AYDC Kicks off at The Creek

The Australasian Young Drivers Championship is being hosted in Queensland and the opening three heats were held this afternoon at The Creek.

With six Australian States and both Islands of New Zealand represented, the ten drivers have enjoyed the Brisbane lifestyle since arriving, including a trip to Tangalooma on Monday for the Inter Dominion barrier draw.

On track the action started with a NR41-46 pace where the John Stariha trained Magicol Ideal was sent out as favourite, with Victoria’s James Herbertson taking the reins.

Sarah O’Reilly and Beach On Fire were first out of the machine, able to get across to the pegs before handing over to Magicol Ideal.

Herbertson had found the front through a 27.3 opening split as Crystal Hackett for New Zealand moved forward to sit parked aboard Shez All Style.

With a solid tempo through a 29.2 second split, it remained upbeat as Herbertson took them off the back in 28.2.

With the field starting to spread, those back in the pack where facing a task as Major Mondo moved out of the one-by-one trail, attempting to eat into the deficit.

O’Reilly was able to angle off the back of Magicol Ideal and easing to the outside, the four-year-old had the speed to arrive in a 1.54.2 rate.

“The horse went good, I didn’t expect to win really, so it was a good ending,” O’Reilly said after the race.

Describing the differences between New Zealand racing and here in Queensland, O’Reilly was happy to be taking on the challenge that the AYDC represents.

“It’s very different but you just have to adapt to where you are.”

Herbertson held on for second, with Angus Garrard grabbing some points for Queensland with third aboard Major Mondo.

The second heat saw Golden Bay for trainer Darrel Graham sent out as the favourite with West Australian Emily Suvaljko taking the reins.

Suvaljko sent the three-year-old straight to the front when the mobile pulled clear and run the field through a 27.9 opening split, with Yankee C J for Zev Meredith moving up to sit parked, with first heat winner Sarah O’Reilly holding the pocket spot with Its Back Page News.

Easing the tempo to 30 seconds through the second split, Suvaljko dialled it up again down the back stretch with a 28.3 split and turning for home had the chasing pack off the bit.

Finishing second in the Australian Female Drivers Championship at The Creek earlier this season, Suvaljko rated Golden Bay perfectly with an identical 28.3 final split to hold a seven-metre margin on the wire.

After winning the opening heat with Beach On Fire, trainer Peter Greig was able to grab a second placing with Angus Garrard taking the reins aboard Beef City Blaze.

Sarah O’Reilly added more valuable points to her tally, holding on for third placing with Its Back Page News.

The final heat of the day was for the NR70-99 Veterans with James Herbertson again on the favourite with Shadow Minister sent to the post as the punters elect from gate 1.

From gate 4, Sarah O’Reilly charged out with Johnson Step for trainer David Rodger and the pace was sizzling early, with the first quarter in the board in 26.7 seconds.

Parama had the Kiwi connection with the Riley Butt trained gelding partnered by Crystal Hackett and from gate 5, they were forced to park out as the second panel went on the board in 29.8.

With a third split of 28.6, the swoopers were starting to find their runs and Rock Bottom for Angus Garrard loomed strongly out of the one-by-one trail.

After racing five back on the inside, Zev Meredith angled Kash Us Back wide around the home bend and with an electric burst, the Gemma Hewitt trained seven-year-old rattled home to claim a smart win.

Garrard held on for second with Rock Bottom and Tasmania’s Mitch Ford grabbed third on the Shawn Grimsey trained Swaggie Shannon.

New Zealand claimed bragging rights on day one, winning two of the three heats, with the Series moving to Redcliffe with further heats on Thursday and Friday before the Championship concludes here at The Creek on Inter Dominion Final night with the Final heat.