Ken Casellas | Photo: Gloucester Park Harness Racing
When standing-start specialist Twobob Cracker drew the inside of the 10-metre line in the 2503m Garrard’s Horse And Hound BOTRA Cup at Gloucester Park on Friday night star reinsman Shannon Suvaljko hatched a plan to enjoy a perfect trail behind the polemarker and likely pacemaker Joey James.
The plan succeeded, but not before some anxious moments in the final lap when Twobob Cracker was hemmed in on the pegs behind the frontrunning Joey James, the $3.10 second favourite.
Eventually, Suvaljko was able to ease Twobob Cracker off the inside and into the clear 200m from home. Twobob Cracker then went four wide and was fourth with 15m to travel before he burst to the front in the final stride to gain the verdict in a three-way photo finish, winning by a head from $11 chance Acuto (who took a narrow lead in the final 5m), with Joey James a half-head away in third place.
Finishing a close fourth was the $2.70 favourite Master Yossi, who began speedily from the outside of the 10m line and raced in the breeze outside Joey James. Master Yossi, seemingly quite fresh at his first outing for four months, ruined his chances by racing fiercely.
Twobob Cracker, an Art Major four-year-old, was selected by Hopeland trainer Glenn Elliott at the 2019 APG Perth yearling sale. He was passed in before Elliott bought him for $22,500 the day after the sale, and the gelding is raced by Elliott in partnership with Stephen Wojtowicz, an uncle of Elliott’s partner Grace Inwood.
Twobob Cracker has proved to be a good buy, with his 53 starts producing ten wins and 12 placings for stakes of $97,942 after only a modest start to his career when he was unplaced at his first 14 starts, all as a two-year-old, and breaking through for his initial win at his 19TH start when he scored by a head from Minni Martini at Pinjarra in February 2021.
Twobob Cracker, whose dam Where Dreams Grow earned $103,800 from 12 wins, 12 seconds and two thirds from 62 starts, has a record of his past eight wins being in standing-start events.