DELIGHT IN ELUSIVE NEVELE R HEAT WIN
It didn’t come easy, but tough filly Donegal Delight gained an elusive Nevele R Fillies Heat win in the ninth series heat at Forbury Park on Thursday night, April 21.
The Bettor’s Delight filly was forced to do it the hard way, in the open throughout, after Motu Racy Girl, drawn inside her, fired out to an early lead and maintained a strong clip.
Donegal Delight was comfortable there, travelling well, then powering up the action on the home turn.
After having second favourite Collectable on her back she had to dig deep over the final 100m but fought tenaciously to hold by half a head in a smart 2:03.7 for the 1700m, a 1:57.1 mile rate.
Photo: Donegal Delight, scored a $18,000 Nevele R Fillies Heat win at her 4th attempt on Thursday night.
The leaders quickened over their last 800m in 57.6s and final 400m in 28.4s.
Angela Jane holds the Forbury fillies 1700m record at 2:03.1, set nine years ago, while Lancome holds the NZ 3YO fillies mark with her stunning 2:01.4 (1:54.9 mile rate), set last April at Auckland.
Donegal Delight is progressing towards next month’s Addington fillies features, the $140,000 Nevele R Fillies Final on May 14 and the $125,000 Wayne Francis Memorial New Zealand Oaks on May 20.
Thursday’s victory took her consistent record to seven wins and seven placings from 19 starts, for $60,098 in earnings for Kaikoura owner Murray Boyd.
Earlier, progressive In The Pocket gelding Wotavugot also delivered at short odds for the stable with a smart home stretch sprint to win the 2-3 wins Vet Equine Mobile Pace.
Top driver Dexter Dunn, after taking a trail behind Turbine into the first turn, didn’t panic after Turbine stopped in front of him at the 400m.
Shuffled to midfield and moving one off turning in, Dexter thought about trying for a run wide but changed for a run through the middle when he eyed a possible opening.
Once Wotavugot found clear air, he was the fresh horse on the scene, powering clear to win easily by two lengths in 2:45.1 for the mobile 2200m (2:00.7 mile rate), the leaders battling a touch over their last 400m in 29.8s.
Racecaller Tom Wood praised Dexter for a “masterful drive” as the favourite won as he liked.
Dexter was again in dominant form at Forbury, winning four on the night, to advance to 172 wins for the season. He also went close to winning the night’s feature, the $25,000 Forbury Park Championship with good staying 4YO Four Starzzz Flash, but after moving up parked over the final lap, they were outfinished late by smart southerner Vi Et Animo.
Wotavugot will probably look at starting next in the $40,000 Alabar Southern Supremacy Stakes Final at Invercargill next Saturday, April 30.
Trainer Cran Dalgety welcomed the winning double for his team after a couple of mixed efforts to the night, extending his seasonal training tally to 71 wins.
Enigmatic maiden pacer Gliding Ruler broke and crashed to the track as the gate left in the Ford City Motors Mobile Pace, while Glenalvon, after moving up parked over the final lap, tired for seventh in the 1-win Trillian Trust Junior Drivers Mobile Pace.
Dexter’s brother John, who had the catch-drive on Gliding Ruler, escaped the incident without injury.
Gliding Ruler, who is to find another home, suffered superficial abrasions and was stood down from racing or 28 days. He has to trial twice before resuming.