Ken Casellas | Photo: Gloucester Park Harness Racing
Boyanup trainer-reinsman Cody Wallrodt planned to send Babyface Adda out for a well-deserved spell last Monday. But after studying the nominations for the $30,000 Free-For-All to be run at Gloucester Park on Friday night he changed his mind.
He saw that several of the State’s top-line pacers had not been nominated, so he decided to enter Babyface Adda for the 2536m Australian Premium Feeds Free-For-All.
And when Babyface Adda drew favourably at barrier No. 2 in the six-horse field his confidence grew considerably. “It was then an easy choice to sit behind the No. 1 horse Vultan Tin,” he said.
“I was confident that Babyface Adda could beat Vultan Tin because Babyface Adda had been racing very well without luck, and I thought his sectionals last week (when a close-up eighth from barrier seven behind Double Up) put him in with a really good chance as long as he got a crack at them.”
Vultan Tin, the $1.75 favourite, set a slow early pace, and after the tempo lifted with a third quarter of the final mile in 28.1sec. Wallrodt’s problem was whether he would get the opportunity to get off the pegs to issue a challenge to the leader.
Wallrodt was able to ease Babyface Adda off the inside with 300m to travel, and with the talented To Fast To Serious ($4.60) also getting off the inside and on to the back of Babyface Adda, Wallrodt realised that he needed to keep that pacer bottled up, without the prospect of getting into the clear.
But he also knew that he could not restrain his horse for too long in a bid to keep To Fast To Serious under lock and key because that would diminish Babyface Adda’s task of overhauling Vultan Tin.
So, Wallrodt urged Babyface Adda forward after rounding the home turn and the gelding got up to snatch victory by a head from Vultan Tin, with the final 400m being covered in a fast 27.7sec. To Fast To Serious was an unlucky third, a half-head behind Babyface Adda.
To Fast To Serious was hampered in the straight when his off side sulky wheel locked with the near side wheel of Double Up’s sulky. Despite that, To Fast To Serious flew home, out four wide to figure in a three-way photo finish.
“It’s always good when a horse goes out (for a spell) on a good note,” said Wallrodt. “That’s something Justin (Prentice) taught me. I wanted to spell him before he started to go downhill. The main aim now is to have him ready to run in the big Cups in the summer.
“I thought that we might have snuck in last summer, but he went downhill just before the big races. Hopefully, I can make up for that and have him ready for the Fremantle and WA Pacing Cups this summer.”
Babyface Adda, a six-year-old by Rich And Spoilt, is raced on lease by Wallrodt. He has had 80 starts for 17 wins, 19 placings and $237,003 in prizemoney.