Athabascan’s cup win caps big season
Leading Albany trainer Matthew Saw has capped a terrific local season by claiming the $10,000 Boston Brewery Denmark Cup (2258m) with in-form pacer Athabascan at Harold Reid Paceway on Friday night.
Saw is a clear leader in Albany Harness Racing Club’s trainers’ premiership with one meeting remaining, but he claimed his biggest win here this season with Athabascan prevailing in a thrilling finish to the feature race.
After beginning well from gate four on the front line for driver Madeleine Young, Athabascan found the lead and was able to control the tempo of the race before holding off a late challenge from Budd Sidewinder.
The five-year-old gelding started a $23 chance on the tote and scored by 1.9m on the line from Budd Sidewinder ($28), while the well-supported Cest Lheure came third.
Major Stare, winner of the recent Albany Cup, started favourite for trainer Barry Howlett but had a torrid run and finished ninth, beaten more than 37m.
It was the second straight win for Athabascan and continues his outstanding form in Albany, with two wins and four minor placings in eight starts at the track.
Saw holds a commanding 29-point advantage over his nearest rival, Peter Fairless, in the trainers’ standings with only this Friday’s meeting to come.
Fairless tasted success on the big 10-race program last week, with Flying Thunderbolt winning the Ruth And Bob Poolman Pace (1828m) for driver Giles Inwood.
Capel trainer Andrew De Campo and his son, reinsman Aiden De Campo, enjoyed a big night out as they both finished with a winning treble.
Promising three-year-old filly Orphan Reactor led all the way in the opening event to score comfortably by 2.9m over Lavinjane.
Mileys Desire then dominated the Willoughby Park Winery Filles And Mares Pace (2258m) by 22.6m before the De Campo treble was rounded out by The Accumulator, which won the Peter Morrison Memorial Pace (2258m), also at very short odds.
The AHRC drivers’ premiership is still up for grabs after reinsman Corey Peterson scored a double with outsider On My Oath for trainer Brendan Abbott and then Punters Dream for Howlett.
Peterson trails Young in the standings by 11 points heading into the final meeting.
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