A super night of racing at The Creek was highlighted by a stunning performance from the up-and-coming FFA star Future Assured, winning his fourth race in succession.
Driving honours were claimed by Pete McMullen who scored with Aardies Flash and Miki Magic, while training honours went to Jack Butler, scoring a double with wins to Obi One and Soextra.
The night opened with victory to the Shane Graham trained and Kelli Dawson driven L L Cool J, with the seven-year-old gelding bouncing back into winning form to claim his fifth win of the season.
Content to take the trail on Melton Beach (Pete McMullen), it was a strong tempo in front set by McMullen, running the opening split in 27.2 before backing it off somewhat through a 29.8 second split.
Trying to break them open with a slick 27.3 third split, the gaps opened, and the space was there for L L Cool J to get to the outside and he set out after the leader.
Hitting the front, the son of A Rocknroll Dance held on to claim victory over Captain Shuffles which was resuming from a spell for trainer Ben Crosby.
Lord Zarias which raced four back on the pegs, was able to slice through and grab third for trainer/driver Shane Graham.
“He might have missed a run in the Be Good Johnny but realistically he would likely have just been making up the numbers in that race.” part-owner Ryan Spice said.
“After claiming three successive wins from the standing start earlier this year, it was good to see him back winning under mobile conditions.”
After training the opening winner, Shane Graham was again a winner in the second race, picking up the drive aboard the New South Wales visitor Saint Crusader.
Sending the four-year-old around them, he was three-wide in the middle stages, working forward to sit parked for the last 1000m.
Despite the tough trip, the four-year-old was able to dig deep and fight off the fast-finishing Young Conqueror and Nikki Chalk.
The win was the 100th driving victory this season for Graham, bringing up triple figures for the 17th time in his career.
The first feature of the night was the Propulsion at Trump Bloodstock Trotting Feature and former Queensland Trotter of the Year Sir Fahrenheit led throughout.
Trained by Daren Garrard and driven by son Angus, the nine-year-old veteran was driven hard out of the gate and was able to find the front as they turned out of the home straight on the first occasion.
Controlling the tempo through a 60.4 opening half, Garrard was able to let Sir Fahrenheit stride out with a strong 28.7 quarter down the back.
Pulling clear in the stretch to close it out with a 28.8 split, Sir Fahrenheit defeated Majestic Lavros for Tayla Gillespie and Matty Elkins, with Majestic Harry following through for third with Brittany Graham taking the reins.
The win will help fortify Sir Fahrenheit’s ranking for the 2023 Ladbrokes Inter Dominion, having been ranked 20th prior to the victory.
Despite landing what looked an awkward inside second line gate in the Garrard’s Be Good Johnny Sprint, punters stuck solid with Leap To Fame as he was sent out as the favourite.
With Turn It Up showing his customary brilliance out of the machine and with Leap To Fame a little tardy in the early stages, the wash up was that Leap To Fame was shuffled to four back along the inside for the trip.
Trainer/driver Shane Graham was able to slow them down through the second stanza to 30 .7 after running the opening quarter in 27.2 seconds.
Hot And Treacherous was forced to do the work outside the leader, while Future Assured was tucked away securing the economical trip, with track record holder Blacksadance finding the one-by-one trail after sliding across from gate seven.
Turning for home, Leap To Fame needed a miracle that unfortunately did not arrive, yet he was still able to savage the line, running his own last 400 in a sizzling 26.05 seconds.
Future Assured charged through along the passing lane and continued his rise into open company, claiming victory and stopping the clock in a 1.51.8 rate to defeat Turn It Up by a head margin.
Defending champion Blacksadance was able to grab third, with Leap To Fame finishing fourth along the inside.
The third running of the AQWA Constructions Peak Of The Creek saw Chantal Turpin train her second winner of the race when Aardies Flash franked his heat effort where he was the fastest of the four heat winners.
First up from a freshen in the heats where he hit the line strongly, as the fastest heat winner, Pete McMullen had first pick of the barriers in Tuesday’s barrier selection, promptly snapping up gate one.
Heavily supported to start an odds-on favourite for the Final, McMullen took the reins and was content to allow fellow heat winner Ok Boomer run to the front for trainer/driver Trista Dixon.
