A great night for Ian Dobson
On a night that was deisgnated to showcase the talent of tomorrow, it was fitting that one of the "good old guys" of the game in Ian Dobson, was back in the birdcage on two occasions. Ian has been a long-time stable client and his connection with Robert was highlighted with the victory of Mainland Banner in the 2005 New Zealand Cup. He continues to be a great supporter of the stable and of harness racing in general.
The first winner for Ian was his 3yr old colt Return To Sender, by Mach Three out of Mainland Banner. While this colt had raced against the best at two, he was still an 11 start maiden going into tonight's race having recorded two 2nds and four 3rds in his first campaign, including 2 placings at Group Three level. His resuming run last week was a solid run and clearly readied him well for tonight's contest. Drawn out a nine, Dexter threw caution to the wind early on crossing easily to lead after 200m.
Return To Sender crosses to lead after 200m
Having assumed the pacemaking duties, Dexter rated the colt to perfection. Running home his last 800m in 58.3 and 400 in 27.6, he recorded an overall time of 3.15.9, winning comfortably by 3 lengths from his very unlucky stablemate Nikola who was late getting clear for John. This was a very encouraging performance and may be enough to convince connections to have a crack at next Friday's Sires Stakes heat.
Job done in style. Return To Sender after recording his maiden victory.
A few races later and the familiar lime green colours were again seen to the fore. Blazin N Cullen showed how far he has come this season as a racehorse with a narrow, but emphatic nose victory over the 1950m. A horse that needed to be driven a little "pretty" last season, he has shown that he can now tough it out as good as any.
After beginning well from a nice draw, John was obliged to sit in the breeze from the 1400m as the favourite Pass Them By took the lead and dictated. From the 800m it was race on and the "Blaze" continued to serve it up to the favourite. A mighty duel ensued well into the home straight, before Comply Or Die joined in at the 100m with the cold shot at them. Not to be denied though, John got the best out of his guy, in a driving nose, nose finish. The closing sectionals of 800m 56.0 and 400m in 26.0, add further weight to the quality of the performance. The overall time of 2.21.8 was very good on a blustery night. This was Blazin N Cullen's 8th win from 31 starts, for stake-earnings just under $70,000. He looks set for a very competitive campaign over cup week.
Blazin N Cullen and Johnny after win 8 of his career.
Posted: Fri 18 Oct 2013