Avenel pacer Im The Boss has provided Swedish reinswoman Kima Frenning with her biggest win in Australia by taking Sunday’s Group 3 $30000 Jim Phillips Memorial Cobram Pacing Cup.
Just when the favourite Major Secret was being hailed the winner halfway down the straight, the David Aiken trained Im The Boss rallied to snatch victory by a head in the last couple of strides in a thrilling climax to the 2678m marathon.
Hickstead filled the minor placing while another of the local hopes, the Steve O’Donoghue trained and Bec Bartley driven mare Shakahari ran an honest race to finish fourth.
The win was a bonus because the Harnessing Racing Victoria vet was still tossing up half an hour before the first race as to whether he would cancel the meeting because of the 40°C-plus weather.
But he didn’t and the rest was history for the Avenel-based trainer and driver.
The first four placegetters raced on the pegs throughout the trip with only the leader and runner-up changing positions at the finishing line.
Second favourite Milly Perez put some life into the race when she moved to the death seat mid-race but she was gone with 400m to run and finished second last.
Driver of Major Secret, Mark Pitt, put the handle bars down at the start from outside the second row to take up the front running and leave punters, who had supported the Emma Stewart trained Art Major seven-year-old into a $1.90 favourite, on good terms with themselves before Im The Boss spoilt the party at the death knock.
Frenning, who has been driving regularly with consistent success since March last year, was confident Im The Boss could run down Major Secret even though he had opened up what seemed a winning break around the home turn.
‘‘He never stops trying and he is a very tough horse,” Frenning said, describing the win as her biggest since arriving here and ‘‘up there’’ with her most memorable moments in the sulky.
Im The Boss deserved his win, breaking a run of four consecutive seconds in the process to have his biggest payday, collecting $17000 for connections with the 15th win of his 73-start career.
Frenning has driven Im The Boss in 12 of its past 13 starts since David Aiken took over the training of the six-year-old Art Major gelding and has now won four races on the pacer.
But a Shepparton Cup appearance this Saturday night is not on his agenda because he has gone to the water walker for a week to freshen before plans for his next assignment are made.
‘‘As soon as the race started we lobbed in a good place just behind the leaders and throughout the race I thought he felt really good,’’ Frenning said.
‘‘As we came off the bend and into the straight I was sure we had the favourite covered but they weren’t going to give up,’’ she said.
‘‘But we got our head in front with about 50m to go and my horse wasn’t going to stop.
‘‘He is a super consistent horse and he has been a big part of my good season and I have also been given a lot of good horses to work with, giving me plenty of opportunity and I am really grateful for that.’’
Last season, which finished at the end of August, she had 12 winners. So far this season she already has 15.