26 January 2011 - Radio Station Program Directors generally study the ratings with their target to attract the biggest listening audience possible but this week the harness racing form guide has taken precedence over the ratings charts for Bendigo Radio 3BO’s Program Director, Bryan Coghlan.
The local media man has just one target in mind, winning the time-honoured $30,000 Warehouse Sales Central Victorian Championship Final at Lords Raceway on Thursday night with his latest acquisition Chief Inanga. Coghlan loves his harness racing and six months ago along with Andrew Curran and John Hazeldene, he became a co-owner of the six-year-old Mach Three gelding which has thrived under the tutelage of Huntly trainer/driver Anthony Crossland. Coghlan said that the foursome’s plans to win the Championship are coming together but he said;” the team is still very nervous”. Chief Inanga will start from the pole position in the Group 3 race which for the first time is being held at the Bendigo track. Coghlan credited Curran with selecting Chief Inanga. The owner of Grand Circuit performer Mysta Magical Mach, Curran has an eye for big race performers. Mysta Magical Mach was the runner up in this year’s WA Pacing Cup and winner of the WA Pacing Cup three years ago.Chief Inanga showed good form early in its career in New Zealand and Curran made the selection, hoping the pacer could advance its career here. Chief Inanga won his first four starts before a series of unplaced performances in New Zealand during the 2008/09 season. After a 12 month absence from the racetrack, Chief Inanga was an instant winner for Crossland on debut in Australia in the Donald Cup at Charlton last month. On 7 January the classically bred type made it two wins from just four local starts, winning the Warehouse Sales Central Victorian Pacing Championship Heat (2100m) at Charlton. In that race he was untroubled to lead from start to finish and score by five metres. “Anthony has done a terrific job with this horse, the Charlton wins were a massive buzz for all of us,” Coghlan said. “But it would be absolutely huge for us to win a prestigious race in our home town of Bendigo.” Chief Inanga has raced 45 times, winning six races and almost $55,000 in stakes. The first prize for the Central Victorian Championship is $20,250. Two other local pacers also made the Final field. Maiden Gully trained It And A Bit is in the starting line up and his stable mate Dual Agent Tabman is the first emergency. Both horses are harnessed up by Paul Campbell. The pacers were both placed third in their respective Central Victorian Pacing Championship heats. Daryl Douglas will drive It And A Bit, a recent Bendigo winner from the back row. Four-year-old Village Jasper gelding Arber is likely to line up as the Pacing Championship favourite. Armstrong trainer Brooke Hansen returned Arber to the races for its first start since August to win its Heat at Maryborough last week. The victory was Arber’s fifth from just starts. Chris Alford will drive Arber which will start from gate four. - David Aldred