HOLDING ON: Bernie Hewitt and Mammals Flash (#12) had to battle, but they did enough for victory at Bathurst on Wednesday night. Photo; CHRIS SEABROOK 102115ctrots1PACING
HE did it the hard way, but Bernie Hewitt-trained gelding Mammals Flash was able to make it four wins from five career starts at the Bathurst Paceway on Wednesday night in a gutsy display.
Contesting the C1 Pace (1,730 metres) and starting from the outside of the second row, a false start left the four-year-old in some bother as he finished up a few hundred metres behind the mobile as they tried to restart.
Seventh Century ($29.30) had broken from gate three and it was Hewitt’s runner that was the most inconvenienced by it.
With the rest of the field still in formation the mobile continued, albeit slowly, and Hewitt had to quickly make up ground to get ready for the second attempt.
Once there, Mammals Flash went forward initially and sat a few lengths off the leaders before pressing his claims as they passed the post for the final lap to begin.
Hewitt got to the lead down the back straight and at the 600m mark looked to have the race at his mercy. But he hadn’t counted on a spirited fightback from Puffnstuff ($9.90) who challenged on the inside and forced the $1.70 favourite to work even harder.
When they entered the straight, it looked as though Mammals Flash might wilt after all the extra exertion and the challengers came thick and fast. But in the end the Georges Plains gelding was strong enough to hold on for a gritty win by 2.5 metres.
It won’t do any harm to his growing reputation.
“He did a lot of work, he’s not a very easy horse to control,” Hewitt said.
“To his credit, he was strong enough to handle it.
“I think in hindsight I probably should have given him a bit of an extra kick down the back and crossed with him to get clear, he would have cornered a bit better had I done that.
“He doesn’t handle that last bend very well.”
Initially after the restart, Zelus ($12.80) was able to get a small lead as Puffnstuff was taken to his shoulder while Hewitt steadily tried to work through the field on the main fancy.
For a second time Seventh Century galloped as they were approaching the 1000m mark and that ended his chances of competing for the win.
The likes of Lawsons Way ($96.40), Kings And Glory ($5.70) and Flight Express ($50.50) all found cover back in the field.
Hewitt was already eyeing a big move as they hit the post and heard the bell. The race was at Mammals Flash’s mercy going into the back straight as Puffnstuff, who had taken over front position, looked to be fading.
However, Geoff Simpson coaxed a second effort out of him as Hewitt approached, and a big finish loomed.
Puffnstuff faded a little in the run to the line while Zelus ducked into the sprint lane to grab second. Kings And Glory (third) also managed to muster a sprint, while Flight Express produced an impressive late surge.
He flew home in eye-catching fashion to snare fourth, but there was no denying the winner, who proved he can do it the hard way.
Four straight sub-30 second quarters (28, 29.6, 29.2 and 29.4) combined for a fast mile rate of 1:55.9.
“He has got a lot of raw ability, but I just don’t know how long we are going to have to wait for him to mature,” the trainer said.
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