Punters and public enjoyed a fantastic night of harness racing in 1920s theme at the Cambridge Raceway Centenary race meeting on Friday night.
The feature race of the evening, the $60,000 Gr.2 McMillian Equine Feeds Waikato Flying Mile was won by last start Auckland Cup winner Turn It Up.
He had too much speed for the leader, Star Galleria, up the passing lane, running a 26-second quarter to win in a relatively sedate 1.54.5.
Remarkably, it was only the Australian-bred’s 10th career start and came one run after his dominant Auckland Cup victory on New Years’ Eve.
Driver and co-trainer Mark Purdon was full of praise for the horse post-race.
“He’s just one out of the box, said Purdon.
“After the New Zealand Free For All we decided to target the Auckland Cup with him and he’s been enormous ever since.
“I thought Star Galleria might be hard to pull back tonight after the run he had in front, but we reeled him easily.”
Star Galleria fought on bravely for second while the winner’s stablemate, Ashley Locaz, nabbed third.
Turn It Up will now get a breather and return home to Christchurch before being set for the Taylor Mile and New Zealand Messenger against his own age at Alexandra Park in late April and early May.
The race was run in front of a large crowd which gathered on course to celebrate the club’s centenary under perfect conditions.
“It was a fantastic night and both the turn out and betting turnover exceeded our expectations,” said Cambridge Raceway Chief Executive Dave Branch.
“We had over 2,000 people on course and took more than double through the tote than we had expected.
“It was great to see the community come together to celebrate what is such an important achievement for us.” - Cambridge Raceway.