I published an article, this week, in the New Zealand Harness Racing Weekly, detailing little Livia’s history and her splendid recent exploits. How we’d gone to Yarra Valley, last start, to avoid racing Aussie Made Lombo (Victoria’s top filly, 15 wins already!) and her dauphines in the Oaks, and how we’d duly won. So…
This week Yarra was hosting the first heat (of five) of the prestigious Vicbred Superseries. Since we’d paid the entry fee, we decided ‘why not go’? The biggest guns might not go to Yarra, they might wait for the heats at Mildura or Shepperton. We might sneak a fourth and get into the semi-finals, or even eventually and marvellously even the final: theoretically the top ten or twelve fillies in the state..
Wednesday, the acceptances came out:
No1 Livia de Gerolstein, No 2 Aussie Made Lombo …
‘Terrific first heat of the Vicbred Super Series for the 3yo fillies to start the program where AUSSIE MADE LOMBO (2) is sure to go around well into the red. She has an outstanding record of 15 wins from 27 starts and the only time she has finished out of the money was last start when sixth in the Victoria Oaks Final behind Bettor Cover Lover after enduring a tough trip. She should cruise straight to the lead here and will have little trouble in disposing of these. Her only real danger will be BELLA’S DELIGHT (7). She is a tough type, as indicated by her gutsy death seat success at Ballarat four back in the Prendergast Memorial Oaks Trial. She too comes off the Victoria Oaks series, finishing a game second to AUSSIE MADE LOMBO (2) in her heat before running a great race in the Final when fifth, beaten only 8m by Bettor Cover Lover. She will have to sit parked today and although it is doubtful she can run past AUSSIE MADE LOMBO (2), she looks a moral to run second. The two key ones battling it out for third spot will be the well drawn and improving LIVIA DEGEROLSTEIN (1), and the honest RIVIERA KISS (6), who has been meeting some smart types of late on the provincials…’
Terrific, yeah. For some. But at least he gave us a place chance..
Well, he was right. Aussie Made Lombo made straight for the front, with Livia right behind her. Bella’s Delight duly sat parked, without unhappily putting any pressure on the leader, who, unchallenged, ran along the 1200 metres into the straight in a fair 1min 31secs. In the last 200 metres, Livia made a gallant effort up the passing lane, but she could not get closer than half a length to the cruising favourite, and in the end she was edged for second by a slightly disappointing Bella’s Delight, who seemed to have settled for second from the outset. Well, I guess we would have signed for third! But we tried. And I’m sure we momentarily got into second ..
I’m greedy now. Oh! how I wanted to be second! But we finished a length behind arguably the best Victorian filly of the 3 year-old generation, so how not be pleased? … even if they went no faster than last week.
So Way2Bet got it right again … and, while Lively Moth, Milliara Lombo and Rhodium Castle go to Mildura to battle out Heat 2, Livia lives to fight another day. And probably a semi-final. Hopefully not, this time, against Aussie Made Lombo!