blacks A Fake before tonight’s triumph.

Ultimate Sniper is co-trained by Rasmussen along with partner Mark Purdon and the dynamic duo has now claimed three of the last four series following the victories of Smolda and Lazarus in 2016/17, both staged at Gloucester Park in Perth.

Starting from gate five, Ultimate Sniper began moderately while the Barry Purdon trained trio of On The Cards, Mach Shard and A G’s White Socks all flashing early pace with the latter finding the lead role.

Australian trained pacers Sicario and San Carlo sat handy while Rasmussen allowed Ultimate Sniper to work forward quickly before parking outside the leader with 1700m left to run.

A G’s White Socks continued to dictate the speed with Ultimate Sniper keeping him company while Chase Auckland made the first move three wide with a lap remaining.

Entering the back straight for the final time, Ultimate Sniper quickly moved alongside A G’s White Socks and applied heavy pressure with Chase Auckland deeper off the track while Cruz Bromac and Thefixer followed up in the three-wide line.

But at the top of the home straight, Rasmussen released Ultimate Sniper who responded with a strong kick and bounded clear before fighting off the late closers of Mach Shard and Thefixer.

Ultimate Sniper scored by a neck margin from Mach Shard with a nose separating Thefixer and Cruz Bromac.

The winning time was 3:14.7 – the mile rate was 1:56.0.

“I’ve been lucky enough to drive so many great horses but this is really quite special tonight because I matched Brian’s (Hancock) record,” Rasmussen said.

“And for a four-year-old to do it the way he’s done it – he never had an easy run or anything but he made his own luck – I’m just absolutely rapt for the horse.”

The former dual Derby winner takes his record to 14 wins from 20 starts while his earnings approach $1 million with the promise of plenty more still to come.

His victory also provided champion sire Bettors Delight with his third straight Inter Dominion champion following on from Lazarus and Tiger Tara.

The next leg of the 2019/20 Australian Pacing Gold Grand Circuit will again take place at Alexandra Park with the running of the $250,000 Trillian Trust Auckland Cup on New Year’s Eve.


Related News

8 March 2021
Unknown Son claims Group 3 Jim McNeil Memorial Trotting Championship
Catch up on the week’s harness racing action in our weekly review, thanks to Darren Clayton. THE GOOD The trotting gait in Queensland continues to go from strength to strength. However, the square gaiter may not even be in existence in Queensland were it not for the foresight and generosity of...
8 March 2021
February a red-letter month for Aldebaran Park on and off the race track
We had three Group successes at Melton highlighted by the spectacular wins of comeback hero Tornado Valley NZ (by SKYVALLEY) in the Group 1 Great Southern Star. The gelding hoisted a new track record and a fresh lifetime mark of 1:53.1 for 1720 metres winning the $50,000 elimination, then two hours later,...
8 March 2021
Country Cups: A defining day as Kate's trotter makes it four
Well Defined has taken a stranglehold on the Maori's Idol Trotting Championship after an extraordinary fourth Cup win during yesterday's super Sunday of country cups racing. The Kate Hargreaves-trained trotter added the Wangaratta title to wins at Boort, Terang and Ararat, which - in addition to a second...
8 March 2021
The Hot Seat: What's in store for the King?
The story of this Miracle Mile is more about what lies ahead rather than King Of Swing's win itself. Yes it’s a mighty effort to become the seventh horse to win successive Miracle Miles, but, in retrospect, King Of Swing was a class above his rivals with Lochinvar Art sidelined. He won accordingly....
8 March 2021
Gloucester Park Review Friday 6th March 2021
Record run by Lavra Joe It will take a super three-year-old to beat Lavra Joe in the Sky Channel WA Derby on April 30. That was the message issued by the champion colt when he produced yet another superb performance to score an effortless victory in the $40,000 Caduceus Club Classic at Gloucester Park...
Click for more