Oakwood Stud Mares Pacing Series 2017

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Leg One

The visiting mare Porcelain Seelster was the first to score in Corbiewood's inaugural mares series on Thursday 22nd June in a competitive affair which saw the first six horses cross the wire with less than a second separating them.
It was GDs Baby (William Drysdale) who was first to show as the field settled into Indian file by the first quarter, with the leader coasting through the half and three quarters in good fractions. It was at this stage that the race came alive, with San Diego (John Allan), who had closely tracked the long-time leader, first to mount a serious challenge.

Entering the home stretch San Diego nosed in front, yet as soon as she had taken up the running Porcelain Seelster (James Haythornthwaite) had reached top gear and delivered a well-timed challenge along with Dontstoptheparty (Brian Gilvear) who by this stage was having to challenge four wide.

As they crossed the line in a pulsating finish, it was Porcelain Seelster who came out on top. Dontstoptheparty snatched second with San Diego in third.

Bill Cardno photo

Leg Two

The long-time leader in the first leg, GDs Baby (William Drysdale), once again showed good gate speed to take up the running in the early stages of the race. Yokalady (William Greenhorn) found herself parked and endured a tough trip throughout whilst keeping the leader under sustained pressure.
San Diego (John Allan) and Starzapan (Stuart MacKenzie) travelled through the race sitting on the rail and approaching the three quarter marker as Yokalady began to tire, both both mares looked to mount a challenge. It was San Diego who emerged as the leader's biggest danger as she drew alongside GDs Baby in the final eighth and perhaps looked the likely winner considering the outcome of last week's race; however, Drysdale had kept something in reserve and asked his mare to quicken.
She dug deep and went on to win by three quarters of a length.

Bill Cardno photo

Leg Three

A maximum field of eight faced the starter in leg three, in which San Diego (John Allan) assumed control of the early fractions. As the race progressed, the leader seemed content bowling along in front and slipped the field by six open lengths, looking to be in control.

However, as the leader swung into the stretch the complexion of the race altered dramatically as three chasing horses gradually closed the gap with San Diego's stride shortening. Lorizenitestar (Grant Cullen), Porcelain Seelster (James Haythornthwaite) and Sureamsomething (William Greenhorn) all came into contention simultaneously, challenging San Diego from all sides.

The four horses thundered to the line in a pulsating finish, in which Loriznitestar showed great tenacity to get up by half a length from Sureamsomething, with Porcelain Seelster half a length behind in third, and San Diego beaten a neck into fourth. A steward's enquiry followed, in which Sureamsomething was disqualified for a pylon violation rendering Porcelain Seelster the runner up, and San Diego placed for the third consecutive week.

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Leg Four

Starzapan led out from the widest gate position after an early battle with Lady Mary (William Drysdale) and set the fastest fractions witnessed so far in the series and on the night on a track which had succumbed to heavy rainfall prior to racing.

It was evident that driver Stuart MacKenzie had a forceful drive in mind as they went through the half in just over a minute with no signs of letting up the pace. It wasn't outside the realms of possibility that the winner would come off the pace with the leader setting such strong fractions, however Starzapan was not for stopping and as the challenge came down the back stretch for the final time from Lady Mary, the leader showed her class to go away from the field and win decisively.

Lady Mary finished second, with San Diego (Angus Kyle) running on well for third. All three lowered their personal best times at the track in the fastest leg of the series so far.

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Leg Five

Seven mares faced the starter in the penultimate leg of the series, and Sureamsomething (William Greenhorn), usually a backmarker in such open preferred races, made full use of her gate position to lead out from draw position two.  She set solid fractions on top in a marked change of tactics from the usual hold up, with the field settling in behind for much of the race.  Heading down the back straight for the final time, Dontstoptheparty (Brian Gilvear) looked to be the strongest challenger emerging and coming down the stretch she breezed past to win convincingly in a fast time considering the wet conditions which affected the drivers' vision throughout.  The long-time leader stayed on for second, with Starzapan (Stuart MacKenzie) finishing third.

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Leg Six

Racing was delayed immediately prior to the sixth and final leg of the series when Stuart Mackenzie was involved in an accident on the final lap of the prior race.  After being attended to by the first aiders, and the loose horse caught, Stuart's cousin Tam MacKenzie Jnr was forced to step in to take the drive on Starzapan in a reduced field of four.  With the light fading rapidly, Tam wasted no time in sending his charge to the lead and the race turned into a game of 'catch' for the three other runners, [Loriznitestar, Sureamsomething & Lady Mary].  Unfortunately it was not to be a case of six different winners in the six legs as Starzapan powered home to win by two lengths from Loriznitestar (Grant Cullen) who in turn held off Sureamsomething (William Greenhorn) by a neck.

Bill Cardno photo


The draw for the FFA final was done prior to racing, with the winner of leg one, Porcelain Seelster, landing the plum draw on the gate.  Driver James Haythornthwaite made full use of this by leading, with GDs Baby (Hugh Menzies) keeping the duo under pressure in the early stages.  As the pace relaxed slightly at the front, the field raced in a close bunch and passing the stands with a lap to go horses were going three and four deep to try to pass the leader.  Down the back straight for the final time there was a flurry of activity as Loriznitestar (Grant Cullen) burst from the pack to challenge Porcelain Seelster, which forced James Haythornthwaite to commit possibly sooner than planned.  This enabled Dontstoptheparty (Brian Gilvear) racing room; he switched his charge three wide with an instant and obvious turn of foot and down the stretch she swept past the two leaders to a resounding victory, with Gilvear giving a whip salute to the crowd.  Loriznitestar bettered the long-time leader Porcelain Seelster to take second, with the latter finishing third.  Lady Mary secured the fourth place cheque ahead of dual leg winner Starzapan.

Bill Cardno photo

Full result

1st Dontstoptheparty (£1500 winnings)
2nd Loriznitestar (£750 winnings)
3rd Porcelain Seelster (£650 winnings)
4th Lady Mary (£200 winnings)
5th Starzapan (£900 winnings)
6th GDs Baby (£400 winnings)
7th Sureamsomething (£150 winnings)
8th San Diego (£250 winnings)

The Scottish Harness Racing Club would like to take this opportunity to thank the sponsor, Oakwood Stud (Derek & James Delaney) for their support with this inaugural series.  Thanks must also go to the connections of the mares who entered the series, and congratulations to all leg winners and the winner of the final, Dontstoptheparty.