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Magic finish at trots

Monday, 15th January, 2018

The connections of Mister Magic Man and race sponsors after the feature race of Saturday’s harness meeting. The connections of Mister Magic Man and race sponsors after the feature race of Saturday’s harness meeting.

By Tyler Hannigan

It was a windy night on Saturday as the Broken Hill Harness Club paid tribute to former servants of the club who have passed away. 

The night started at 8pm with the Arthur Basten Memorial over 1900m and it was pre-race favourite Tianischoice, trained by Alan Rennie and driven by Ashleigh Camilleri, who proved too strong and won by over three meters from Shez From Heaven and Winkle Knutt.

Race two was delayed twice, firstly due to the track needing extra maintenance and then after Camilleri was thrown from Racey Blue Chip just prior to the start.

When the race finally did get underway it was marred by a number of horses galloping and saw the grey Call Me Tom run away to a dominant 11-meter win. Onya Kate finished runner up, just in front of The Sorceress.

The third race of the night, named in honour of the late Leesa Jane McInnes, was the feature race of the meeting and did not disappoint. 

Colorada Boy was a late scratching but a field of eight runners produced a great race and an exciting finish as Serene Change and Mister Magic Man fought it out along the straight. 

After a review of the photo finish, Anthony Adams’ Mister Magic Man was eventually declared the winner by a nose. Roll The Seven ended up third.

The penultimate race of the night was the Kerry Halliday Memorial and was won by Jason McGinty’s Hionjolt, driven by Luke Watson. Giggling Goldie was second and Euston Flyer third.

Due to the earlier delays, race five didn’t get underway until 11pm and a majority of the crowd had given in to the cold and windy conditions but those who stuck around saw a brilliant race. 

The undefeated Lifeplusten made the early running before being tackled by King Of Dreams with a lap and a quarter to go. Fineandsunny then made a strong challenge as the horses rounded the final corner and looked set to run over the top but King Of Dreams found another gear to hold off the challenge and storm home to a terrific win. Fineandsunny finished second and Lifeplusten held on for third.

Saturday night also saw the first competitive drives of Michael Pearce after recently completing his trial period and said that getting into driving was inevitable.

“I had to do 10 trials before I could qualify to race and managed that pretty well because we have Artois Stone who is a good-mannered horse on the track,” Pearce said.

“My family on both sides have had horses for years as have I for the last four years,” Pearce explained.

“And I’ve wanted to get into racing as I really enjoy racing on the track. It’s pretty much in the blood.”

While Pearce is qualified to race, he still has a way to go before being able to drive on the metropolitan tracks.

“Before getting on track I had to apply to HarnessNSW for my C Grade approval which allowed me to drive in trials,” he said.

“And then after the 10 trials it goes up to B Grade which allows me to drive in proper races but only on country tracks such as Broken Hill or Mildura. The next step is to qualify to race on metropolitan tracks but I’ll get there in the end.”

While Pearce wants to continue driving, he holds loftier long term goals.

“Since we only have a small season here (in Broken Hill) you have to hope that you do a good enough job to take your horses to Mildura,” Pearce said.

“From there if you do well you might get asked to drive for other trainers. I also hope to have my own horses as I’m also a B Grade trainer.

“My ultimate goal is to have my own stud farm, to be able to break in horses. That’s the end goal.”

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