21 February 2011- Bendigo horses starred at Charlton on Sunday winning both the Trotters and Pacing Cups in front of a big crowd of locals who turned out to celebrate at their first major event since the township experienced a devastating flood. Its been a tough six weeks for Charlton with the town flooded twice, major business wiped out and homes lost. Cup day looked to be a good tonic for the community with a carnival atmosphere and hundreds of locals enjoying their day at the track. Read More
Strathfieldsaye brothers Glenn and Daryl Douglas teamed with the ultra-consistant Our Hillview Gold to win the feature race, the $25,000 Hankook 2011 Charlton Pacing Cup (2570m). Making it a Bendigo feature double Lenny Lewis found its best form for trainer Alan McIntosh to unleash a huge finish for driver Chris Alford and win the $15,000 Charlton & District Community Bank Trotters Cup (2570m). Aided by a typically dashing Daryl Douglas drive, teak tough four-year-old Our Hillview Gold pick up his second Choice Hotels Country Cup circuit success this season. The brilliant son of Badlands Hanover had already taken out the Ouyen Cup a month ago and is quickly establishing himself as one of Victoria’s most exciting young pacers. The Charlton Cup was Our Hillview Gold’s 11th win from 16 starts this term. Champion driver Daryl Douglas found the top quite early and from then on was able to control the race. “We didn’t have any set plans going into the race, but Daryl summed the situation up to a tee and once he got the front, the horse was always going to be very difficult to beat,” Glenn Douglas said. “Every time this horse goes to the races he finds another gear. He’s surprised me since day one pretty much, and to come out and beat the quality of horse he did tonight is a credit to him.” Only fair to begin, the Spring Championship Final winner Our Hillview Gold was hunted up early to take up his pet position. It looked as though Douglas would settle outside the early leader In Monaco but Victoria's champion driver let his horse slide to go to the front through a lead time of 74.8 seconds.With little pressure applied through the middle stages of the race, despite several moves from the rear of the field, Douglas' early play for the front became a masterstroke. Cruising through first half fractions of 32.1 and 31 seconds respectively, the rising star only released the brakes 800 metres from home, laying down a brutal third split of 27.9 with Lance Justice's Hollywood Bromac gasping for air in the breeze. There were to be challenges late, with Mendelico, Echuca Cup hero, Tanabi Bromac and Captain Joy all charging from the back down the lane. Completing a 2:01.5 mile rate with a closing cut of 28.2, Our Hillview Gold ($7.30) defied weary legs to take out Charlton’s flagship feature by a half neck from top mare Mendelico ($12.70 - John Caldow) with Tanabi Bromac ($9.00 - Kerry Manning) a further three metres away in third. A disappointment of the race was Melton Saddlery Victorian Country Cup Championship points leader and Cup favourite Village Of Dreams ($2.00 - Gavin Lang) who only managed to beat two of the 10 starters home. In the Trotters Cup injury plagued Lenny Lewis powered home from his 20 metre back mark to claim the Cup victory by 1.2 metres. The eight-year-old squaregaiter trained at Lords Raceway and raced by the McIntosh family produced a barnstorming finish to register his 18th lifetime win. The son of Sundon started at odds of $27.50 and was driven by Chris Alford. It was Lenny Lewis second start from a brief let up. In December Alford also steered him to win the Yarra Valley River Gum Trotters Cup. - David Aldred with the files of Jason Bonnington.