Bendigo was the venue for Saturday (April 7) harness racing in Victoria, with a mammoth 12 event program taking place highlighted by four first round heats of the Australian Pacing Gold for Two Year Old Fillies over 1650 metres, all dominated by favourites.
Married To The Mob a daughter of Aces N Sevens and Desperatehousewife bred and raced by Sloys Company Pty Ltd, trained at Melton by Susan Hunter and driven by Greg Sugars had an easy all of the way victory from outside the front row in the first heat held (Heat 2 – Heat 1 had been held at Albion Park Q’land on April 3).
Having little difficulty in leading, Courageousnquick coasted to the wire 6.5 metres in advance of two first starters - David Murphy’s Mcrita (three back the markers) and Maree Caldow’s Electrastar which trailed the winner after leading out from gate two and moving to the outside on turning. The mile rate 1-58.8.
Undefeated Courageousnquick (Courage Under Fire/Rigaleto Franco) bred by Bill and Anne Anderson of Lauriston Bloodstock Pty Ltd toyed with her rivals in Heat 3.
Raced by a big group of owners headed by former journalist Neale Donnelley, Courageousnquick trained at Melton by ex-Kiwi Brent Lilley who also holds a share of her, led throughout from gate three with Rod Petroff in the sulky to score by 3.7 metres in 1-59.1 from Slice Of Life on debut which trailed the winner from the pole, with Jodila (four back the markers) using the sprint lane for third.
Drouin co-trainers Gary and Debbie Quinlan prepared Bettors Delight/Top Tempo filly Musical Delight to snare the 3rd Heat much to the delight of Bill & Anne Anderson who enjoyed a most satisfying evening.
Driven by Nathan Jack, Musical Delight had nothing more than a “stroll in the park” to lead throughout from gate four in accounting for Lavish Art from near last and Big Red Cheval (three back the markers) in a rate of 2-00.3.
Bit Of A Babe (Bettors Delight/Big Time Babe) was another all of the way winner for Bannockburn’s Geoff Webster and stable reinsman Emmett Brosnan in the 5th and Final Heat.
Having little difficulty in leading from gate two, Bit Of A Babe never appeared to be in any danger, winning by 1.9 metres in 1-59.1 from My Lishi which trailed and Soho Winslet which followed the pair.
** Semi-Finals will be held at Tabcorp Park Melton on April 20.