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War Machine sends ominous warning with blistering display

Mello Family’s gelding, War Machine, lowered the season’s fastest time with driver Philip Correia in the bike at the weekend (Photograph by Colin Mello)

War Machine sent an ominous warning to all who oppose with a jaw-dropping display at the National Equestrian Centre at the weekend.

With driver Philip Correia in the bike, the Mello Family owned gelding stopped the clock at 1min 2.2 sec to slash a second off of the season’s previous fastest time on the way to victory in the Free for All division on Saturday night.

The time was a second shy of the gelding record (1:01.2) War Machine shares with rival harness pony Simsfield Hardtimes, owned by Aaron Sims.

Given it was only the second racecard of the 2022-23 season, War Machine’s fast time exceeded the expectations of many at the Vesey Street facility, including owner Colin Mello, the Driving horse and Pony Club president.

“The time and performance surprised us; to see him doing such a fast time so early in the season.” Mello told The Royal Gazette.

“We hope he can keep it up as the season progresses. We put in the training, so hopefully he will stay strong.”

Candyce Martins and mare Double Time also dipped under the season’s previous fastest time of 1min 3.1sec that they had established six days earlier, completing the two-lap heat in 1min 2.4sec.

“Double Time feels really good,” Martins said. “I did not push her and just let her run her race. I am impressed with her performance again.”

Equalling the season’s previous best with the night’s third fastest time was Simsfield Hardtimes with driver Kirista Rabain in the bike.

“It was a good night and Hardtimes was good,” said owner Sims.

“The other ones are going a little bit faster but it’s still early in the season. We have not spent as much time going to the track as I would have liked prior to the race season started, but every week he is dropping time and the fitness level will come as we spend more time at the track.”

Getting a leg out of the slower 1:04/3 – 1:06 time bar was Martins Family’s mare, Inwood’s Progress, with driver Kamali Tucker at the helm.

In addition to blazing the season’s fastest time, Correia’s three heat victories, including two in the Junior Free for All, were the most by a driver on the night.

Martins and Tahzil Flood had two each respectively.

Harness racing continues at the National Equestrian Centre on Saturday night, beginning at 6pm.

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Published October 13, 2022 at 7:56 am (Updated October 13, 2022 at 7:56 am)

War Machine sends ominous warning with blistering display

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