Thursday, 16th April, 2015
By Patrick Reincke
Local harness racing driver Matt Schembri recorded his first interstate win last Saturday night in Port Pirie.
Schembri drove Bronze Destiny in the Laucke Mills Pace (Sky 2) on the weekend and secured the win by just half a head at the finish line.
Schembri had three wins in Broken Hill prior to the Port Pirie triumph and he said the race was very tight.
“She was pretty close ... there was three of us across the line,” he said.
“I seemed pretty confident that I had my head in front, but you never know.
“I asked the other drivers to see how they went and they didn’t know either!”
The race came down to a photo finish and all three drivers waited anxiously for the results to be confirmed.
“I was just hoping I got through.”
After a very anxious three minute wait, the photo showed Bronze Destiny had her nose across the line first and Schembri had his first interstate win as a driver.
“It was such a relief to get across the line interstate.”
Bronze Destiny started the race behind the number one horse in Android.
“We knew Android would have a lot of gate speed so were pretty confident he would hold the lead over the 1600,” Schembri said.
“We knew we’d get the run of the race behind him.”
At the 800 metre mark the front runners edged away from Bronze Destiny and looked to be breaking away.
“They kicked away around the 800 mark, but we stayed behind them, didn’t chase too hard and they came back to us.”
With 300 to go, Schembri got into the sprint lane and made his move down the final straight.
Android was holding strong and Hilltop Raider made it a very tight trifecta.
Fortunately, Schembri was the one who crossed the line first to record a milestone win.
Prior to the nail biting run, the gelding was not stressed at any moment and, according to Schembri, even fell asleep in the lead up to the race.
Schembri works alongside mentor Michael Honson and Honson was very pleased with Destiny’s placid mindset ahead of the race.
“He was very calm this time down,” he said.
From the outset, Schembri and Honson were certain Destiny could clench a victory in Port Pirie.
“We were pretty confident going into it and we had a few dollars on him,” Schembri said.
Their confidence was rewarded with Destiny running the second quickest of the night.
Bronze Destiny has had a history of clutch wins with many photo finishes in his track record.
This one was no exception and he will look to do it again when he, Schembri and Honson head to Mildura on April 28.