Courage To Rule Wins Alabar Victoria Derby

Courage To Rule Wins Alabar Victoria Derby

Aside from the Group 1 BIG6 Hunter Cup taken out by star stayer Bondy at Moonee Valley’s final ever harness racing meeting last Saturday night, the huge crowd of fans were also kept on the edge of their seats with the other pacing feature, the $200 000 Group 1 Alabar Victoria Derby (2757m) taken out by Courage To Rule.

Three-year-old Courage To Rule ($11) defeated Lincoln Royal ($5.20) by 1.5m with star Queensland-trained pacer Lanercost ($10.20) a further 1.2m back in third.

Courage To Rule’s sire Courage Under Fire also won a Victoria Derby back in 1999.

Eventual runner-up, Lincoln Royal led going into the second quarter after running a mild paced first quarter of 31.0s.

The second quarter was run in 31.7s, just after which Lincoln Royal started to really pick up the pace leading by 4m ahead of the odds-on favourite Major Bronski ($4.10).

By this stage in the third quarter, Courage To Rule was still only sitting in fourth position behind Lanercost.

Major Bronski shortened the gap between him and Lincoln Royal to only 2m as the hectic 27.7s third quarter played out.

Lanercost then moved into the sprint lane while Courage To Rule made his move on the outside putting in a sensational chase over the final metres.

It was the three Kiwis fighting it out over the closing stages, Lanercost on the inside beside Lincoln Royal with Courage To Rule on the end.

But it was Courage To Rule who crossed the line first for his fifth win from 21 career starts, having now won over $287 000 in prizemoney.

In the end Major Bronski, who threatened the lead nearly all the way, lost pace and could only manage to finish fourth putting an end to his incredible nine-race winning streak.

The winner’s driver Greg Bennett was fined along with Lincoln Royal’s reinsman Maurice McKendry while Lanercost’s trainer-driver Darrel Graham was cautioned for his lack of control.

Meanwhile, the final ever harness race held at the Moonee Pond circuit was the $20 000 BIG6 Country Clubs Championship Final (2100m) won by Strident. The win gave prolific driver Gavin Lang his 1029th win at the Moonee Valley track, the most of any reinsman.

2010 Alabar Victoria Derby Results:

Placing

Horse

Prizemoney

Row & Br.

Trainer

Driver

Margin (m)

1
COURAGE TO RULE (NZ)
$135 000 Fr6 J P Green G W Bennett
2
LINCOLN ROYAL (NZ)
$30 000 Sr1 R W Green M W McKendry 1.50
3
LANERCOST (NZ)
$20 000 Sr2 D W Graham D W Graham 2.70
4
MAJOR BRONSKI
$10 000 Sr4 S H Hunter C A Alford 7.40
5
MASTER JOY
$5 000 Fr4 S M Hunter G Lang 9.80
6
RENAISSANCE MAN
Fr7 A P Gath K M Gath 10.10
7
CHARIOT KING
Fr3 J F Tapp G W McElhinney 10.60
8
FOR A REASON
Fr2 L A McCarthy L A McCarthy 14.60
9
HEZA PANAMACH (NZ)
Sr3 G F Douglas D K Douglas 25.20
10
REMEMBER EL
Fr1 K E Manning K E Manning 25.20
11
DREAM CATCH ME
Sr5 L Miles L Miles 39.80
12
WARTIME SWEETHEART (NZ)
Fr5 D Aiken D Aiken 40.40