Todd Rattray went a long way towards sealing his second successive Tasmanian drivers’ premiership when he won four races at Mowbray on Wednesday night.
Rattray started the night six wins ahead of nearest rival Rohan Hillier who had made big inroads into the lead while his rival was sidelined by a broken arm.
But, after going winless at the first comeback meeting, Rattray was back on song at the second, with victories on Koolaz Elvis, Fortino, Yatsenyuk Leis and the trotter Our Summer Vacation.
Although it’s not a done deal with 1-½ months of the season remaining, a 10-win lead has Rattray a hot favourite to make it back-to-back titles.
He took out last year’s premiership with 87 wins, just one more than his brother Gareth.
Former New South Wales gelding Our Summer Vacation put up a huge performance to win the first trot race held at Mowbray for almost a century.
Our Summer Vacation started off 40 metres and lost further ground when inconvenienced by the galloping Tip Top Eurasian in the early stages.
He must have been at least 50m off the leader at that stage but Rattray didn’t panic, allowing the well-backed favourite to gradually make up the lost ground and tack onto the field.
Rattray remained at the rear of the main bunch until leaving the bell when he started to improve his position.
He was poised to strike coming off the back straight and gained the upper hand in the run home to score by 2.7m from All The Way Mae and Ten Caisses.
Our Summer Vacation ran third in the opening trot race in Hobart but ruined his chances by hanging so Rattray changed his gear.
READY FOR STUD
Well-bred mare Mersey Delight will be going to stud in September but most punters were wishing she was there already after her upset win in the C3/C4 Pace.
The six-year-old started at $37 ($41 into $31 fixed) and would have knocked a lot of punters out of the quadrella in the first leg.
After racing one-out,one-back, Mersey Delight hit the front in the straight but was quickly headed by Holme On The Bayou who looked set to win.
However Mersey Delight fought back under Paul Ashwood’s driving to score by a half neck.
Trainer David Hayes conceded that Mersey Delight was a hard horse to back with any confidence.
“She mixes her form, mainly because she’s so lazy,” Hayes said.
“But she is a nice, little mare who is good gaited and does everything right.