Aiken’s double joy - Harness racing club stalwarts honoured at thrilling meeting

May 04, 2018

Redbank Olivia storms home down the sprint lane to snatch the Cliff Robinson Tribute Pace from the fast finishing favourite Kissing Game. Photos contributed by Bob Watson.

Elated: Mark Buckingham with 4 year-old mare Redbank Olivia after saluting in the Cliff Robinson Tribute. Photos contributed by Bob Watson.

Winners are grinners: jockey Josh Aiken had a great day in the cart. Photos contributed by Bob Watson.

Cobram and District Harness Racing Club honoured foundation members Allan Campbell and Tom Kennedy at its April 19 race meeting.

Fellow members Cliff Robinson and Wal Watson were also remembered for their outstanding contribution, with races named in all four men’s honour.

The Cliff Robinson tribute lived up to expectations when four-year-old mare Redbank Olivia, trained and driven by Mark Buckingham, snatched the money following a thrilling duel down the home straight with Kissing Game, reined by Mark Pitt.

Mark Buckingham was thrilled to be presented with a voucher donated by Pat Robinson in memory of her husband Cliff.

The Allan Campbell Memorial Pace proved to be another thriller when the Marungi-trained Maggies Grin saluted with Donna Castles in the cart by a head over Flight Officer NZ, reined by Monique Burnett.

The New Zealand-bred punters favourite Tact Tess was a class act in the Tom Kennedy Memorial 3YO Pace when Nathan Jack reined the talented filly to her first win from three starts over gelding La Player.

Jack chalked up a driving double following a win earlier with the Wayne Potter-trained The Neptune Kid in the De Maria Mitsubishi Pace.

The Wal Watson Memorial 2YO Pace was a walk in the park for Laura Crossland’s Lochinvar Art. The colt, reined by David Moran, ran his rivals ragged in just his second outing on the race track.

However, the meeting belonged to Josh Aiken, who scored a driving double with four-year-old mare Trendy Bromac NZ in the Katunga Lucerne Mill Pace and Hugh Victor for Kialla trainer Clive Dalton in the Artavilla Emporium Pace.

Aiken was denied a treble with Heavenly Shades in the Bakers Delight Pace after setting a sizzling tempo in the pacemaker’s role only to be run down by his Avenel neighbour Ian Montgomery, who stormed home four-wide with Boy From Bondi, saluting in the fastest mile rate of the afternoon at great odds.

The meeting was bookended with two stunning runaway performances. John Caldow, driving Jackson Square for Mick Blackmore, outclassed the opposition in the Victorian Square Trotters Association Trotters Handicap by 18m in the first event of the day.

The last event on the 10-race program saw the Kari Males-trained San Domino impress in the Menthas of Cobram Pace Final when the four-year-old gelding bolted home with Rodney Petroff in the cart to salute by a massive 35m.

The club appreciates the generosity of Margaret Kennedy, Pat Robinson and the Campbell and Watson families for providing trophies in honour of their loved ones and club stalwarts.

Next race meeting is tomorrow and features the Jim Canny Memorial Trotters Handicap, Ken and Marjory Wadeson 2YO Pace and the AAA Woolbuyers Pace.

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