Coasters make second winning trip across the island

Chalk it up as another win for the visitors from the other side of the alps.

Last week it was Westport trainer-driver Trevor Walsh who saluted at Addington with Sarasota Sunset and yesterday at Motukarara it was the Bob Higgins-trained Destiny Dance who won the Jonty's Journey Mobile Pace.

Higgins, a third generation horseman following on from his grandfather and father (both called Frank), trains at Patterson Park in Westport.

"It's a big thrill - I've been waiting a while," Higgins told Harness Unhinged's Nigel Armstrong post race.

It was Higgins' 10th training success, and his first since Queenofdance won at Ashburton in February 2021. His debut training success came with Patsy Marie in April 1980, though he did have a break from training for 30 years to concentrate on dairy farming.

Higgins bred Destiny Dance (A Rocknroll Dance - Ellis Rose) and this was his second win from 10 starts after earlier winning, again on the grass, for then trainer-driver Bob Butt at Methven.

Destiny Dance had hinted a winning performance wasn't too far away with a fast finishing fourth in a junior drivers' race at Addington the previous start and started favourite yesterday, despite starting off the unruly.

Sam Ottley went back early before working into the race around the 700m mark and going three and then four wide before powering home to overhaul the pace-setting Izacheapee.

"It was a top run," said Ottley, "to go the last half in 58 is no mean feat on the grass."

Higgins is likely to make more trips across the island, with plans to race Destiny Dance again at Addington and at Methven's last grass meeting of the season on April 14.



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