Explosive speed and a powerful finish resulted in trainer Aaron Bain claiming top honours at Victor Harbor, capping off the 2021 season.
Race favourite Morningstar Gold NZ (Shadow Play USA x Oursjean NZ), had Lonsdale Sand and Metal Cup in the bag as he stormed down the home straight in front of a strong crowd on December 27.
Bain, who trains both harness and gallop horses, said the black gelding could handle all race conditions.
“He can do it easy, he can do it tough, he can peel off the top of the straight and do the work,” he told club president Lynton Bishop during the post-race interview.
“He’s got an explosive speed with a powerful finish – he’s an all-round complete horse.”
From his last four starts, Morningstar Gold has claimed three victories and a second, with Wayne Hill, and Gaita Pullicino in the seat at Victor Harbor.
The New Zealand horse has overcome hoof issues since arriving in Australia.
“We’ve had a lot of trouble with his feet. He gets stone bruises and abbesses easy – it’s a day-by-day preparation with him,” Bain said.
“But we’ve been patient with him and hopefully we can start to have some fun with him now.”
The Lonsdale Sand and Metal Cup was one of eight races on the racing card, which attracted a crowd of about 600.
President Lynton Bishop said despite the recent coronavirus surge in South Australia, he was extremely happy with the numbers and patrons.
“We had new COVID rules introduced at midnight, which may have kept a few spectators at bay, but everyone who attended was very COVID compliant and respectful of the rules,” Bishop said.
“Like everyone, we have all felt the impact of COVID, but it was great to provide a race day for the industry and community that really showcases the heart of harness racing.”
The club will look forward to its traditional Easter Sunday races on April 17, which will feature the Victor Harbor Pacing Cup and Victor Harbor Trotters Cup.