Bionic Chance honoured in fillies race at Addington tonight
With the running of the first ever Woodlands Stud Bionic Chance Bracelet for the two-year-olds at Addington tonight we thought we'd look at the record-breaking filly the race is named after.
By Dave Di Somma, Harness News Desk
Four words sum up Bionic Chance, according to Lindsay Kerslake.
"She had incredible speed."
Kerslake was heavily involved with the star filly. His parents Alister and Betty co-bred the daughter of Majestic Chance, with Alister both the trainer and driver when she won debut at Waimate on Dec 14, 1985.
He would never drive her again, with her regular pilots being the likes of Mike DeFilippi, Richard Brosnan, and Patrick O'Reilly. Lindsay Kerslake drove her on four occasions, twice finishing second.
"The late Mike DeFilippi said she was the quickest horse he'd ever driven!"
"In the early days she was very difficult to train, she was temperamental and hot-headed," says Kerslake, who joined his father in the training partnership for her last 13 starts up to 1990.
"My father was a genius at training fillies."
In all she had 37 starts, for 18 wins and lifetime earnings of $323,630.
One of her most memorable efforts was her win in the 1988 Group 1 NZ Standardbred Breeders' Stakes where Gina Rosa (Jack Smolenski) had the race all but won, only for Bionic Chance to snatch victory by a nose.
"She was hemmed up on the inside with 50 to go," says Kerslake, "he (Jack) couldn't believe it, he came back thinking he'd won it."
In the same year injury robbed her from attaining even greater heights.
"When she was four she was favourite for the New Zealand Cup and fractured her pastern just days out which was pretty devastating."
That also robbed her of the chance of going to Sydney for the Miracle Mile.
She recovered, though leg issues were always a concern. She continued racing till she finished as a six-year-old in 1990.
And her success was not just against her own sex, she regularly took on and beat the colts as well.
Case in point was the 1986 Kindergarten Stakes, the 1988 Hannon Memorial against Master Mood and Skipper Dale, and the 1986 Sires' Stakes Final at Alexandra Park when she beat the likes of Stormy Fella and Surdon in a sizzling 1:58.7. It was a spectacular record-breaking effort.
"She was the first to go 1:58, it was unheard of," says Kerslake
In her two-year-old season she had seven wins, four seconds and two thirds in 14 starts.
Now a field of five of this year's crop of two-year-old fillies, including last start winner Raklou, will line up at Addington on Race 6 at 7.41pm, with Kerslake pleased to see the race named in her honour.
"Nice to think she's still mentioned, champion horses should never be forgotten."