Night Lights has done it again.
The five-year-old mare trained by Jarred Hetherington raced for the fourth time on Australian soil yesterday at the Tamworth Paceway where she secured her third victory since joining the Hetherington stable in February.
In the first of eight races at a Tamworth Harness Racing meeting Night Lights was driven by Mick Formosa.
Formosa, who drove the New Zealand-bred pacer to her previous two wins in Australia on Easter Monday, April 13, and Thursday, April 30, got the job done again as Night Lights secured a half-head victory in the 1980-metre TAB Odds and Evens Pace.
She saw off the Richard Williams-trained-and-driven Flightnfight and the race’s $2 favourite Konigsberg, which was driven by Blake Hughes for trainer Clayton Harmey, in a thrilling finish.
Night Lights started the race from the number two barrier, one in from pole position and she began quickest as she established an early lead.
However pole position runner Fightnflight gained the lead before both pacers were then overtaken by Konigsberg which led with two circuits to run as Night Lights occupied third position in the one one.
When the bell sounded Night Lights was still running in the one one, now behind the Anthony Missen-trained, Tom Ison-driven Mickey Ramone which had joined Konigsberg at the front.
With 400 metres remaining Night Lights was running fourth but Formosa took her three wide into the final turn where she overtook Mickey Ramone and Fightnflight to join Konigsberg at the front.
Fighntflight then joined those two in the final straight in a threeway battle for victory and it was the Narrabri pacer which got the job done in a nail-biting finish, seeing off Fightnflight by half a head and third-placed Konigsberg by a metre to earn the $2080 top prizemoney.
Hetherington told The Courier that he was “very happy” with bay mare which is owned by his brother-in-law and sister and a couple of his good mates.
“Night Lights is just very tradesman-like,” Hetherington said.
“We’ve given her the four starts for three wins and I’m very happy with her. She’ll never win by a big margin, she just puts her head in front and stays there, they can keep coming at her but she just keeps sticking her head out.
“She’s owned by my brother-in-law and sister and a couple of good mates of mine and they are very happy with how she’s going.”
That win kicked off a successful meeting for the Narrabri owners and trainers.
There were no more Narrabri winners in the following seven races, however four Narrabri-trained pacers finished either second or third.
In race two the Hetherington-trained Bettor Getta Lover started the 1980-metre Hygain – Tracktorque Pace as the $2.40 favourite from the number eight barrier on the second row.
That race was won by another pacer which was also paying $2.40, the Harmey-trained, Hughes-driven Azur Express which started alongside Bettor Getta Lover in barrier nine.
Bettor Getta Lover placed third, 3.9 metres behind the winner and less than a metre behind second-placed Conquer The Day which was driven by Tom Ison for trainer Michael Finlay.
The third race of the meeting was the National Volunteer Week 2020 Pace which was run across a 1609-metre distance.
In that race the Garry Shepherdson-trained Future Fun was driven by Brad Elder to a second-placed finish.
Future Fun, owned by Narrabri’s Nathan and Charles Dicks, Peter, Chris and Garry Shepherdson and Neil Drysdale, started from the number two barrier one in from pole position and finished 4.3 metres behind the Harmey-trained, Hughes-driven winner Gold Reactor.
There were three more Narrabri pacers in action in that race.
Sir Macador was driven to seventh by Formosa for Hetherington, Sumthin Special was driven to eighth by Chris Shepherdson for Garry Shepherdson, and Capital Cullect was driven to ninth by Dean Chapple for Peter Shepherdson.
In the fourth race of the meeting, which was the Tamworth Harness Racing Club Volunteers Appreciation Pace, the Peter Shepherdson-trained Kid Montana placed third.
Kid Montana which is also owned by Nathan and Charles Dicks, Peter, Chris and Garry Shepherdson and Neil Drysdale started from the number nine barrier on the second row as the $1.33 favourite and finished two-and-a-half metres behind the race’s winner Van Laddie which was driven by Ison for Roy Roots Junior.
Also involved in that race were Hetherington-trained duo Padrisimo and Corporal Luna which were driven by Formosa and Anthony Varga to sevenths and ninth respectively.
The last Narrabri pacer to run at the meeting was the Garry Shepherdson-trained Tralee Chic which was driven by Chris Shepherdson in race six, the 1980-metre Stockmans Supplies Pace.
Tralee Chic ran for the first time for new owners Nathan and Charles Dicks, Peter, Chris and Garry Shepherdson and Neil Drysdale in a race where she started from pole position and placed second after finishing just 3.8 metres back from winner Are You With Me which was driven by Hughes for Missen.
Meanwhile the Jarred Hetherington-trained Broken Ark will be in action at Albion Park on Saturday night in the $50,660 Qbred Triad Final for three-year-old colts and geldings.
While Hetherington is unable to travel to the meeting due to COVID-19 restrictions within the sport, Broken Ark travelled to Queensland late last week and is currently with Cristina Monte ahead of the big race.To order photos from this page click here