Faulkner and Hawke swoop in for Carnival of Cups win

In front: Onedin Highlander wins the ladies race with Melissa Hawke in the gig. Picture: Coffee Photography.
In front: Onedin Highlander wins the ladies race with Melissa Hawke in the gig. Picture: Coffee Photography.

Uralla trainer Mitch Faulkner headed to Peak Hill last Sunday and enjoyed success at the small club’s Carnival of Cups meeting.

Faulkner had a win at the meeting with Onedin Highlander taking out the $10,000 Kriden Park Lady Drivers Invitation with Canberra reinswoman Melissa Hawke in the spider.

 “When I saw the Penalty Free Lady’s Race and especially after the horses run last start at Tamworth, we thought the distance would suit him,” Faulkner said.

After enjoying a win two starts prior at Tamworth over 2360 metres, the distance of 2250 metres at Peak Hill did not pose a problem. Onedin Highlander came home for a short half-head win over race favourite Jonah Jones (Angela Hedges) who was looking for the third win on the trot and Alabama Tyson (Emma Turnbull) 5.3m away third.

Hawke waited while Jonah Jones heralded the field with Guts (Mackayler Barnes) racing out in the breeze. As Jonah Jones tried to slip away from the field, Hawke sent Onedin Highlander three wide to grab the favourite on the line.

“It was a perfect drive,” Faulkner said. “Our horse was the tougher up the hill at Peak Hill.

 “I was shocked with the $43 return for the win. I wasn’t expecting that after his run at Tamworth.”

Onedin Highlander will now head to Queensland looking for a start in the Premiers Cup.

Earlier in the day, Faulkner’s Reciprocity was beaten a short half-head by Trilight Brigade in the Yardy and Rita Davis Memorial.

“She went really good but didn’t handle the rise in the track but I was happy how she finished the race off,” he said.

Tomorrow night will see Tom Ison competing at the Newcastle Paceway after driving a double at last Sunday’s Tamworth meeting behind Fear No Evil for his father Andy and For Me for the Tony Missen stables. 

Ison will join the Williams stables and take the drive behind Never Die, Itsnewstome and Midnight Montana.

Ladies Race winner: Melissa Hawke (left) and Mitch Faulkner (middle) at the presentation for Onedin Highlander. Photo: Coffee Photography.

Ladies Race winner: Melissa Hawke (left) and Mitch Faulkner (middle) at the presentation for Onedin Highlander. Photo: Coffee Photography.

Fellow Tamworth trainer Graham Moon has engaged Maitland reinsman Peter Hedges to drive Hayabusa Flyer and last start winner Gotta Go Rockin. Merry Jasper will also go around for Brendan Hunt and Sam Ison will give Seventhirtyseven his first run for the stables.

Harness racing will be back to Tamworth on Saturday night, June 24. To place something in Keeping Pace, phone 0439 818 261.