War Machine takes harness racing top honours
War Machine and driver Philip Correia stamped their authority on proceedings at the National Equestrian Centre on Saturday night.
The pair clocked the fastest time of 1:02/1 on the way to victory against mare Double Time in a two-horse heat in the Free for All division at the Devonshire racetrack.
Correia also steered War Machine to victory over Martins Family’s Double Time in the second heat between the two rivals in trying conditions.
“They were tough track conditions and it was nice the we still got the fastest time of the night,” Correia said. “It was really cold and damp at the track and that was.hard on all of us to really perform.
“Conditions were not in anybody’s favour but nonetheless the horse still performed quite good to get the fastest time of the night, which is great.”
War Machine’s time in the first heat was less than a second shy of the season’s fastest time set by Simsfield Hardtimes of 1:01/2, the gelding record shared by both horses.
“It’s a rivalry between us and Simsfield Hardtimes at the moment,” Correia added. “That’s our number-one competitor at the moment and both horses are good.
“We are chasing a fifth of a second (overall track record of 1:01/1) at the moment, which is kind of hard as you never know when your time is going to come around.”
War Machine’s owner, Driving Horse and Pony Club president Colin Mello, is also encouraged by his horse’s showing in the trying conditions.
“I’m happy with how he went and hopefully he stays just as good for the rest of the season,” he said.
Simsfield Hardtimes and driver Kirista Rabain clocked the second fastest time of 1:02/3.
Double Time, Lee and Sergio Raynor’s stallion Special Gold and War Machine earned a share of the third fastest time of 1:03 flat.
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