Night four of the Busselton trotting season saw the dominance of Ash Markham continue with the reinsman driving four winners on the seven event program. Markham once again teamed up with Budd Sidewinder and trainer Micheal Callagari in the Callows Southern Stars Series. Sent out an even money favorite the talented four-year-old didn’t let punters down. Settling in a position to strike Markham let the gelding sprint down the back straight to win, running away from James Coburn and local Bledisloe. Callagari and Markham were at it again in race five when they teamed up with Sammys Ideal. The American Ideal four-year old was met with solid support from punters and with a great start off 10 metre Markham sent him to an early lead and was able to hold off the hot favorite Lightning Jolt.
Collie based trainer Bianca Ashcroft also trained a winning double on the program starting with the pint-sized mare Tells in the first of the evening. Driven once again by Markham the mare settled just off a frantic early pace and in the latter sages of the race Markham took after the leader Racy Lacy to run the mare down and win by two lengths. Call Me Ernie raced solidly off the pace and once again Markham drove a patient race, with the leaders going hard early and turning for home grabbed the lead and held off a fast finishing Magical Mitch.
The fourth race renewed the rivalry between Hillbilly Time and Our Bobbydazzler and the start was all important for the final result. They have raced each other twice this season and with the score at one a piece it was set for a thrilling race. Hillbilly Time got the start he needed and with Bobby locked away behind the six-year old pacer from Collie, driver Trent Wheeler wasn't about to let him out; the Peter Hemsley trained pacer proved too hard to run down in the latter stages.
Brendan Abbott had two runners on the night and both clashed in the second last event. Amounis led early but Cory Patterson had the stablemate On My Oath positioned outside the leader and rated it to perfection and the five-year old race away to score by a length from Amounis. Old timer Compact Rocket rounded out the night with a strong all the way victory for driver Wheeler and trainer Matthew Scott when he scored by over a length from Alluring Attitude. Next meeting: Friday, January 19.
THE Bin Chooks hosted the Jack of All Trades last Tuesday night with a high scoring affair entertaining both teams and spectators alike. Batting first, The Jacks opened with Jake who looked in form early, but it was the Chooks’ skipper Danny who struck first, bowling Dylan T for 2. Jake soon retired on 25, bringing up his retirement with two 6’s, (eventually falling for 29), while Douggy also retired with a 6 to be undefeated on 28 before coming back out to the crease and not adding to this total. A huge score was on the cards with Hillzy number one going to the crease. Last week we said he would be the key wicket for the Jacks but his confidence may have turned to cockiness, being dismissed for 2. Benny retired on 25, Jack’s skipper Bernie made an unbeaten 26, while Tyler was unbeaten on 23 at number 11 to see the Jack of All Trades make 8 for 169. Russell took 2 for 6 from his two overs and Tom 2 for 9 to be the Chooks’ best bowlers of the night. This was going to be great run chase if the Chooks were to win the game and at a required run rate of 8.5 per over, the Chooks needed to start well. Sitting on top of the ladder with a season run rate of 9.5 per over; the Chooks would have been confident. Six runs of Benny’s first over before nine runs were taken off the second and 11 off the third; 12 off the 4th and 13 off the 5th and an ominous pattern was developing. Then 11 came off the sixth over which had the Chooks 2 for 62 with Ash retired on 28. Tom, after a brilliant bowling spell in the first innings, was dismissed for 20. Chris retired on 25 and with three 6’s, two 4’s and a single, Sam retired on 27 from only six scoring shots. The skipper also retired with 24 runs, with the successful run chase completed in the 18th over.
With the Chooks winning the first game of the week, the Swingers were in need of a bonus point victory over the Lemons in the week’s second game. With some serious net sessions over Christmas and some banter on the Facebook page, the Lemons were confident in winning this encounter. Batting first, things started disastrously for the Lemons with their second highest run scorer for the season, Aaron Beckett, dismissed on the third ball of the innings for a duck. Dornan soon followed for 6 before Paul Christianson and Jarred Simpson both retired on 27. Rhys Johnson retired on 28 before finally making an unbeaten 37 runs. Marc Randell’s 3 for 17 from 2 overs was the pick of the bowlers with Mitch Howlett’s 2 for 8 and Walshy’s 2 for 17 the other notable figures. The Lemons made 159 all out in what would be a hard total to chase on a lightning outfield. The Swingers took 8 from the first over before Beckett’s day went from bad to worse with two 6’s and two 4’s coming off his over to have the Swingers 0 for 30 from 2. Steve Ritchoe stopped the flow for a bit with a wicket off his first ball bowled; the dangerous Howlett out for 17 from only five balls. Lemons skipper Tye Denton; after finally being dismissed the previous game he was keen to get amongst the runs and he did. Retiring on 28 before finishing the game with an unbeaten 31 next to his name. Haig Columbera retired on 25 but it was plain sailing for the Swingers with the total reached on the 16th over and a couple of bonus points picked up. Tubby Taylor was the pick of the bowlers with 2 for 16 from 2 overs while Ben Horrocks had a day to forget with 17 coming from his solitary over.
Last night saw the Lemons due to play the Jacks while the Heavy Rollers will take on the Bin Chooks tonight. With the remnants of Cyclone Joyce threatening to bring heavy rain these games may be postponed. Info can be found on the Facebook page @busseltont20 or call Michael on 0420 576 029. Season 2 nominations are being taken with only one spot left, so call or message the Facebook page now.