Gavin's great hope

By Adam Hamilton

CHAMPION driver Gavin Lang hopes the Im Pats Delight experience is the polar opposite of the last time he teamed-up with a star Kiwi pacer in an Inter Dominion final.

Headed into the 2009 Gold Coast final, Lang answered an SOS to drive the then buzz Kiwi pacer Auckland Reactor.

Lang, winless in 10 drives in Inter Dominion pacing finals, still looks back on Auckland Reactor as – at least on paper – the only serious winning hope he’s driven in the sport’s marquee race.

Optimism turned to horror soon after the start when Auckland Reactor basically went nuts, took complete charge of Lang and ran himself ragged.

Not only did he finished last, almost 100m from winner Mr Feelgood, but he also, almost certainly, cost the mighty Blacks A Fake a fifth Grand Final win.

The scars of Auckland Reactor are long behind him now and Lang exudes a calm confidence around the chances of Cran Dalgety’s Im Pats Delight.

“He’s a good chance in a very event race,” Lang said.

He was even more bullish in the moments after Im Pats Delight’s terrific second to Cruz Bromac in last Saturday night’s Cranbourne heat.

“If you swap the runs, the other horse wouldn’t have beaten us. I’m sure of that,” Lang said. “Driving and looking at this horse through the series, he’s just getting better and better.”

Im Pats Delight is a $5 shot in the latest Aussie TAB markets where Spankem is the easing favourite ($2.80 to $3.20) from stablemate Cruz Bromac ($4.80 to $3.60). Next best are Galactic Star ($5.50 to $7) and Tiger Tara ($7 to $8.50).

Lang teams with his father, Graeme, in the trotting with the ultra-consistent Save Our Pennys ($15), who has run second in all four runs this campaign, including his three heats of this series.

“He’s getting fitter all the time and hasn’t been too far off them,” Lang said.

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