Chris Alford and Dean Braun combined with Unico Crown on Monday at Geelong.
Former Kiwi four year old gelding Unico Crown, a gelded son of Monarchy and Sunny Gem, was a brilliant winner of the 1st Tontine Heat for Trotters T0 or better over 2570 metres at Geelong on Monday January 27.
Following a narrow defeat by The Boss Man in the $25,000 Central Victorian Trotting Championships at Maryborough a week earlier, Unico Crown with regular reinsman Chris Alford aboard began brilliantly from 10 metres to lead and rated to perfection, left his rivals standing approaching the home turn to score by 20.1 metres in a mile rate of 2-02.7 over Quite A Moment 30 metres (third at Maryborough) and Sunset Invasion the 40 metre equal backmarker.
Trained at Lara by Dean Braun for Tasmanian Todd Struthers, Unico Crown has raced consistently since crossing the Tasman having never missed a place in five outings.
Balliang part-owner/trainer Michael Armstrong scored an upset victory in the www.eventsgeelong.com.au Pace for C0 class over 2100 metres, when five year old P Forty Seven/Lil Sweet Art mare Gabbys Sweetheart greeted the judge at Supertab odds of $43.40.
Making her second race appearanace, Gabbys Sweetheart driven by Kate Gath enjoyed a lovely trip from gate three trailing the heavily backed favourite McRita (gate four), before finishing hard along the sprint lane to score by 2 metres in a rate of 2-00.1 from McRita and Bushi.
The Happy Australia Day 3-Y-0 Pace over 2100 metres was certainly happy for Melton’s Ian Hunter part-owner/trainer of The Gingerbreadman who came from near last to gain the day in a rate of 1-59.2.
Driven by John Justice, The Gingerbreadman (Ponder/Classy Dream) starting from the extreme draw spent most of the race at the rear before being taken three wide in the last lap to follow both Bad Boy Hughie and Bad Boy Brad, with Vader leading from gate three.
Making the home turn six wide, The Gingerbreadman ($28.10) motored to the wire, blousing Bad Boy Brad (lance Justice) by 3.6 metres, with the hot favourite Givemeaspell third after trailing the pacemaker and using the sprint lane to no avail.