Experience pays for Defy in sprint to line

Justin FrisSouth Western Times
Defy, driven by Shannon Suvaljko, took advantage of the sprint line and claimed victory in the Coates Hire MS Pace (2100m) at Donaldson Park on Tuesday.
Camera IconDefy, driven by Shannon Suvaljko, took advantage of the sprint line and claimed victory in the Coates Hire MS Pace (2100m) at Donaldson Park on Tuesday. Credit: Justin Fris

Proven seven-year-old Defy displayed a wealth of experience during Tuesday afternoon’s victory in the Coates Hire MS Pace (2100m) at Donaldson Park.

After enjoying a solid run in the centre of the field, driver Shannon Suvaljko observed the seemingly vacant sprint lane as leader Major Beachboy appeared to be in command at the final turn, with gallant mare Sleekn Styx a metre behind on the outside.

Once in the lane, Defy scorched past the pair and held on for a slender victory against Major Beachboy, who despite the second-placed finish controlled proceedings at the head of the field for lengthy periods.

Barry Howlett’s mare Dancing with Mach also impressed onlookers with a solid performance in the Merry Christmas MS Pace (2100m), although it appeared that a perennial favourite had done enough for victory.

Getting a good start, Dean Miller’s four-year-old Adda Rockinheaven sccoted her way to the front and looked comfortable while leading the field down the lengthy Donaldson Park back straight.

However, as the field began to sort itself out, Dancing with Mach’s driver Chris Lewis managed to generate some momentum and step by step she gradually ran alongside the mare – eventually taking the lead outright.

From then on, she had no issues in maintaining her dominance, with Salacious Gossip running home doggedly into second after a spirited journey from midfield.

Adda Rockinheaven completed her run in third.

Later in the evening, three-year-old filly Newsletter continued her impressive early pacing career after claiming line honours in the Bunbury Herald Fillies and Mares MS Pace (2100m).

Tucked away in fourth position midway down the back of the straight on the outside, driver Mark Johnson ensured she was able to peel off from the field, despite being three wide at the top.

Then something truly incredible happened.

Almost like her legs were programmed to “fast forward” on a DVD remote, Newsletter found an extra gear and got home over Delightfulreaction by a short half-head – with third-placed Delightful Mandy a further short half-head back.

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