A real family affair

STAWELL - It was a real family affair for the Holloways at Laidlaw Park on Monday, celebrating victory in the Community Day Final with Excuse To Live.

The horse is not only trained and part owned by harness racing stalwart, Colin Holloway, but the glory was also shared with Holloway's wife (part owner) and son Brett, who drove the gelding to victory on Monday.

Excuse To Live was always in the box seat after an excellent start, with Brett Holloway allowing his charge to dictate terms.

Producing a blistering mile rate of 1.57.1, Excuse To Live, which hadn't been enjoying the best of runs of late, gave his rivals no chance.

Colin Holloway described the horse as a good little trier.

"The horse has limited ability," he said.

"In fields like that he can be competitive, but he won't ever be anything special.

"We were only really a chance because of the barrier draw. There were better horses in that race, but we drew the cherry so everything went our way."

The Holloway stable plans to take it one race at a time for the gelding, but there was a hint at tackling the Tontine series.

"He's good enough to compete in the Tontine and it's a race I would dearly love to win. I've run second a couple of times, so I would dearly love to win one.

"The first heat is still three weeks away with the final not until the middle of February, so we'll sit down and have a look at that for him."

The Tontine series final is scheduled to be run at Ballarat on February 14.

Excuse To Live had been struggling a little for form prior to Monday, but the stable is hoping he may have turned the corner.

"He's been knocking on the door for a while now," Holloway said.

Holloway, who was chief executive officer of the Ballarat Harness Racing Club for 30 years, will now be hopeful of a good draw in the Tontine Series heat so he can continue the winning run.

The Tontine series is a highly rated series around the Ballarat, Horsham, Stawell and Terang area and offers $30,000 in stakes.

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