Racing: Monbet blows away arch rival in $100k Anzac Cup

By Michael Guerin

Advantage Monbet. Photo / Harness Racing Victoria
Advantage Monbet. Photo / Harness Racing Victoria

Advantage Monbet.

That was the overwhelming feeling out of last night's $100,000 Anzac Cup at Alexandra Park last night, when the southern sensation blew away northern arch rival Speeding Spur.

The two exceptional 4-year-old trotters dominated betting in the group one but Monbet turned it into a one-horse race, even though it was one with a twist.

His driver, Ricky May, surprisingly conceded the lead at the start and took the trail with Monbet, giving Speeding Spur the tactical advantage. But in the home straight Monbet exploded up the passing lane for one of the most comprehensive victories in the pair's personal rivalry.

That not only gives him a huge confidence advantage heading into next Friday's Rowe Cup but also all but assures him of the Trotter of the Year title.

"He was super and Greg (trainer, Greg Hope) left it up to me at the start so I was happy to trail," said May.

"He actually didn't handle the bends perfectly, being his first start here for a while, he has that much speed."

Speed was the story of most of the feature races last night, with Field Marshal using his blistering turn of foot to come from near last to win the $100,00 Taylor Mile.

He was third last starting the last lap and burned down the back straight three wide, leaving himself a sitting duck but he never flinched and raced clear in the straight to win like an open class star of the future.

Field Marshal, whose career was saved by a throat operation in Victoria last season, is now the warm favourite for next Friday's Messenger and his division of the Harness Jewels on June 4.

Rivalling him for performance of the night was Spanish Armada in the $120,000 Caduceus Club Classic, who overcame being pushed back at a crucial stage of her race to blow her rivals away in a win that ended any conversation about who is the best juvenile pacing filly in the country.

"She had to be really good to do that," enthused driver and co-trainer Natalie Rasmussen.

And the first of the night's group races went to Marcoola, whose enormous stamina enabled him to sit parked and win the Sires' Stakes for three-year-old trotters for trainer Ken Ford and his son Clint, who drove the exciting youngster.

- NZ Herald

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