Marcoola smashes NZ record at Ashburton

By Jonny Turner

Defending Dominion champion Marcoola sent jaws dropping among the crowd that witnessed his stunning New Zealand record breaking win in the Ashburton Trotters Flying Mile on Monday.

The 7yr-old was in a mood to run and driver Sheree Tomlinson let him do exactly that, which put the trotting star in a race of his own that his rivals could only watch while chasing his dust.

Tomlinson’s front running tactics on the Ken Ford trained squaregaiter made for the unusual, by spectacular sight of an open class field being led by at least four lengths throughout.

The Sundon entire went on to enter even more rarefied territory as the winner of an open class feature by a massive 12 and a half lengths.

Marcoola stopped the clock in a sizzling 1-53.8, taking a massive 0.7sec off the national all-comers mile (1609m) record he previously held jointly with Cyclone U Bolt and Stent.

The performance not only stunned the Ashburton crowd.

Sheree Tomlinson admitted she had never been involved with anything quite like Marcoola’s demolition job. 

 “I just let him bowl along and whatever speed he wanted and he did it on his ear.”

“I had a hold on him out of the gate, I didn’t want to push him, but he just had too much gate speed for them,” she said.

“I didn’t have to move on him up the straight, he did it easy, he jogged it.”

Marcoola’s emphatic win issued trotting fans with a massive reminder that the Dominion is not just a one horse race for Oscar Bonavena.

But as his star rose, Sundees Son’s Dominion campaign took a major nose dive when he galloped in the straight when clearly holding down second.

The Robert Dunn trained 5yr-old finished fourth behind placegetters Destiny Jones and Habibi Inta before being disqualified.

Sundees Son has now made home straight mistakes in his past two starts after beginning his spring campaign with two faultless wins.  

Though there was a huge margin between Marcoola and Oscar Bonavena on Monday, the pair remained equal $4 second favourites for the Dominion after the Ashburton Trotters Flying Mile.

Oscar Bonavena solidified his $1.80 price for the Show Day feature when bolting in against middle grade opposition later on the Ashburton card.

The 4yr-old trounced his rivals in good time, but that was arguably the least important aspect of his win.

The All Stars trotter put his keenness to run and recent standing start mistakes behind him with by stepping cleanly and relaxing nicely in the running.

Oscar Bonavena and Marcoola are unlikely to meet ahead of the Dominion.

Owner Clint Ford is keen to run his defending champion at next week’s Kaikoura meeting.

Oscar Bonavena will head straight to the Dominion.



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