Dexter takes lead in World Driving Champs

Seven heats of the harness racing World Driving Championship were run in the city of Wagga Wagga, situated 455 kilometres south of Sydney.  Wagga Wagga is the state’s largest inland city and is an important agricultural, military and transport hub of Australia.  The Wagga Wagga harness racing track is 823 metres in circumference.

Tonight the track was the venue of the Dexter Dunn show, as the leading New Zealand reinsman roared back into Championship contention with a dominant display winning the first three heats.

Dexter Dunn’s patience was rewarded in heat six as he sat midfield and watched his rivals tire in the late stages.  Dexter Dunn made his move on Miss Ponder a 50/1 chance in the final lap and she was able to hold off a late challenge from France’s Pierre Vercruysse driving Rob The Bank and  Knud Monster behind G K Galleon.  Mika Forss continued his point accumulation with a fourth driving Chloes Venture.

The seventh heat saw Dexter Dunn victorious driving The Baggy Green, in what many New Zealanders would see as an ironic win.  New Zealand and Australia are fierce enemies on the cricket field and ‘The Baggy Green’ is the name given to the hat worn by Australian cricketers.  Frenchman Pierre Vercruysse secured another second placing when he brought Holy Camp Girl with a late run.  Knud Monster completed the same driver trifecta as the first heat when Itsallaboutex ran third.  Norway’s Vidar Hop finished fourth on Sokys Bigbullet.             

It was three in a row when Dexter Dunn shot Shes A Jackson straight to the front from barrier one in the eighth heat of the Championship.  USA driver Tim Tetrick attempted to put some midrace pressure on the leader but it was to no avail as Dexter Dunn raced away for another win.  The good night continued for France with Tony Le Beller finishing second on Hezbuyindiamonds.  Australia’s Chris Alford saved plenty of ground on Ruato Bay and grabbed third while Denmark’s Knud Monster was fourth.

The ninth heat was somewhat of an upset with Canadian Jody Jamieson lifting 20/1 Justasdangerous over the line after being clearly headed on the turn.  Jody Jamieson took up the early lead but was passed in the back straight by Chris Alford and Billy Branach with more than 400 metres to go.  To his credit Jody Jamieson refused to panic and urged his horse late to hold off Classiemahon driven by Finland’s Mika Forss.  Tony Le Beller finished third behind Samuel Thomas while Chris Alford and Billy Branach held onto fourth.

The tenth heat saw ‘The Bionic Man’ Tim Tetrick at his best with the American driving Weliveinhope straight to the front.  Tim Tetrick dictated the speed through the middle stages and was able to kick away turning for home and won as he liked.  Dexter Dunn brought Mcqueen Regal with a well timed run for second boosting him further up the leaderboard while Mika Forss finished third on Claire Elizabeth after racing behind the leader.  Fourth in the race was Vidar Hop driving Lettucesomewhere.

Tim Tetrick made it two in a row when he brought Glenburn Addy with a well timed run to win the eleventh heat.  Dexter Dunn continued to bank points when he finished second on Expensive Greeting.  It was a patient drive and he only got clear late but was never a winning threat.  Knud Monster finished third behind Holy Camp Wendy with Tony Le Beller fourth, driving Itsallaboutlu.

Tony Le Beller brought up his second win of the Championship in the final heat of the night.  Tony Le Beller took Harlequin Bromac straight to the front and despite being challenged late by Dexter Dunn and Fake Art, he was able to hold on.  Dexter Dunn’s effort to finish second saw the New Zealander move to the top of the Championship after starting the evening in ninth position.  Vidar Hop finished third driving Lettuceplayginger while Pierre Vercryusse ensured the French finished on a good note running fourth with Annies Desire.

 

Name

Point Score After 12 Heats

Dexter Dunn

111

Tim Tetrick

97

Tony Le Beller

91

Mika Forss

89

Chris Alford

85

Knud Monster

69

Jody Jamieson

64

Vidar Hop

64

Pierre Vercryusse

63

Guillermo Adrover

59

Peter McMullen

Australia (travelling Reserve)

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Tim Tetrick and travelling reserve Peter McMullen both picked up catch drives in the non Championship races finished third.

The drivers will spend tonight in Wagga Wagga before travelling to Bathurst tomorrow for another four heats.  Bathurst is 200 kilometres west of Sydney.

Greg Hayes | Media Coordinator | Harness Racing New South Wales |

 

 

Posted: Wed 25 Feb 2015

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