The Horsham kennels of Bill and Helen Hartigan were celebrating last Tuesday when their young race bitch Kraken Witch saluted in race 1, a maiden event over 410m. At just her third start she jumped well from the squeeze box in number 5 and led the field the entire journey to comfortably defeat the Bruce Baxter trained Absolute Dream by a length and a half.
Kraken Witch’s win wasn’t the only reason to have pride in their team. Veteran racer Rig Fifty Five lined up in the second heat of the President’s Cup. Being a dog that relishes inside draws he took advantage of the coveted box 1 and led for almost all of the 485m journey, only to be run over late and beaten about one length. That run was good enough to secure him a spot in the final where he has again drawn box one. Bill and Helen will be hoping he can show his customary speed again on Tuesday to put himself in for a slice of over $21,000 on offer for the final.
The heats turned up some boilover results with close finishes aplenty. The fact that Rig Fifty Five’s victor Summer Skye appears to be the pre-post favourite gives the locals a realistic chance in the feature event.
Garry George turned up with a recent addition to his kennels in Hugo Linx and he wasn’t missed by punters, being sent out the $1.40 favourite. The son of El Grand Senor didn’t let anyone down either, coasting to a four-length victory over the 410m to take his record to four wins and 9 minor placings from 19 starts.
Saturday’s meeting looked to hold good potential for locals but several performed below expectations. Bucking the trend was Onions O’Reilly for Cliff and Pat Smith who has been ultra consistent in recent weeks and despite nearly falling and going back to near the tail of the field on the home turn managed to recover and get up on the line as a $2.20 favourite. Without the interference he would’ve spaced the field.
Stawell resident, David Gehan, rounded out the night when Saint Ray saluted in the last race after some good form at lower grades. Tuesday’s meeting begins at 3.14pm with 12 races concluding at 6.53pm.