Five on the trot for red-hot Suvaljko

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Cameron NewboldAlbany Advertiser

Metropolitan reinsman Shannon Suvaljko has produced a sensational performance on New Year’s Eve, driving five winners at Harold Reid Paceway to continue his red-hot form in the sulky.

At the traditional Albany Harness Racing Club’s December 31 meeting, Suvaljko teamed with Albany-based trainer Peter Fairless to dominate the early part of the nine-race card as the pair won the first three races.

Suvaljko then scored on raging favourite Back To The Beach and the well-supported Imali in the next two races, as he amazingly won the first five races on the card.

It was very nearly six on the trot after Lord Willoughby ran second in race 6 and the talented driver recorded another second placing later on to cap off his brilliant night.

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The five victories are part of a purple patch for the top reinsman, who has driven 11 winners in eight days after a treble in Busselton on December 26 to go with wins at Gloucester Park (December 29), Northam (December 30) and Busselton (January 2).

“I’ve driven five once or twice before,” Suvaljko said.

“But to drive the first five, that was pretty good. Once you get in the zone and you get a bit of luck, things pan out the way you want and that’s what happened.

“To drive the first three for Peter Fairless was a big thrill — he’s a hard worker and a bit of a battler so to see the joy on his face was great.”

Ohoka Chief ($4.50) proved too strong from the front line in the WA Koffee Boost Stakes Pace (2258m) to win by 4.3m before Fairless and Suvaljko saluted with Ariki ($10.40) in the Peter Watson Stakes Pace (2258m).

The third leg of the combinations treble came at big odds when $30 chance Art Of Illusion stormed home to get over the top of Soho Jett by 1.4m in race 3.

Suvaljko now leads the AHRC drivers’ premiership with 24 points over Colin Brown (16 points), and said he was committed to returning on Saturday and Sunday meetings for the rest of the season.

Mighty Flying Deal ($3.10) won the $8500 Amity Tavern New Years Cup Stakes (2258m) for trainer Wayne Justins and reinsman Jack Justins, while trainer Ross Olivieri and driver Corey Peterson also finished with doubles at the meeting.

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