Hedges Avenue has settled into her new stables and produced a win at the Tamworth harness meeting conducted at Armidale on Thursday.
As the second favourite coming into the running of the Tamworth Volunteer of the Year 2018- Arthur Yates Ladyship Pace, Hedges Avenue was inspiring in her dash to the line, for a 1.3 metre win over nearest rival Mammals Rockstar, from the Len Simon stables.
“It’s good to come back here (Armidale) and win a race,” said the horse’s part-owner and trainer Ian “Ernie” Mabbott.
Mabbott races Hedges Avenue along with his son Anthony, with Mabbott being a former long-time inhabitant of Armidale before making the move to Tamworth. “She has been unlucky in her last two runs,” commented Mabbott.
With five starts for the Mabbott stables, Hedges Avenue has seen two seconds – one at Tamworth back on September 26 before a second at Armidale on October 4, and came into Thursday’s race off a last-start seventh to Webby Vanderquack at Armidale.
“She trialled well the other night at Tamworth and Mitch (Faulkner) drove her well today (Thursday) so can’t ask for anymore,” said Mabbott.
Uralla reinsman Faulkner accepted the drive and became acquainted with the five-year-old Rock N Roll Hanover mare earlier in the week. “I drove her in the trials the other night and I was expecting her to go well,” said Faulkner.
Hedges Avenue clocked 1min 59.8sec for the 1609 metre journey – her first time under two minutes, in her 39 races.
With Dalacos Empress (Stacey Weidemann) leading the field into the back straight on the final occasion, Mammals Rockstar (Maddison Simon) was racing out in the breeze.
Hedges Avenue was placed three back on the outside running line before placing a three-wide run around the home turn to power home down the home straight for the win.
“We went up the back straight and laboured a bit around the turn but she knuckled down in the home straight – the mare really got on with the job,” said Faulkner.