Michael Heaton | Photo: Gloucester Park Harness Racing
Star three-year-old Wonderful To Fly continued her winning ways when taking out the $50,000 Group 2 Trotsynd Diamond Classic (2130m).
It was the Fly Like An Eagle filly’s third-straight win and the fifth Group success of her career after victories in the Group 1 2YO Fillies Westbred Classic, Group 2 3YO Fillies Sales Classic, Group 2 3YO Fillies Final and Group 3 2YO Fillies Gold Bracelet.
Trainer-driver Shane Young produced a daring drive when drifting back off the inside of the back line before working into the clear and pressing forward to take up the lead with a lap-and-a-half to go.
Wonderful To Fly ($1.22) kicked away on the home bend before tiring over the final stages but hung on to defeat Sovrana ($15) by more than two metres.
“I’m lucky that she’s good enough and strong enough to hold on,” Young said.
“You wouldn’t be able to do that with many horses.
“She’s got really good speed so once I made my mind up and used her speed, I suppose that won her the race.”
Young says he was cautious of remaining in the leaders-back position from inside the back line and risk being held up for clear running in the straight.
“I just tried to take the risk out of the equation,” he said.
“If I got her in the open I’d be giving her an opportunity, but if I had stayed on the fence I imagine Dylan and the others wouldn’t let me out and you’re just stuck.
“I just wanted to make sure she got out.
“I think she was all out at the finish but probably in the context when you watch the race, she had to burn up to get to the front and she still ran home in good time.
“Those other fillies were taking ground off her late when she probably started to fatigue a bit, but she got the job done and we ticked another box.”
After a brilliant campaign where she’s raced every month of 2022 to have 11 starts for eight wins, a second and two thirds, Wonderful To Fly has earned herself a break.
“She’ll head to the paddock now,” Young said.
“Hopefully she’ll race on the eighth of July which is the Westsired Fillies race for three-year-olds.
“She’ll have about three weeks off and that gives me a few weeks to get her back for that race.”
Meanwhile, the other winners on the Gloucester Park program included Typhoon Banner, Twobob Cracker, Caveman and Hot Pursued.
Jumping from barrier two, Typhoon Banner ($4.80) came from behind the leader to score in the Www.jpracing.com.au Pace (2130m) for trainer-driver Dylan Egerton-Green.
It was the Bettors Delight five-year-old’s second win from his past three starts and brought the hot-streak of Eldaytona, who had won his previous three starts and six of his past seven, to an end after he settled for a runner-up finish.
Leading driver Shannon Suvaljko later brought up the first leg of a race-to-race double when guiding Glenn Elliot’s Twobob Cracker ($4.80) to victory in the Trotsynd – G1 Syndicators Pace (2503m).
The Art Major gelding came off the front line in the standing start event before settling one-out and one-back and running over the top of $2.25 favourite Glenledi Chief who had worked hard to the breeze from a 30m handicap.
The next race saw Suvaljko salute again aboard the Mike Reed-trained Caveman when getting up in a tight finish to the Trotsynd – Trained by Justin Prentice Pace (2130m).
Starting on the second line of betting at $3.20, the Somebeachsomewhere five-year-old produced a tough performance to work across from barrier six and face the breeze throughout running before fighting on strongly to hold Bellezza Nera ($5.50) off by a short-half-head on the line.
Kylie Harper later produced the upset of the night when saluting aboard rank outsider Hotly Pursued ($23) in the final event on the program, the JP Pacing 2YO Pace (2130m).
Trained by Murray Lindau, the Huntsville juvenile was the only runner in double figures in the five-horse field but took advantage when race-favourite All Is Well ($2.20) broke gait and dropped out.
The gelding ran home strongly to collar race leader Juggernaut ($8) turning for home and score by three metres.
This Friday night will see the running of the $50,000 Group 2 APG Series 30 4YO Consolation Final (1730m) at Gloucester Park.