DEN Helder’s powerful finishing burst to win Thursday’s $5000 Club Dubbo Golden Gig Heat (1980m) ensured he and his stablemates make the trip west to Dubbo next Sunday.
The Ernie Mabbott-trained gelding rushed home over the top of Sissies Beach Girl to post a 3.75m win from second-placed Mista Taptoe Lombo, with the Peter Munsie-trained Sissies Beach Girl .75m away third.
Teenaged junior driver Scotty-Jon Welsh earned plenty of praise from Mabbott after a professional drive.
“Scotty helps me a lot with fast work during the week,” Mabbott said.
“I gave him the drive for that help and he did a great job.
“He’s only 16 but I couldn’t have asked for a better drive.
“He’s only had a handful of drives too.
“He won one at Armidale and one at Narrabri and now one at Tamworth. He’s got a real good head on him.”
While Den Helder won well, he’s qualified for the $10,000 Golden Gig Final.
He’s also one of three horses sent to Mabbott by Shoalhaven trainer Greg Coney.
Big Tom Lombo won earlier in the meeting and Woodybegood covered a heap of extra ground to finish unplaced behind stablemate Kemira Cause.
“That was his (Den Helder) first run for us,” Mabbott said.
“He’s a nice horse and goes to Dubbo now for that final.
“We’ll take him, Big Tom Lombo and either Kemira Cause or Woodybegood.”
Mabbot finished with three winners – Kemira Cause, Big Tom Lombo and Den Helder.
Tamworth reinsman Anthony Varga finished with a driving double (Big Tom Lombo and Jedi Superstar) as did Uralla’s David Munsie (Double Barrel and Smart Cecil) and Moonbi’s Dean Chapple (Blissfully Fake and Kemira Cause).
Jedi Superstar completed a good day for the Tamworth Harness Racing Club when the six-year-old stallion won the Vale Percy Verning Pace (1980m) after a stirring duel with Soho Eros down the short Tamworth straight.
Jedi Superstar and Soho Eros have had some close clashes in the recent past and Thursday night’s latest contest was a little too close for Varga’s comfort before the Ken Natty-trained Jedi Superstar prevailed by 1m.
“Soho is a nice horse,” Varga said of his opposing pacer. “He kicked strong and I knew we’d have to work hard to catch him.
“And when he hit the peg on the turn it nearly tipped Pete (Missen) out.
“I thought he was going to land in my lap at one stage.
“That helped us.”