Trainers set for close season

WINNER: Winner of race two Harder, ridden by A Patterson, crosses the line in first place ahead of favourite Cost Me Diamonds, ridden by J Potter.CALIFORNIAN Devil and Pioneer Prince gave Trackside followers the perfect start to the local racing season on Thursday.

The two best bets both led and won as predicted at the odds of $2.10 and $9.50, a combined all-up price of $20.90 which was terrific value.

Winners were spread around on the day with seven different trainers tasting success and it looks another competitive season for the trainers’ premiership.

Krystal Bishop and Ronnie Bell were the leading jockeys both riding a winning double.

Race 1 Rating 62 1000m

As expected Son Of A Gun settled just off the speed in the small field and when asked for the big effort he responded under the urgings of Justin Potter to wear down Good Conduct who never shirked the task.

The Robert King-trained winner has returned well after throat surgery and more wins look in store for this late comer to racing.

Clearly the best horse in the race his starting price of $2.70 got punters off to a great start to the season.

Warraside was the other runner from the event to follow. He wasn’t the best away from the barriers and had a good look around at his first start here. His closing third was full of merit.

Race 2 Maiden 1000m

Harders and race favourite Cost Me Diamonds jumped well and were sent forward to dispute the lead with Harders gaining the upper hand upon straightening.

Kicking clear the Annette Morrison-trained three-year-old won easily, much to the surprise of most punters.

It was a good training performance from Annette Morrison to present Harders looking so good prior to the race and he ran accordingly, despite his poor two-year-old form.

The winner paid $14.90 but $21 was seen on course.

Cost Me Diamonds looks an honest filly; she held her ground in the run home to hold second from Jilly’s Edge.

Of the other runners Delaway Brow wasn’t beaten far, Black Dancer hit the line well and first starter Highest Note was slowly away before making some late ground to finish midfield and will improve over more ground.

Race 3 Maiden 1000m

Kooda Duchess is another John Dunn runner that races well here.

As mentioned in the Trackside preview her two seconds last season behind subsequent city winners Deebersonus and Quick Lover proved she isn’t hopeless.

Given a great ride just behind the speed by apprentice Krystal Bishop, she was produced at the perfect time three wide on the home turn and went to the line well holding of the challenge of favourite Heza Hussler.

Runner-up Heza Hussler will be improved as will third place getter Lewis Street but all honours were with the winner.

Race 4 0-68 1200m

Californian Devil showed good early speed to take up the role as pace maker, traveling well he toughed out a solid win but not without giving favourite backers a scare as Marina Del Ray peeled off his back and challenged late.

Four wins now from five starts at this track and distance for Californian Devil, no doubt we will see more of him here this season.

Mighty Moment was the black booker, she got back to last and made good ground over the concluding stages to run third. Look for him over the longer trips.

Race 5 0-58 1000m

Just Pure Fun was well supported in betting despite her being noted over more ground, local hoop Ronnie Bell gave this one a great ride and got her to the outside of the tearaway leader Image Master on the bend having done minimal work in the run and she let down nicely over the concluding stages.

Impressive training performance Brian Lear and Ronnie Bell for his patient ride deserves accolades.

He’s A Houndog held second from the fast finishing Okaman who was an eye catcher from the back.

Social Assasian didn’t have any luck and this was a forgive run.

Race 6 Rating 80 1000m

Pioneer Prince booted through to lead and as predicted the advantage of the inside around the home turn enabled this one to pinch that winning break.

Libby Hopwood lifted him over the line as it tired late over the final 50 as the unlucky and well supported Hank’s Nephew dived late. Dire Warning was also closing on the line to grab the trifecta position.

Pioneer Prince has now 15 races for trainer Mick Whittle.

Mumslad and Corduroy also both ran well fresh being beaten around a length in a blanket finish.

A bumping dual at the 150 metre mark between placegetters Hank’s Nephew and Dire Warning no doubt had an impact on the result but sometimes the place to be is out in front in the clear.

Race 7 Fillies and mares 0-68 1000m

Bluzar showed her customary dash and gave a great sight into the straight but Aftonland had a good run in transit and was able to get up on the inside and prove too good. The winner is trained by April Cornell.

Bee In Her Bonnett finished at a great rate out wide to grab Bluzar on the line for second spot.

The next meeting is a family day this Sunday, October 6.

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