Belfast, IE – Damien Mooneys Big Pete ran out a game harness racing winner of the Pinto Pacing Derby which was staged at Racetime Raceway Saturday afternoon. A huge attendance descended on the Belfast venue to witness one of the highlights of the UK calendar and they were served up a vintage renewal of the event.
Six strikingly marked Standardbreds faced the starter and all were registered by STAGBI as either Skewbald or piebald. Popular in Australia and in the UK and Ireland, pintos are a rarity in the USA/Canada with the world
record for pintos being 1:56.8 set by White Flame in Dublin back in 2017.
As the starting gate pulled away it was Newmoors Jackie Dan (Dillingers Dream/Highdene Roulette) who made the early running pursued in second by Mllion Dollar Sam (Hiltons Samboy/Million Dollar Hall) with Chameleon (Henrys Ace/Georgies Girl) back in third and Commanche King (Commanche Star/Mayfellden Britney) fourth.
By halfway Million Dollar Sam had taken the lead from Newmoors Jackie Dan and the four year old looked as if he had the race then at his mercy. Damien Mooney and Big Pete (Table The Nukes/Crazy Chick) had other ideas however and the combination gradually crept into contention along with Geronimo (Indian/Sands Colour Party) who also began to make rapid progress.
Rounding the home turn Big Pete stormed to the front and despite a strong late challenge from Commanche King, Big Pete hung on gamely to record a historic victory.
The misty wet conditions couldn’t dampen the enthusiastic celebrations in the winners enclosure, but it did affect the times set on the day with the Pinto Pacing Derby only going 2:08. Nevertheless its Damien Mooney who now has the bragging rights for the next 12 months and Big Pete’s name gets engraved on the trophy kindly sponsored by Northern Mortgages.
In the other supporting races on the card Peter Lyttle produced Rio Bravo with a carefully timed run to beat Sunnyside Clinton and Lucky Cam in 2:02.3 whilst Greg Dean steered Bocage De Fornet to an effortless success in the afternoons square trot over Hurricane Star and Evan Jive in 3:15 for the extended 1.5 mile trip.
There’s an old saying about London buses – you wait forever for one to come along then two come at the same time and having waited all season for a breakthrough victory with Castlewood Glensman, driver Andrea Lockhart has now racked up two in as many weeks at Racetime. Clocking 2:02.7, the four year old gelding is improving with every race and his winning streak is likely to continue for some time based on last Saturdays performance.
The remaining race saw Darren Smith and Frisco Hold Up spring a surprise over the odds on shot Phils Dragon in the fastest time of the meeting 2:00.3.
by Thomas Bennett, for Harnesslink