District crew hot to trot in the new year

By Campaspe News

AN OUTSIDER upset the apple cart in the trotting feature event — the Frank and Carmel Ryan Memorial — at another successful Echuca New Year’s night meeting on Tuesday, January 1.

Heathcote trainer Terry French and reinswoman Michelle Phillips blew most quaddie punters out of the water when they combined to score with the consistent but unwanted mare Nelbell.

Nelbell looked to be on a suicide mission when sent by Phillips to pressure the leader and hot favourite Winkin Nod with 500m to run.

But the eight-year-old Dawn Ofa New Day mare proved up to the challenge to score a cheeky and gutsy win at tote odds of 45/1.

District trainers enjoyed success at the meeting.

Rochester horseman Neville Pangrazio scored a well-deserved win with the second favourite Miranda Maid in the TO Only class trot in a stirring duel with the favourite, Severe Storm, to start a run of three successive wins by northern Victorian trained horses at the meeting.

Miranda Maid lowered the track record in winning with her 2.03.3 mile rate, bettering the previous mark for the 2160m trip from mobile of 2.03.5 set by Bring The Action in February 2016.

Merrigum horseman Luke Bryant produced Mickilla Express in the next race — for C1 Only class pacers — to win in a crowded finish in what was the first of a driving treble at the meeting for concession reinsman Darby McGuigan.

Completing the district trifecta of wins was the Shepparton trained Elianna Franco, who looked one of the good things on the program and vindicated that opinion by claiming the C2-4 class race for trainer Laura Crossland and reinsman David Moran.

After scoring on Mickilla Express, McGuigan went on to claim the T1 or better class trot in runaway fashion on the Zac Steenhuis trained Jerichos Trumphet and was also aboard Ima Sassy Girl trained by his father Tim, in the CO Only final, which brought the curtain down on the meeting.