Performance of the night to Beach Ball
By Michael Guerin
Driving legend Ricky May says only one thing stands between Beach Ball and becoming a player on the open class scene: standing start tapes.
The four-year-old produced the performance of the night at Addington on Friday night when he came from last with a surging run over the last lap to crush his opposition before the top of the straight.
It was ninth win of his 34 start career and May thinks he may have gone where no other driver has before.
“I’m pretty sure I am the first driver to win a standing start race on him,” says May, correctly.
“He actually stepped away tonight then went into a little bobble and there is really no reason for him to do it but that might just be him at the moment.
“He has a really good motor and went great afterwards and I suppose we all forget he is still only a four-year-old.
“So if he can get the hang of the standing starts that will be a huge help and give him so many options because obviously a lot of the better open class races are stands.”
Beach Ball will still have plenty of options for trainer Kevin Chapman who also owns and bred the son of Somebeachsomewhere, who beat a proven open class horse in Smiffy’s Terror on Friday night.
He wasn’t the only smart pacer to impress coming from last on Friday night as Franco Sinatra never looked a winning hope in a strong Race 3 until the last few strides.
Taken back to last as co-trainer Cran Dalgety suggested he would be, Franco Sinatra was trapped three wide at the 800m then pushed wider and simply never looked likely to win.
But he dug deep in the final 100m to win like a good horse, albeit the leaders walking their last 400m in 29.1 seconds.
Franco Sinatra has now won six of his nine starts with his only unplaced effort coming in the Sires’ Stakes Final back in May and he won’t look out of place in the NZ Derby on December 10.
Later in the night Look To Da Stars made up for a costly break in last week’s Harness Million Trot when he clung on to win the Lone Star Sires’ Stakes Heat.
Allowed to settle early by Blair Orange he worked around to lead and just held out Head Em Up and impressive debutante A Fine Patrick it what will be a good form race