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Ken Casellas | Photo: Hamilton Content Creators

When Robin Zec was planning an overseas holiday in 2019, he advertised Burning Rubber for sale — and Middle Swan trainer-reinsman Brett Smith has no regrets that he outlaid $12,000 to purchase the New Zealand-bred Mach Three gelding.

Burning Rubber, who is raced by Smith in partnership with his mother Jenny and Alan Lawler, a plumbing business proprietor, has certainly proved to be an excellent buy. He has had 73 starts for the Smith stable for eight wins, 11 placings and $72,218 in prizemoney.

Burning Rubber went into the 2130m Choices Flooring Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night, having been unplaced at his previous seven starts. But Burning Rubber, a splendid frontrunner, was perfectly drawn at the No. 2 barrier and was a popular $2.40 favourite.

Noted fast beginner Dominate The Dojo began with his usual alacrity and vied strongly for the early lead. However, champion reinsman Chris Lewis drove Burning Rubber hard to stave off Dominate The Dojo’s spirited challenge. After slow opening quarters of the final mile of 32.2sec. and 31.1sec., Burning Rubber had plenty in reserve for the final lap. He dashed over the final 400m sections in 29.5sec. and 29sec. to win by a half-neck from $3.20 second favourite Pierre Whitby, who finished resolutely from sixth at the bell. Dominate The Dojo, who managed to take the trail behind Burning Rubber after his unsuccessful bid for the early lead, fought on solidly to be a close third.