Iron Horse The Fiery Ginga, a veteran of 121 starts over six seasons of racing, served notice of his readiness for an Australian campaign with his 27th success in the Lone Star Café Trot at Ascot Park yesterday.
Alan Clark's rugged and reliable trotter leaves on February 27 to represent New Zealand in the Glenferrie Challenge over a mobile mile at Menangle on March 2.
The invitation feature will see five New Zealanders, also Vulcan, Stent, Master Lavros and Irish Whispers, clash with five Australian trotters.
The circuit then moves to Victoria where The Fiery Ginga will contest the $50,000 Knight Pistol Trot, followed by the $125,000 Australian Grand Prix and the Great Southern Star ($250,000) at Tabcorp Park Melton.
''He felt a shade flat over the last bit today, so I will give him a quiet two days to freshen, trainer-driver Alan Clark, of Washdyke, said.
''He never seems to peak as such . . . He just keeps fronting up and reeling off strong sectionals.''
The Fiery Ginga, who began brilliantly from 50 metres and led over the last 2000 metres to score by two lengths, went within a whisker of matching his track record of 3:27.8 for 2700 metres, set in the corresponding race last year, with yesterday's 3:27.98 clocking.
Larch confirmed the worth of three earlier trials wins when he impressively won the Centrepoint and South City Trot yesterday.
Gay McClymont's promising Sundon 3-yeare-old who became uptight and botched his debut at Winton on February 7, bounced back well to lead over the last mile for Kirk Larsen who trained and drove Zach Bromac to nail plucky runner-up Double Impact in the previous race for pacers.
Larch is closely related to former standout pacers Sapling and Try A Fluke, winner of the A G Hunter Cup and second to Our Sir Vancelot in one of his three Interdominion Paing Grand Final triumphs in Australia. Larch is a brother to Given (three wins).
Zach Bromac is raced by Kirk and Michelle Larsen and Lynette Philpott of Sydney who raced Auckland Cup winner Howard Bromac with them. They bought Zach Bromac for $21,000 from Bob McArdle as a sales yearling. His dam Zante Beach (by Fake Left) won $200,000.
- The Southland Times