WITH the hum of karts in the background, a nifty piece of driving from Nathan Hurst gave Prince Raymac a win in the first at Orange’s Highlands Paceway yesterday.
The lead changed hands several times throughout the $3000 Harts Machinery Heat One (1880 metres), before Hurst pushed Prince Raymac two wide at the top of the home straight and held off a late charge from second placed I’m No Lady.
I’m No Lady started well, immediately pushing to the front of the pack at the race’s start with Prince Raymac staying one back.
As the horses hit the back straight for the first time, Hurst pushed Prince Raymac up on the outside as Lucky Laag and Time and Chance moved in behind in third and fourth.
Hurst took the lead into the near straight as the Peter Lew-ridden Red Patches fell into a skip behind the pack, losing any chance of making up ground.
I’m No Lady began to pull again as the pack rounded into the back straight, with Prince Raymac just a long neck away on the outside.
As the leading pair swung into the home straight Hurst moved two wide and drove hard into the straight to lead Prince Raymac to the victory, by a nose in a time of 2.22.3 with a mile rate of 2.05 neat, despite a late kick from I’m No Lady on the inside.
Spring Hill trainer Kel Winnell’s Time and Chance finished third.
Hurst said he was pleased with the win, but not entirely satisfied with the ride.
“I really thought he’d be able to get up and lead,” Hurst said.
“Obviously he didn’t, and it didn’t effect the result, but since he was coming back down from a higher level of racing I didn’t expect it to be that tough.
“He’s been riding well lately, and even though it wasn’t his best run today he got the job done.”