The Mister Zion fairytale continued on Friday night at Melton's Tabcorp Park.
Mister Zion continued his extraordinary transformation at Tabcorp Park Melton last night taking out the Cammaroto Poultry Trotters Handicap for T0+ squaregaiters.
The Geoff Webster trained gelding was a slow but reasonably safe beginner from the stand start however he trailed the bulk of the field for close to a lap from his second-backmark of 30-metres.
Lord Of The Gym ($19.30) found the front early and led at a comfortable pace with second favourite Im Dejazzman ($4.20) working outside the leader for much of the race.
As they went down the back the final time the moves started to come and Don King ($4.50), who gave them a 50 metre start in the handicaps, quickly whipped around the field three-wide to be up with the leaders at the quarter pole.
With Im Dejazzman struggling in the one by one, his main danger, and race favourite, Mister Zion ($2.30fav) slid up three wide to tack on to Don King’s back and work into the race.
From there it looked all but a formality, The seven-year-old loomed up outside of Don King but as he appeared to have the race won, Motu Young Jacob hooked back to the sprint lane and dashed home but in the end the old stager was just too tough.
The race wasn’t over there though. The connections of the second placed trotter quickly fired in a protest against the winner for interference on the point of the home turn. However, stewards decided that Geoff Webster simply held his ground as Motu Young Jacob was trying to push off the peg line.
Sassy Pinevale ($17.20) ran home resolutely for third, beaten just on two-metres but in the wash up Mister Zion claimed the trot in a mile rate of 2:03.1 with a 59.8 last half.
Earlier in the night the Metro Printing Claiming Master’s series got under way and the odds-on favourite in the first heat was the unstoppable Cosmic Under Fire ($1.60).
From barrier four Chris Alford didn’t give punters a worry in the world. After lobbing outside Cincinnati Kid ($10.10), who took the lead son after the start, Alford put it to them as they went for home and although he couldn’t put them away he took control of the race swiftly.
That’s Mister Ali rushed home late but just missed by a short-half-head. Pete Of Pan ($15) had a soft run behind the leader and came on in the straight to run third beaten 1.7-metres.
The race was completed in a quick 1:57.3 mile rate with the last half in a blistering 56.2 which is almost unheard of in the claiming ranks.
The heavily backed Washmepockets ($3.20) may not be that quick but he is most certainly versatile. The Geoff Webster trained son of Washington VC set the scene for the trainers night with a comfortable win in the second of the Metro Printing Claiming Master’s heats.
Mach Ruler ($9.50) took up the early lead from the polemark and that gave Washmepockets a beautiful trail into the race from the inside second-row draw. Catch Your Breath ($1.90), who was expected to win the race after being placed in ever run since the backend of May, had his task made more difficult by the awkward front row draw of six.
With no other option than dropping out and having to do it alone three-wide, Brian Gath took his drive to the lead on the point of the bend. He had given all he could at that point and Washmepockets flashed along the fence to take the race by 2.7-metres in a 1:57.1 mile rate.
The SEW-Eurodrive Pacers Handicap was taken out by an outsider in Galatos ($24.90) who sat parked outside of the Arber ($1.60). The pair squared off at the top of the straight but Galatos proved to strong in the run home to take the race from Our Flyin Jazz ($11.10) and Astral Flight ($62.50), a trifecta which would have left winning punters with a massive smile on their face. Arber finished in a disappointing sixth.
Rounding out the major action from the track last night was Suave Stuey Lombo ($3.60) who returned to form in the Modern Art @ Empire Stallions M1/2 Pace. He may have spent plenty of time in the wilderness following a brilliant juvenile career yet tonight he stamped himself as a classy older horse.
Chris Alford drove the Bettors Delight in a cool, calm and collected fashion, finding the front early then backing off and sprinting home strongly to win by a metre from In Monaco ($3.30) and Toulouse Lautrec ($6.90) who both tried hard. The last quarter proved the quickest of the race in a demanding 27.3.