Dasher VC should give Lewis his fourth Spring Pace win
19 September 2012
by Ken Casellas
Champion reinsman Chris Lewis is set to maintain his dominance on the Ross North Homes Spring Pace by driving the brilliant New Zealand-bred gelding Dasher VC to victory in the $21,000 event at Gloucester Park on Friday night.
Lewis won the inaugural Spring Pace behind Commander Whitby in 2006 before winning the feature event with Sneakyn Down Under in 2009 and Has The Answers in 2010.
Dasher VC will start from the outside barrier (No. 7) on the front line in the 2100m Spring Pace, but the six-year-old has the class to overcome this disadvantage.
Lewis is likely to adopt similar tactics which enabled Dasher VC to score an effortless three-length victory over Saucy Legend in the 2506m New Seasons Pace last Friday week when the gelding started from the outside barrier in a small field of seven.
In that race Lewis restrained Dasher VC at the start and the gelding settled down in last position before being sent forward, three wide, after 470m. Dashed VC moved outside the pacemaker Mysta Magical Mach 700m after the start and he relaxed in the breeze before getting his head in front 300m from home and then charging away from his rivals to win effortlessly from Saucy legend, Mysta Magical Mach and Can Return Fire after sprinting over the final 800m in a sizzling 56.7sec.
At his previous start, a fortnight earlier, Dasher VC, trained at Capel by Andrew de Campo, sustained a strong three-wide burst from the rear with 1300m to travel to win from Cromac Johnny and Sneakyn Down Under in the 2506m August Cup when he covered the final 800m in 56.9sec.
Mysta Magical Mach, who is racing with good spirit but without showing any real brilliance, will start from the No. 4 barrier and Morgan Woodley, who will resume in the sulky behind the eight-year-old, is likely to attempt to get to an early lead.
Woodley opted to drive Banana Dana in preference to Mysta Magical Mach in the Media Guild Cup last Friday night when Banana Dana led and won easily from Can Return Fire and Sneakyn Down Under. Mysta Magical Mach, driven by Matt White, worked hard in the breeze before wilting to fourth.
White will drive the de Campo-trained Lombo Navigator, who will start from the No. 6 barrier on the front line. Lombo Navigator has been freshened up since he had a tough run in the breeze and faded to sixth in the August Cup four Fridays ago. That followed fighting seconds behind Sneakyn Down Under at his two previous outings.
Grinjaro, who started from barrier five when he enjoyed a good passage, one-out and one-back, before finishing strongly to win the Spring Pace from Lombo Navigator a year ago, will again start from the No. 5 barrier.
His recent form for octogenarian owner-trainer Ken White has been good and he will have admirers. At his latest outing, three Fridays ago, he dashed to the front 500m after the start and set the pace before finishing a game half-length second to Sneakyn Down Under over 2100m.
Saucy Legend, prepared by leading city trainer Gary Hall sen., has finished solidly when placed at his past two starts and he should obtain a soft run from the inside of the back line.