Jack Laugher holds on for narrow win in Youngbloods Challenge

NOT UNLUCKY: Only A Myth (outside), driven by Matthew Howlett, wins the fifth heat of the Youngbloods Challenge at Mowbray on Sunday night. Picture: Greg Mansfield
NOT UNLUCKY: Only A Myth (outside), driven by Matthew Howlett, wins the fifth heat of the Youngbloods Challenge at Mowbray on Sunday night. Picture: Greg Mansfield

Westbury reinsman Jack Laugher won the Youngbloods Challenge at his first attempt at Mowbray on Sunday night, holding off a late charge from Nick Brockman.

Laugher had established a handy lead on the points table after the first four  heats in Devonport and Hobart and a third placing on Marnu The Beast in the fifth heat made him almost unbeatable.

Brockman needed to win the final heat on Kvitova Leis and have Laugher finish last or second-last on Saywhat to either win or force a tie.

Kvitova Leis kept her part of the bargain by storming home to win the race but Saywhat scrambled into sixth place to give Laugher a two-point victory.

Brockman also finished a close second last year, beaten only one point by Matthew Howlett, but will be too old for the under-23 series next season.

Laugher, in contrast, is only 18 and in his first full season of driving.

Final points – Jack Laugher 56, Nick Brockman 54, Taylor Ford 43, Brady Woods 41, Justin Howlett 40, Matthew Howlett 39, Sam Freeman 37, Hannah Van dongen 37, Dylan Ford 34, Sam Gangell 28.

Unlucky 13 is Only A Myth

Glengarry owner Butch Gillies is glad he is not superstitious or he wouldn’t be racing Only A Myth who won the fifth heat of the Youngbloods Challenge.

Gillies bought the Tiz A Masterpiece gelding at the Tasmanian yearling sale where he was No. 13 in the catalogue.

He said trainer Bill Dornauf had also liked the horse but wouldn’t buy him because he believed No. 13 to be unlucky.

“I think that’s only a myth which is why I gave this horse his name,” Gillies explained.

“I applied to call him Superstitious Billy but it wasn’t approved.”

Gillies had sent his late father Kevin to the sale with $6000 to buy him a yearling.

“I had bred some horses myself but kept getting fillies so I told Dad I wanted a colt,” the owner explained.

“He got this one for only $3500 so I got some change as well.”

12th WIN SHOWS MACK IS BETTER

The Bettormack brought up his 12th win in 20 Australian starts when he sustained a long three-wide run to beat Spot Eight and I Am Camelot in the C5/C9 Pace.

The former Kiwi won only 1 of his 15 starts in New Zealand but has been a great money-spinner for connections since joining the Todd Rattray stable.

He raced one out and three back before Rattray moved three wide at the bell to make his run.

Spot Eight and I Am Camelot were still locked together half way up the straight but The Bettormack overhauled them in the last 100m. Fernco Bobby G was a luckless fourth.