Both divisions of the rich Tontine Pacing and Trotting Finals sponsored by the Ararat Colonial Lodge Motel were held at Wednesday night's Ararat harness meeting on and what exciting races they were.
Melton based trainer Adam Kelly who can do nothing wrong at present, snared the $30,000 Pacers Final restricted to C2 & C3 class horses over 2195 metres with Kiwi-bred In The Pocket/Seefeel Believe 4Y0 gelding Seefeel Pocket.
Driven on this occasion by Gavin Lang as regular reinsman Rod Petroff is serving a suspension, Seefeel Pocket was sent forward three wide from gate five with both the favourite Our Arlington (barrier 2) and Tandragee (4) inside him vying for the front running, with Our Arlington winning out.
Restrained to ease in behind the leader, Seefeel Pocket obtained a beaut passage and was always travelling kindly.
Extricated to the outside of Our Arlington on turning, Seefeel Pocket proved too strong over the concluding stages for the leader, with Grizz Wyllie weakening to finish third after moving forward from outside the front row to park in the open, giving Tandragee the coveted one/one.
With sections of 30.6, 30.6, 29.5 and 29.4 for the last mile, Seefeel Pocket returned a mile rate of 1-58.8 for the journey.
The $16,000 Trotters Final for T0 or better class over 2570 metres went the way of Huntly (Bendigo) trainer/driver Anthony Crossland’s 5Y0 Sundon/Susan Sells gelding Bargain Basement, yet another New Zealander.
Coming from the 10 metre mark, Bargain Basement kept on lobbing one-one, with several runners taking turns to obtain the front running – first of all Allawart Toby, then Trappers Puzzle and Who Else, while two of the strong fancies Michael Thomas and The Rolls Roy both made mistakes shortly after the start.
Easing three wide off the back of Calder Strike approaching the home turn, Bargain Basement joined Who Else on straightening, gaining the upper hand in the shadows of the post to score in a rate of 2-08.3 from a game Who Else which did a fair amount of work through the middle stages, with Trappers Puzzle third.
Click here to view results from Wednesday night's Ararat meeting