Mossdale Terry had a look for the front but with no lead on offer was forced to sit parked through an opening split of 27.1, before a second quarter slowdown, with 31.8 appearing on the board.
With a steady third split of just 29, Ok Boomer held all the aces as they swung for home, with Mossdale Terry continuing to grind it out and Aardies Flash aiming up for the passing lane.
Darting through the gap, Aardies Flash showed a brilliant speed to pick up the leader and pull clear to claim a 3.2-metre victory.
After the race McMullen gave an insight into the tactics.
“Yeah, it was Chantal who decided that he would be better taking cover, she convinced me that he would be better if we took the trail,”
“It has worked out perfectly, he really sprinted hard tonight”.
As for the future plans for the talented three-year-old, there is every chance he could back up this week in the Cattlewash at Trump Bloodstock Three-Year-Old Feature.
“We hadn’t mapped anything out beyond tonight, but we will see how he pulls up, there is a race here next week that could suit” McMullen said.
It was a double celebration for Chantal as trainer, with the win her 150th training success this season which has included her third Group 1 success back in August.
The owner of Aardies Flash is the Canadian based Mike Tanev, who also races the full sister to Aardies Flash, Aardies Express, the winner of 12 races from 16 starts in New Zealand.
Turpin also trialled a two-year-old named Aardies Miracle here at The Creek last week which is also owned by Tanev.
The win was the second in the Peak Of The Creek at just the third running of the race for the Turpin/McMullen combination, having claimed the inaugural edition with Uncle Shank back in 2021.
Tanev has developed a strong relationship with the Somerset Farms team, purchasing Uncle Shank and exporting the speedster to North America where he has since lowered his best to 1.49.4.
Kevin and Kay Seymour secured another feature when Firebolt caused an upset in the QBRED For Life Two-Year-Old Final.
With trainer Grant Dixon preparing four runners in the race, Adam Sanderson was able to pick up the drive on the daughter of Ohoka Punter.
Finding the front soon after the start, Sanderson rated the race perfectly, leading throughout to hold out Gleneagle Vee Cee who angled back to the passing lane but could not reel in the leader.
Dixon was driving the race favourite Bettor Cullect, finishing in third as the winner claimed a winning rate of 1.55.3, the fastest of first season sire Ohoka Punter’s ten winners to date.
In the Garrard’s Queen of the Creek, the Donny Smith trained Uptown Beachgirl returned an impressive first up winner, overcoming the outside front-line alley to score.
Sent forward to sit parked, premiership leading reinsman always looked in control of the situation and under sustained pressure worked to the front over early leader Wild Imagination.
Running a closing half in 56.8, Uptown Beachgirl pulled clear for an effortless win over the Turpin trained Holi Starzzz, with the Jonah Hutchinson trained Shez Notorious grabbing third.
The win sends an ominous warning to her opposition for this week’s Group 3 Forever Gold, while it is also a timely boost to her Inter Dominion ranking, positioned at 47 before her first up victory.
In the final feature of the night, trainer Peter Greig claimed victory when Miki Magic proved too strong for the opposition to claim the QBRED For Life 3YO Fillies Final.
Driven by Pete McMullen, he was forced to do it the tough way sitting outside the leader, Jeseeka for the majority of the 2138 metre journey.
In for the fight, Miki Magic dug deep to claim a half-head margin over the Anna Woodmansey trained Jeseeka, with Bronski Delight for trainer Charlie Cini and driver Nathan Dawson hitting the line in good order to finish third.
The 1.56.5 victory was the seventh win this season for the daughter of Always B Miki, providing her sire with a feature treble for the night, with siring credits also secured via Future Assured and Aardies Flash.
For Greig, it was his 87th training win for the season, with eight weeks remaining this season, a first ever triple figure season is within reach.
The feature racing continues this week with the AQWA Constructions Queensland Cup, Prydes Easifeed Forever Gold, Cattlewash Standing at Trump 3YO Fillies and 3YO Colts and Geldings Classic’s, The Bill Dixon, Pryde’s Easifeed Trotters Feature and the Burwood Stud 2YO Classic.