By Len Baker
Kilmore Racing Club celebrated the first of two memorial nights on Saturday, remembering many the district’s trainers and drivers who had enjoyed success on the track over the years.
The action-packed night started with The Bob Knight Memorial 2022 Pace, over 2180 metres.
The victor was Tell All-Celestial Diamond seven-year-old Cestial Gossip, for Myrniong trainer Jess Tubbs.
Driven by the stable’s Bailey McDonough, Celestial Gossip spent little petrol to take the lead away from Stanbyme shortly after the start and rated well, recorded a head margin over Nulla Vale trainer/driver Steve Cleave’s tough gelding Mirakuru, which raced outside him most of the way.
Allshookup was third 5.2 metres away after being checked at the start. The mile rate 1-56.1.
The Roger Reeves Memorial 2022 Winter Trotters Cup (1st Heat) over 2180 metres saw Romsey trainer Chris Svanosio’s ever-reliable seven-year-old Kyvalley Finn return to the winner’s list for the first time since February.
Driven by the stable’s Ross Payne, the Skyvalley-Kyvalley Paris gelding trailed both Majestic Chick, which had moved off the back of Aldebaran Kiri.
Kyvalley Finn eased three wide on turning to run home best and score by 2.5 metres from the fast finishing Sultan Sass in a rate of 2-02.9. Aldebaran Kiri used the sprint lane for third 1.4 metres back, with Kyvalley Chichy fourth after moving to race parked.
Chris Svanosio was to make it a double after driving Trixton-Justa Phoenix gelding Arcee Phoenix to nab the almost unbackable favourite Cravache Dor in the last bound to take the 2180 metre Don Dove Memorial 2022 3Y0 Trotters Mobile.
Leading out from the pole, Arcee Phoenix was restrained to allow Cravache Dor to assume control.
But to the surprise of all, Arcee Phoenix, after easing off his back in the straight, made a last stride lunge to record a head victory. Ebonys Avenger ran on from the rear for third, nine metres back. The mile rate 2-01.4.
Riddell trainer/driver Chris Lang’s four-year-old Orlando Vici-Belle Galleon gelding Ollivici has returned from a spell in sparkling style and after a first up victory at Geelong a week earlier, was outstanding in taking the Leli and Mary Mifsud Memorial 2022 Winter Trotters Cup (2nd Heat).
Using plenty of petrol to retain the lead from the pole, Ollivici was tackled strongly by Parisian Artiste, which hung rather badly, allowing Ollivici to kick away on straightening and register a most impressive 6.6 metre victory over Parisian Artiste, who was far from disgraced in a 2-00.1 mile rate. Zarem was third 1.2 metres back.
The Ken (Snowy) Chapman Memorial 2022 Pace over 1690 metres was a stroll in the park for Emma Stewart’s Somebeachsomewhere-Trebla Trebla colt Khafaji with Nathan Jack in the sulky.
Not bustled out from gate six, Khafaji one balanced was sent forward three wide to take the lead away from stablemate Beach Villa on the first turn and once there, coasted to the wire four metres in advance of Beach Villa in a slick rate of 1-55.
The 2180-metre Vin Knight Memorial 2022 Pace was an exciting affair with Bolinda trainer Brent Lilley’s evergreen seven-year-old Somebeachsomewhere-Bettorthankyou gelding Sicario was victorious in a 1-56.3 mile rate.
Driven by Daryl Douglas, Sicario possied mid-field in the moving line from gate four on the second line as polemarker Soxtra held out Accelere.
When Love Ina Chevy eased three wide racing for the bell with Yambukian four wide before joining the leader with a circuit to travel, Sicario immediately latched to his back for a nice ride home.
Easing wide at the straight entrance, Sicario raced to the front halfway up the running and held on to prevail by a half head from Rick Reilly along the sprint lane off the back of the weakening leader, with Yambukian a gigantic third 2.8 metres away. The mile rate 1-56.3.
One of the highlights each year at Kilmore is the Group Three Jet Roofing Winter Championship with the $30,000 Final, over 2180 metres.
This year is was won by Interest Free, a three-year-old Art Major-Picobello gelding raced by Rob Martin and Heather Anderson.
Bred by E and H Anderson Nominees Pty Ltd, trained at Strathfieldsaye by Julie Anderson and driven by Daryl Douglas, Interest Free began fast but couldn’t pass polemarker Monsieur inside him, with Serg Blanco crossing the pair.
Accelerating quickly, Interest Free was gifted the lead and proceeded to lead throughout, accounting for Serg Blanco along the sprint lane by a neck. High Flying Harry was third 4.3 metres away. The mile rate 1-59.
The $24,000 Popular Alm Sprint for open class over 1690 metres named after Kilmore’s champion pacer went to the odds-on favourite Honolua Bay, an exciting five-year-old gelded son of Somebeachsomewhere and National Gallery, bred and raced by Lauriston Bloodstock, managed by Anne Anderson.
Trained by Stewart and driven by Jack, Honolua Bay, from gate two on the second line, settled mid-field in the moving line, as polemarker Jilliby Chevy led before being crossed by Torrid Saint who in turn surrendered to Max Delight.
Moving three wide, racing for the bell to park out for the final circuit, Honolua Bay took a slender lead approaching the home turn to register a 2.9 metre margin in a track record mile rate of 1-53.4.
Better Be The Bomb after trailing the winner was a great second, with Tango Tara (one/two at bell) third 1.3 metres back.
The Bob Cain Memorial 2022 Vicbred Pace over 1690 metres was an upset result when nine-year-old Village Jasper-Our Angel Flight gelding Carload at odds of $34 bloused the odds-on favourite Dessie Gee.
Given an easy time from the pole trailing Dessie Gee, Carload through the agency of the sprint lane finished best to score by 1.8 metres in 1-56.5, with Sunraysia pacer Cemetery Bay running on nicely for third 4.1 metres away. The victory gave Julie Anderson a double on the night.
The Don Logie Memorial 2022 Pace saw Pootilla trainer Sebastian Steenhuis’ most consistent Pet Rock-Shes Got It All five-year-old gelding Wyattflynn greet the judge in a rate of 1-58.6.
Driven by Anthony Butt, Wyattflynn finished full of running on turning to record a head margin over the poleline pacemaker Eagle Watch, with Pocket Thedeal third along the sprint lane.
Kilmore harness races are on again this Thursday.