Four-year-old trotting gelding Captain McCraw scored a well-deserved win in the opening event on Monday’s program at Yarra Valley for Cranbourne hobby trainer Terry Franklin.
Driven by regular reinsman Scott Ewen, Captain McCraw was quicky onto the pegs from his favourable front-row draw and travelled comfortably in the trail behind Sugar High for the most part of the 2,150-metre trip. Angled back to the sprint-lane in the home straight, Captain McCraw overhauled Sugar High and then withstood a late challenge from the fast finishing Majestic Jewel to score by three metres on the line.
The son of Bacardi Lindy has been a model of consistency for Franklin this season having now recorded two wins and seven placings from eleven starts to date.
“He’s really well suited to racing in this class,” Franklin said after the race. “The race worked out the way you’d want – the leader was first up and set a slow pace and they only got home in 61 (seconds). He can run that every day of the week.”
The win wasn’t without an early scare when Captain McCraw paced in the early part of the score-up.
“Scotty got him back into a trot and had him in position at the start and from there he said he was always confident, especially after the favourite (Hes Themightyspin) galloped out.”
Captain McCraw is still only loosely-assessed with a handicap rating of 45 and remains eligible for similar assignments in the coming weeks.
“There’s a $4,500 up to 45 race at Ballarat on the 14th and at this stage I think we’ll head there.”
Racing returns to Cranbourne this Saturday night with a full metropolitan card likely to attract strong interest from trainers. The meeting is part of a Harness Racing Victoria initiative to take metro racing to regional tracks throughout July and last start winner Chevron Action has already nominated for the meeting for local trainer Dylan Stratford.
“It’s a big step up in class from her last start but she will draw one or two under the race conditions and there’s a stake of $20,000 up for grabs. I think she can be competitive from the draw and she can earn good money if she weighs in,” Stratford said on Monday.
By David Scott