Star young reinsman Michael Grantham continued his remarkable association with veteran pacer Dredlock Rockstar when he secured a freak inside run on the home turn and guided the 12-year-old to a surprise victory over Patrickthepiranha and One For Dave Andme in the 2130m Intersport Slater Gartrell Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night.
The win at $21.70 improved Grantham’s perfect record behind Dredlock Rockstar to three drives in the gelding’s 162 starts for three victories.
Grantham secured the drive when Dredlock Rockstar’s part-owner and trainer Ash Markham decided to take eight drives at the meeting in Albany on Friday night.
This was the first time Grantham had driven Dredlock Rockstar since the gelding started at $15.30 and covered extra ground before getting up to beat the pacemaker Tanaka Eagle at Gloucester Park on September 15, 2017. That was 68 starts ago. And twelve starts before that, at Gloucester Park on February 24, 2017, Grantham drove Dredlock Rockstar to an all-the-way victory over Vultan Tin.
Howard Hughes, favourite at $1.14, set the pace and looked a certain winner until he broke into a fierce gallop approaching the home turn. Ryan Warwick quickly switched the galloping Howard Hughes inside the pegs, thus avoiding interference to the following runners.
Patrickthepiranha ($15), who had raced in the breeze all the way, then took the lead, but he was unable to withstand the strong finishing burst of Dredlock Rockstar, who had trailed Howard Hughes throughout.
Dredlock Rockstar, who was under the care of Markham’s wife Tamara on Friday night, is certainly an evergreen performer who has raced 162 times for 22 wins, 47 placings and $276,852 in prizemoney. For the record, Markham’s eight drives in Albany on Friday night resulted in two seconds, two thirds, one fourth, two fifths and an eighth placing.
by Ken Casellas