Star four-year-old pacer Our Little General almost claimed the Warragul track record when winning the $25,000 Eastern Challenge at Logan Park.
First up since winning the three-year-old division of the Breeders’ Crown in August, connections used Thursday’s race as a stepping stone to the upcoming Chariots Of Fire event in Sydney.
Driver Chris Alford dictated terms to suit in front with Our Little General, who went within two one hundredths of a second of breaking the 2210-metre track record in defeating Beach Surge and Waimac Attack.
Our Little General went past the $500,000 in stakes earnings mark with victory on Thursday, and is trained at Cardigan by Emma Stewart for a large group of owners, some of who were trackside to witness the victory.
Both Alford and Stewart have now won the Eastern Challenge race twice. It was the first race win at Warragul for Stewart, despite her stables dominant success over a number of seasons.
Elsewhere on the day there were mainly small fields, in particular the opening race which was reduced from six runners to four after scratchings, and became a two-horse race as the field was well strung out after some mid race interference.
Weight of punters support was with local Penny Bobbins, however All Major ran straight past that pacer once the two settled down to fight out the finish.
All Major scored by over six metres and is trained at Cranbourne by Michael Hughes.
Oakleigh trainer Janine Stewart and her horse Glam Rock love the Warragul Pacing Bowl. Both horse and trainer have only won two races in their careers, both at Warragul.
Glam Rock, driven by Greg Sugars, proved too strong for Melchoir and Rapacious. Stewart was the 2016 Graduate of the Year from the Gippsland Harness Training Centre.
Eight-year-old gelding Uetliberg is another horse which likes Warragul, having recorded two wins and three placings on the circuit from eight starts.
The Frank Offer trained horse overcame a 40 metre handicap to win the Windra Gidgea Memorial Trotters event, beating locals Omy Son and Just Hold On.
Swedish born horsewoman Kima Frenning had her first drive at Warragul in the fourth event, and led throughout with gelding Sir Briggen.
The underrated Frenning drove a perfect race behind Sir Briggen, which denied locals Mygoldengrinner and Courageous Desire victory.
Warragul harness racing returns on Monday, February 11.
BY KYLE GALLEY