Only four starters but Debutante Stakes action-packed

There were only four starters but the $15,000 Keith Stanley Debutante Stakes was easily the most eventful race at Mowbray on Friday night.

AUSTRALIAN FIRST: Sunny Sanz, driven by John Walters, wins the first two-year-old race in Australia this season at Mowbray on Friday night. Picture: Greg Mansfield

AUSTRALIAN FIRST: Sunny Sanz, driven by John Walters, wins the first two-year-old race in Australia this season at Mowbray on Friday night. Picture: Greg Mansfield

The Kent Rattray-trained Sunny Sanz, driven by John Walters, led all the way to win by 35m from favourite Cool Water Paddy and, for a while, they appeared to be the only two horses to finish.

Some time later, Jardee crossed the line, according to the judge, 1.6 kilometres behind the second placegetter.

Jardee and the other runner Karalta Moondance had been involved in a scrimmage just after the start that resulted in both horses losing their drivers.

However Barrie Rattray held onto the reins of Jardee and eventually jumped back into the sulky and completed the 1680m journey.

Jardee was so far behind the other two that there was some confusion over whether connections would be able to claim the $2100 third prizemoney.

After considering the matter, stewards ruled that  the filly had legitimately completed the course and could officially be declared the third placegetter.

Despite the small field and circumstances of the race, Sunny Sanz was impressive,rating just under 2:02.8 and running his last 800m in 59.7.

The gelding was bred by his owners Nathan and Sandra Bennett, of Ringarooma.

“He had trialled well and I think Kent (Rattray) is pretty excited about him,” Bennett said.

The owner has been involved in racing for about 20 years and, before teaming up with Rattray, had horses with Gerald Gee, Kevin Hall and Neville Webberley.

Sunny Sanz paid only $1.90 but closed at $2.40 in the Ubet fixed odds market, while Cool Water Paddy was the $1.80 favourite.

DESTREOS’ 99th

Evergreen veteran Destreos brought up his 99th win when he led throughout in the Free For All.

It was the 14-year-old’s 445th start, more than any other horse in Australasian harness racing history.

 He is now on the verge of becoming only the third pacer in Australia to crack the century.

Gareth Rattray took Destreos to the front soon after the start and the Ken Rattray-trained gelding snuck home by a head from the fast-finishing Remember Joe.

COASTAL DOUBLE

North West Coast horses won both feature thoroughbred races in Hobart on Friday.

The David Miller-trained Overplay ($27.20) caused a boilover in the $100,000 Tasmanian Guineas when he ran home strongly to beat Double You Tee by a nose with Pateena Arena 2-½ lengths away third.

Gai Waterhouse-trained filly Chain Of Fools came from last to finish fourth just ahead of odds-on favourite Mister Songman who faded after leading.

Fellow Spreyton-trained galloper Eastender gained an automatic Hobart Cup start when he came from last to win the $30,000 Brighton Cup for Barry Campbell and Craig Newitt.

He was heavily backed to start $1.85 favourite.