Wheatsheaf Avaball claims Martin Memorial

GREAT Western trainer Michelle Wight was in celebration mode after her eight year old gelding Wheatsheaf Avaball took out the Ray Martin Memorial Pace at Laidlaw Park on Monday.

Wheatsheaf Avaball on the inside, holds out The Noble Steed to win the Ray Martin Memorial at Laidlaw Park on Monday.

Wheatsheaf Avaball on the inside, holds out The Noble Steed to win the Ray Martin Memorial at Laidlaw Park on Monday.

She's A Killer went into the race as favourite, but after she galloped early, the field opened up and the race was there for the taking.

Wheatsheaf Avaball was forced three wide without cover for the majority of the race, before sprinting clear to grab victory.

Second placed The Noble Steed challenged late, but to no avail as Wheatsheaf Avaball produced a mile rate of 1.59.9.

Upon accepting the trophy Wight's love for her horse was evident using words such as tough, honest, and terrific, to describe the gelding.

"He is a tough one paced horse," Wight said.

"He doesn't get much faster or slower than that. He is so honest,"

Denbeigh Wade was in the sulky and having driven him to victory at Terang four weeks ago, was pleased to score another win.

The win marked the horse's first victory over the shorter distance which was something that surprised Wight.

"It is his first win over the mile, that's a shock to me," Wight said.

"Normally it is the longer the better. He just doesn't stop."

Due to the horse's lack of versatility Wight will now look for a suitable race, but has contemplated a start at Melton next weekend.

Wheatsheaf Avaball finished a head in front of second placed The Noble Steed to claim the Martin Memorial and a further two metres behind them in third place was Goodtime Slater.

The Noble Steed is trained and driven by Wight's sister Kerryn Manning.

Wight was a proud winner of the Ray Martin Memorial Pace and had great pleasure accepting the trophy from Ray's son Owen.

Owen, who continues the Martin name in harness racing, also had a winner on Monday, taking out the Trackside Bar and Bistro three year old pace with Usage.

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