Narrabri harness racing trainer Jarred Hetherington celebrated his first winner in three-and-a-half months last Thursday when the mighty Miss Maravu proved too hot to handle at the Tamworth Paceway.
In the third race of the day at the Tamworth Harness Racing Club meet, which was a 1980-metre pace (NR up to 47), Miss Maravu wore the number four saddlecloth and secured her second victory in 13 starts since she joined the Hetherington stables in February.
The three-year-old bay filly ran past the golden guitar finish post more than 12 metres ahead of her closest competitor following a run which Hetherington applauded.
Miss Maravu was driven by Murray Sullivan and started from the number four barrier.
She was one of the three fastest to begin the race alongside the Stacie Elliot-trained, Rodney Atkins-driven favourite Playboy Shadow and the John Mordue-trained-and-driven Justlikeboomer which started from the one and two barriers respectively.
The favourite led at the first turn into the home straight while Miss Maravu occupied second place as she went around the turn three wide.
She eventually made her way into the death with two laps remaining, and then with just one circuit left to run Playboy Shadow still led from Miss Maravu on the outside.
The duo remained the front runners heading into the final turn, but it was the Narrabri pacer which stepped up a gear when it mattered most. Miss Maravu entered the home straight with a comfortable lead and kicked on in style to win by more than 12 metres from the Scotty-Jon Welsh-trained-and-driven Commanche, which finished second, while Playboy Shadow ran home in third place, four metres back from Commanche.
Hetherington was full of praise for his three-year-old filly and was pleased to finally taste success again following three-and-a-half months without a win since Sahara Jewell raced to victory in Tamworth back on Thursday, June 24.
“It’s been a long time coming for us,” Hetherington said.
“We’ve been pretty disappointed with how our horses have been going this season.
“Our better horses that we had opinions of, that we thought would pick up four or five races for the season, have sort of gone amiss or have been injured or sick and at the moment are out spelling.
“It was nice to get this result and hopefully this is the turn of the corner for us.
“[Miss Maravu] really toughed that win out. We knew she was the best horse in the race so we wanted to make sure it was run genuinely to take any opportunities for horses that take the soft runs out of it.
“We made sure it was on a long way from home and once we were able to do that, she was the only horse in the top three that did any work in the race so we were very happy with it.
“She’s only a baby, only a three-year-old, so to tough it out like she did was great. On the line she was pulling away from them.
“She does have a lot of issues, like her trainer she’s got a lot of head noise, but if she stays on song and she’s right she’s going to have a very bright future.
“There won’t be anything huge or out of this world, but she does have a bright future.
“We’ll give her a few more runs now and then she’ll go to the paddock for three to six months then we’ll bring her back as a four-year-old.”
The Narrabri trainer also tipped his hat to Forbes driver Sullivan.
“He really drove her to perfection,” Hetherington said.
“Murray has won races at Menangle, Harold Park and Albion Park, he’s a top line driver.
“We mapped the race out and it was one of those races that was run how we mapped it out.
“Murray did everything to a tee. He really served it up to the horse inside of him, the leader, and really made sure it was a true contest and made sure the best horse won.”
Theagenes, a stablemate of Miss Maravu, was the first Narrabri-trained pacer in action in Thursday’s nine-race program. The four-year-old gelding was driven to a third-placed finish by Sullivan.
The duo finished 16 metres back from the Kim Mordue-trained, John Mordue driven Connerman. Those two pacers started alongside one another on the front line in the three and four barriers respectively.
Broken Ark and Sahara Jewell then ran eighth and sixth for Hetherington in races six and seven respectively.
Meanwhile, the Shepherdson stable also represented Narrabri at the Tamworth meet. HarnessChris Shepherdson drove Goejoe to eighth in race three, Killara Insanity to eighth in race seven, Yellowbow to fifth in race eight and Montana Nights to fourth in race nine.To order photos from this page click here