MAKE Mine Heaven got within half a second of a new track record when bolting clear in Sunday’s feature Group 10 Rugby League Cup (2,260 metres) at Bathurst Paceway.
Bernie Hewitt drove Make Mine Heaven ($2.50) home in a mile rate of 1:55.0, leaving the mare just short of the record currently shared by three horses.
Make Mine Heaven, a placegetter in last season’s Breeders Crown finals, was a cut above her competition during a race run at a consistently high tempo.
She blew by leader Coolie Kid ($4.60, Mitch Turnbull) on the turn for home and waved goodbye to the field.
Her stablemate Royal Story ($5, Scott Hewitt) was the best of the rest, more than 15m behind, to give Hewitt the quinella.
Hewitt’s hopeful Make Mine Heaven can take the next step ahead during her five-year-old season.
“She had to use a lot of petrol early on just to cross but then she secured that lovely run on the leader’s back.
“Mitch wanted to keep his horse rolling so we were the beneficiaries of that run, so she came out and did the rest.
“She went well first up at Menangle. I was quite happy with that run. She’s a quality mare on the way back.
“She might squeeze into a run at Menangle this Saturday and have some sort of a chance at qualifying for the Ladyship Mile, though I may have left her run too late.”
Riders were sporting colours of Group 10 clubs for the main event.
Hewitt, sporting a Blayney Bears jersey, raced away at the green light to find the early lead from gate four.
Mitch Turnbull had initially let Hewitt’s mare go ahead before he decided to work his gelding to the front.
The high early pace strung the field out into single file. The race order heading across the back straight for the first time was Coolie Kid, Make Mine Heaven, Alabama Ace, Bradness Eldefuego, Royal Story, Karloo Damajor and Izzy Watt.
Turnbull kept the high pace going into the final lap.
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Bradness Eldefuego finally broke the single file setup when Amanda Turnbull shifted two wide for a move. Royal Story tracked up behind.
At the 400m Make Mine Heaven challenged Coolie Kid for the lead and got her neck in front on the turn.
Hewitt would have liked what he saw when he looked over his right shoulder at the 100m mark, watching a chasing pack have zero chance of reeling his mare back.
Royal Story and Karloo Damajor ($15) made strong runs over the final stretch to secure the minor placings.
Victories across the meeting’s other nine races were shared among eight different trainers.
Michael Muscat was the only trainer to double up at the Bathurst rugby league meeting with Ferdinand and Delilaah.