Adams triple, but Betro the winner
Monday, 10th December, 2018
By Michael Murphy
Harness racing driver Anthony Adams had a night out at the Rocky Baker Memorial Paceway on Saturday night, scoring three wins and a second place from his four starts.
But the first meeting of Broken Hill harness racing season night belonged to retiring race caller Brad Betro, an outstanding contributor to the sport for more than 40 years.
“I started in my last year of high school, at the age of 14,” Betro told the crowd during an interview broadcast over the PA system between races.
Betro had seen many changes over the years, but none had more impact than a simple alteration to the track.
“The biggest change and the most helpful of them all has been the removal of the running rail and putting in the pegs (in the inside of the track),” he said.
“It has saved a lot of falls over the years.
“The rail had no sort of give in it, and the driver had no way of avoiding any type of contact.”
He said the harness racing club had fields of ten to 12 horses during its heyday.
“We had a lot of falls unfortunately, so the change has made a great difference to Broken Hill racing.”
Betro called the races throughout the night in his usual professional manner, he even coached a young driver after a fall in race three, which was fittingly called The Brad Betro Appreciation Pace.
A galloping Northtoalaska caused a few problems for trainer-driver Michael Pearce, who eventually took a tumble on the far side of the track.
Over the PA system, Betro told Pearce to take it easy and just wait for the ambulance to come to him.
The ambulance officers carefully put Pearce on a stretcher and into the back on the ambulance.
The young driver appeared to escape serious injury after he made an appearance later in the night, holding an ice-pack to his back as he strolled past the grand stand.
Driver Anthony Adams opened up his account in the first race of the night, the Gobell Transport Pace over 1900 metres.
Lifeplusten, also trained by Adams, shot to the front and never looked worried, hitting the post five metres in front of the Donald Pimm-trained Rapacious.
The win was the third for the plucky mare in her five races to date. The Tony-Camilleri-trained Misanthrope came third.
Race two - the Shutterbug/Express Horse Supplies Pace - was another Anthony Adams’ victory, this time he had the reins of Serene Change, trained by Darren McInnes.
Serene Change has had a stellar run since moving to the McInnes stable in December last year. The six-year-old had not won a race under her previous trainer, but notched up her sixth under McInnes on Saturday night. Trainer/driver David Vozlic came second with Weerrook Harry, while Ray Slater steered home the Ashleigh Camilleri-trained Tianischoice for third.
Race three - the Brad Betro Appreciation Pace - was won by trainer-driver David Voslic with Somedan, giving the six-year-old bay gelding eight wins from 39 starts.
Second place was Donald Pimm’s Misperception, driven by Ray Slater, and third was Tommy’s Song, driven and trained by Ashleigh Camilleri.
Race four - the Getting There Excavations Pace - gave Adams his third victory of the night, driving the Darren McInnes-trained Badland Star.
McInnes took charge of Badland Star this year, giving the chestnut gelding a string of starts in Mildura. Saturday’s night win was the first for the six-year-old in 14 starts.
A Good News Day - trained and driven by Ashleigh Camilleri - came third, while the David Vozlic-trained and driven Gwendalion came third.
Race five - the Silver City Express Maiden Pace - was won by David Vozlic, giving the trainer-driver a double for the night. Keyang Sandy’s first win was a massive one, hitting the post 17 metres in front of the Tony Camilleri-trained Distinction, with the Donald Pimm-trained Dribblabill coming third.
Betro finished off calling the five races of the night, and even managed to razzle a couple of hecklers in the last race.
He returned fire to a couple of regulars sitting under the officials’ box.
“It’s good to see the galahs are still here,” Betro quipped.