3 minute read
Final heads of ID23 Pacers Championship sees a more open field that originally expected.
The final three heats of the 2023 Inter Dominion Pacer Championship delivered results generally expected but a consistent theme is that the series has unearthed a wider scope of genuine chances of taking out the $530,000 final on Saturday.
Leap To Fame ($1.04 favourite) won heat ten to be the only competitor to maintain a perfect record in the three-round series with the 2680-metres of the last heats to his liking.
After a tougher than expected run on Tuesday night and a narrow win, also at Albion Park, trainer/driver Grant Dixon was pleased with the four-year-old's frontrunning effort this time.
"When you're in these races you're always a bit concerned but he felt good, Dixon said.
"I thought that he would finish off well in the straight.
"He's amazing to drive. He's just perfect.
"To his credit he's very versatile but I do think he thrives over the distance."
In heat nine, driver Greg Sugars was able to leave the deafeners (ear plugs) in tact as Better Eclipse ($3.90) stamped his authority again on the series scoring by a neck over longshot Classie Washington ($101).
"It was a pretty good effort tonight," Sugars said.
"Had a lovely trip in transit and he had to run a strong half and it was pleasing to see he was up for the challenge.
"He's a lovely animal. He's matured so much over the last 12 months and putting his hand into a few of the good races has really seasoned him.
"He's a pretty all-round horse now."
The first heat run on the night was landed by Nerano ($2.20 favourite ) who followed-up on the positive impression made on night two but winning heat eight.
Nerano conquered Better Eclipse over 2138-metres on Tuesday with in-form driver Cameron Hart positive on the six-year-old's progress.
"Super happy with him again tonight," he said.
"I thought the pace was consistent the whole way without being crazy so I thought it would take a bit of picking up Spirit Of St Louis sitting that close but he did a good job to get him.
"He was super strong which was really pleasing tonight. Going over the 2600 (metres) and still to be running through the line like that was a great performance."
Leap To Fame's brother Swayzee ($1.22 favourite) finished fourth behind Nerano, beaten by 12 metres, after racing four-back on the pegs throughout the event.
With the barrier draw for the ID23 Pacers Championship Final to occur on Monday, the following standardbreds have qualified for it:
45 points: Leap To Fame
42 points: Better Eclipse, Nerano
33 points: Swayzee
32 points: Classie Washington
31 points: Pete So Said
30 points: Spirit Of St Louis, Speak The Truth, Future Assured
26 points: Kanena Provlima, Turn It Up
25 points: Our Money Rocks
23 points: Cantfindabettorman