The premier country two-year-old trotting race in Australia is without doubt the Seelite Windows and Doors Redwood Classic and it is that time of the year again.
Held at Maryborough each year, the Redwood Classic is an iconic race steeped in prestige. It attracts a big crowd and this Sunday’s renewal promises to deliver.
Harness Racing Victoria, the Maryborough club and the AVCHRC have once again combined to run the TAB.com.au Redwood Rattler, a chartered ‘train to the trots’ experience now in its second year.
Last year the Rattler was a huge success with 161 people booked aboard. This year’s train will carry 220 passengers, a percentage increase of 36.64%. The Rattler will also carry an extra lounge carriage and revellers are sure to be well catered for both to and from the Redwood.
Past winners of the Group 1 Redwood Classic, sponsored by long-time trotting aficionado Michael Taranto of Seelite Windows and Doors, include inaugural champion Young Trouper, driven by Gavin Lang in 1986, prolific winner Dark Edge for Barry Alford in 1988, Ghia in 1991, the mighty Wagon Apollo in 1993 for Graeme Lang, Lacey Truscott in 1997 for Chris Angove, Andandon in 2000 to net Gavin Lang a second Redwood Classic trophy, Kyvalley Road for Chris Lang in 2002 – this horse won 20 out of 27 all up including two Breeders Crown trophies, Jauriol in 2004 for Chris Lang, Lord of the Gym in 2007 for John and Maree Caldow, Eljaykay Phoenix in 2014 for Team Aiken and Illawong Byron last year for Jodi Quinlan.
The event is a standing-start race but is not a handicap, with starting positions drawn at random.
Some fast facts to consider when you are trying to pick the winner on Sunday include:
- The last 5 winners are filly/gelding/filly/gelding/filly/gelding… Black Cat Claw ($71) & Our Renezmae ($9) are fillies.
- Gavin Lang (One Muscle Hill $5) & Chris Alford (Wobelee $1.65) are the only multiple Redwood winning drivers in Sunday’s field.
- Sundon has sired 4 of last 20 winners. He is the grandsire of Fend Off ($10), Tomahawk Phoenix ($61) & Wobelee ($1.65).
- Safely Kept has sired 2 of the last 20 winners. He is the grandsire of La Grange ($10) & Black Cat Claw ($71) on Sunday.
- Illawong Byron holds the Redwood race record mile rate of 2:04.4. He is a stablemate of Fend Off ($10) for Jodi Quinlan.
Trial form from behind the tapes can give a pointer to how these juveniles might handle Sunday’s standing start. Click here to view some of the key standing-start trials.
Race 1 at Maryborough will be 11.40am Sunday morning and the 10-race program will finish with the Alf Simons Memorial Trot at 5.07pm. Racetrack address is 106 Chaplins Rd, Carisbrook.
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