It’s a case of déjà vu.
Just like last season, another leg of the 2019/20 APG Trotting Masters and it’s another different winner with classy mare Dance Craze storming to victory in tonight’s (Saturday) Gr.1 $100,000 Hygain Australian Trotting Grand Prix at TABCORP Park, Melton.
And as a result, the race to be crowned the ‘Trotting Master’ is still very much alive.
With four legs staged to date, Dance Craze joins Habibi Inta, Winterfell and Tornado Valley as winners of Trotting Masters events this season with only two legs remaining.
Entering the Grand Prix, star performer Tornado Valley had a chance to put a gap on his rivals if successful and punters rallied around the multiple feature race winner from his ideal front-line draw.
But Kiwi raider Temporale matched Tornado Valley early and initially repelled the early challenge for the premier position through a strong lead time of 44.1 seconds for the 2240m mobile start event.
With an early move made by Sydney performer Tough Monarch, Kate Gath kicked up with Tornado Valley and applied more pressure to Temporale which forced the early leader to take cover behind the race favourite.
Tornado Valley settled nicely into the lead role while moves kept coming, Dance Craze quickly moved forward to park out before handing over to Wobelee who moved alongside of Tornado Valley.
The first half of the final mile was covered in splits of 33 and 30.1 seconds.
Entering the back straight, Tornado Valley travelled strongly with Wobelee matching him on his outside while most rivals bided their time.
The third quarter was posted in 28.9 seconds.
In the home straight, Tornado Valley was holding Wobelee but Dance Craze was in full flight with her finishing burst and quickly overhauled the favourite with Temporale holding third after using the passing lane.
It was a decisive victory from Dance Craze ($8.30), drawing clear to score by 3.5 metres over Tornado Valley ($2.40) with a further 6.7 metres back to Temporale ($4.10) in third.
The final quarter was timed in 28.4 seconds while the mile rate was 1:58.2 – well outside the race record of 1:56.0 which belongs to 2016 winner Keystone Del.
Prepared by Anton Golino and handled by Glen Craven, the Muscle Hill – La Coocaracha mare improved on her effort from last season when a runner-up behind Big Jack Hammer.
Dance Craze has now claimed three Gr.1 events following on from her triumphs in the 2019 Great Southern Star and the 2017 Breeders Crown 3yo Fillies Final.
Golino has now prepared 16 Gr.1 winners while Craven has now driven 6 Gr.1 winners.
The $100,000 H R Fisken & Sons Anzac Cup is scheduled for April 24 while the $150,000 Reharvest Rowe Cup will take place the following week, both events taking place at Alexandra Park, Auckland.