SIX-year-old mare Just Wantano continues to race in career best form by beating some well credentialled rivals in the feature race at the Greenwald Paceway last Friday evening.
It was the first leg of a winning double for trainer Rebecca East and driver Jason Lee and a perfect Lee drive ensured favourite backer’s collected in the George Kay Memorial.
Lee was lucky to be still driving after being unseated in the opening event in a fall 400 metres after the start, being extremely fortunate not to be injured and he was able to continue his driving commitments.
That was Just Wantano’s second win from only three starts this campaign after being successful at Maryborough a fortnight earlier.
With a battle for supremacy early in the race between Kingofthestars and Mighty Regal, Lee was able to park Just Wantano ($3.20-$2.60) in the ideal one-one sit before surging to the lead on the final turn.
“We will continue to support the Mount Gambier club as much as possible” happy Victorian part owner of the winner Nathalie Tash stated post race.
“Full credit must go to our trainer Rebecca East as Just Wantano has not missed a placing this time in work.”
An excellent effort from the runner up Bee Gee’s Bandit at his first run for two months to run home strongly from second last in the final lap.
Also securing doubles on the seven event program were the father/son combination of Barry Finnis (trainer) and driver Jayson Finnis.
ALL IN WITH A CHANCE
Patrons witnessed a rare sight at the Greenwald Paceway in the trotter’s handicap when all five runners were a winning chance with 200 metres to run.
Furthermore, all of the runners had maintained their gait until that stage, making for a splendid spectacle.
Victory went to the nine-year-old Keepthedream ($3.10-$2.50) from the Balmoral stable of Janet Exell in the closest finish of the night.
Driver David Drury elected to wait and make use of the sprint lane at the top of the straight and it paid dividends when Keepthedream grabbed the lead in the shadows of the post to prevail by half a neck.
The veteran pacer has never raced better as all three career victories have come in the past two months.
Lee and East completed their doubles in the maiden pace when it was lucky start number 13 for Reggieschoice.
Lee was able to lead without any problems from barrier three and for a field of maidens, the mile rate (1.59.5) and last half (58.9) were better than most other races on the night.
THERE was plenty of action in the opening event when the second favourite Bezza fell when travelling in second spot some 400 metres after the start.
With the other eight runners in close proximity, Lee virtually fell into their paths and was immediately attended to by first aid officials.
Both Gnotuk and Hilldale Sunrise suffered severe interference and took no further part in the race.
The race was virtually presented to Renesmae which was left 50 metres in front of her rivals and she was untroubled to win by 11 metres.
That was the end of the good news for her driver Jayson Finnis who was called before the stewards as part of their inquiry into the incident.
Finnis pleaded guilty to a charge of causing interference to Bezza and was suspended from driving for 21 days.
“That’s a hat trick of wins for me now here at Mount Gambier,” elated local trainer Cheryl Jacob stated after Captain Snoozzze took out the C1 pace.
Jacob is only relatively new to the training caper and had her first winner at the final meeting of the 2017/18 season here with Keayang Trumpet.
Since then, Captain Snoozzze ($5-$3.80) has had two starts here this current season for as many wins and he enjoyed a good run behind a strong tempo set by the leader So Bobs Your Uncle.
Driver Mark Phillips made his winning move 300 metres out and the seven-year-old gelding never looked like being run down in the home straight.
Yankee C J met with good support ($34-$14) before running fourth.
LAST at the 700 metres, Crocodile Princess staged one of the better efforts on the night to win her first race at start number seven in the C0 pace.
A solid second favourite all the way through betting, Crocodile Princess ($2.30-$2.60) maintained a long, sustained run to complete the doubles for Barry and Jayson Finnis.
The runner-up About To Shine ($1.50-$1.75) seemingly had every chance after latching on to a trail home out three wide in the final lap.
Jewell Of Safari was specked from $61 into $23 and gave his backers a good sight by leading before boxing on for third.
As a two-year-old Bubbles And Cheese took all before her to win some top juvenile races in Adelaide.
The chestnut filly returned to racing in the Barry McIntyre Memorial for three year olds and defied a betting drift to lead all the way.
Driver Robert Mann was able to cross and lead from barrier five to help her cause and the victory was somewhat fitting as Mann was associated in the harness racing game with Barry McIntyre.
“It is the second time we have won a Barry McIntyre Memorial,” thrilled part owner Zita Maloney said following the presentation ceremony.
There is one more local meeting before Christmas, it being a Sunday twilight fixture on December 23 when Father Christmas will make his annual visit.
Drive of the night: Jason Lee (Just Wantano).
Black booker: Bee Gee’s Bandit (looks set for another good campaign).