Southwest & Riverina Derby to Armalife
Affectionately known as ‘Larry’, 3yo pacer Armalife was anything but a lounge lizard when he proved far too strong for a quality lineup in the Saturday night’s $20,000 Southwest & Riverina Derby held at Wagga Wagga paceway.
Trained locally by Neil Day and driven by daughter Amy, the 3yo Life Sign gelding took up the running shortly after the start where he was joined by the race favourite Grand Stride with 2 laps remaining.
In a masterful drive, Amy steered Armalife through the first half in a very leisurely 65.5 seconds. And as the field raced down the back straight on the last occasion Grand Stride was starting to feel the pinch as Armalife put the 3rd quarter behind him in a quick 28.3 seconds. With leading trainer/driver Luke McCarthy urging Grand Stride on, Amy let ‘Larry’ sprint and he quickly raced three lengths clear as they entered the short Wagga Wagga home straight.
With the favourite beaten it was left to Major Gambler, who had tracked Armalife throughout, to run on for second place with Bigga trainer Dennis Picker getting clear late in the race behind Condagen and finishing fast for a very good third. With the last quarter in 29.2, the overall mile rate was a respectable 2:01.9
Armalife was bred by John and Kim Ridley and is out of the brother’s very good mare Arma The One who was a Harold Park winner some years ago. The win takes Armalife’s record to 5 wins from 12 starts and he will now be aimed at the rich Breeders Challenge Series being conducted during May and June, with his first engagement being the $15,000 3yo heat at Goulburn on Monday the 14th May.
For Amy Day the win on Armalife provided her with the feature race double as she also drove the $44 outsider Marooned to victory in the $20,000 Wagga Pacers Cup. Trailing the field at the bell, Marooned unleashed a withering sprint from the 200m mark to circle the field 6 horses wide before hitting the front at the top of the straight. He then raced away to score a 4.7m win from the quality mare Reneging, returning the very good mile rate of 1:59.9 for the 2165m journey.