Cravens enjoy winning double at Stawell

STAWELL - One of the great family names in harness racing, Craven, featured prominently in last Wednesday's Stawell Harness Racing Club meeting.

The family enjoyed a winning double at Laidlaw Park with Glen Craven driving punter's elect, the Margaret Lee-trained Keayang Rustler, to victory in the Geoffrey Sanderson Life Member Pace.

Matthew Craven followed up by guiding his own horse, Whatapunt, to victory in the Terry McManus Life Member three year old Pace.

It was a perfect drive by Glen Craven in the Geoffrey Sanderson Pace, finding the front early ahead of Owen Martin-trained Longtan Tigerman and another Craven (Matthew's) horse, Shards of Ice.

Keayang Rustler was leading at the bell, six metres ahead of his nearest rival Shards of Ice.

Shards of Ice managed to close the gap to four metres on the home turn, but Keayang Rustler still had plenty in reserve and managed to hold on and win by 3.6 metres.

Glen Craven was pleased with Keayang Rustler's performance.

"He got a good run in front and had a good draw which helped," Craven said.

It was Keayang Rustler's first win in just his fourth start since a 10 week spell.

Meanwhile, Whatapunt had to work a little harder for victory in the Terry McManus Pace.

The three year old was a well-deserved favourite leading into the race following a win at Terang two weeks prior.

It took a while for the field to sort itself out with The Unionist, driven by Glen Craven, finding the lead in the back straight the first time.

The Unionist led by four metres after posting a slick first quarter (31.8) and was in front at the bell, ahead of Arr En Special and Kerryn Manning-driven Life of Ted.

Whatapunt then made his move with 500 metres to go, challenging The Unionist, Arr En Special and Life of Ted.

It turned into a battle between Arr En Special and Whatapunt, with the latter storming to the line to win by a head and record back-to-back wins for Matthew Craven.

Peter Craven said he was a bit worried by Whatapunt being three wide out at the bell but said he 'boxed on really well.'

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