Bono Strikes in Nancy’s Race

WOW…WOW…just WOW!!! Our first group success. Runway Bono Nancy Cobain Group 2 Final. UNBELIEVABLE…. This tweet, accompanied by a clip of the last 200m, was posted on twitter minutes after the running of Monday’s Nancy Cobain Distance final.

Pictured: Nancy Cobain Distance winner Runway Bono with handler Ross Mathers being flanked by Matt Claridge (left) and Roger Moore from GRNZ (pic Georgie Clark)

The tweet was posted by Punters HQ, the Australian based owners of the Dave and Jean Fahey trained winner of the $15,825 Group 2 event, contested over the 660m trip. The tweet was quickly retweeted and favoured. It was also followed by a volume of congratulations tweets.

Quite simply Runway Bono outstayed his rivals during the long grind up the Manawatu Raceway straight. There was plenty that occurred during the race from trap rise up to that point.

Runway Bono won the break from the one trap to spear forward into the early race lead, while veering away from the rail. Thrilling Raider for Karen Walsh also jumped away smartly from trap eight and he headed inwards down to the rail. That resulted in general tightening to the balance of the field with other runners being inconvenienced to varying degrees.

Runway Bono received a bit of a clip from behind going into that first turn which saw Thrilling Raider railing underneath him to secure the race lead. It was Molly O’Shea for local conditioner Bill Hodgson who headed the balance of the disorganised field at that stage.

Thrilling Raider, who was contesting just his second ever staying race, slipped clear down the back straight, with Runway Bono stoutly pressing forward out in the middle of the track. The Angela Turnwald prepared Bradam Begins improved his field position by getting into third.

Swinging in for the run home Runway Bono was stalking Thrilling Raider and once balanced up he unleashed to clear out for what turned into an easy 3.5 length win, clocking 39.02s. Thrilling Raider was very gallant in holding down second and he held a three-quarter length margin over the powerful finishing race-favourite Ring The Bell, who was tangled up in early traffic.

As mentioned above, the successes that Runway Bono is currently delivering have attracted a fair amount of attention across the Tasman. The following, supplied by the owners, explains that activity.

“A bunch of Aussie battlers took the gamble and purchased Runway Bono with one thing in mind – NZ racing. Dean Swain (leading NSW trainer) had Bono from a young age and thought the time was right for him to head over the ditch.

“We got hold of Dave and Jean Fahey and the rest is history. We have gone from one leading trainer to another and Bono is loving his new country. Jean and Dave have him absolutely flying and the results speak for themselves.

“There are 7 owners in Bono who live in NSW – Vic – SA. Craig (syndicate manager), David, Wayne, Carl, Pat, Leo and Lindsay. The syndicate is called Punters HQ and we plan on sending more Greyhounds over. In fact 2 more have just landed with another to head over around Xmas time.

“We are in awe of the Fahey’s and how good they are. We are loving it!” messaged Craig on Monday evening.

Nancy Cobain Podium Runway Bono

The full post-race Nancy Cobain Distance podium with Runway Bono flanked by Thrilling Raider and Ring The Bell (pic George Clark); Runway Bono shown here delivering a prior Addington 645m win (pic Dave Robbie)

“Bono normally jumps okay and I was rapt when watching him doing so. I know there was trouble early on and he got a bit of a drag on the first turn which caused him to lose a bit of momentum, allowing Thrilling Raider to rail underneath him. I got confident that he could win it when they went into the final turn.

“It was good to see him striding clear during the run home to win it. He has turned into a better traveller which helped him as he had to go as far north to Te Awamutu with Ross (Mathers) where he stayed Saturday and Sunday nights while Ross went onto Manukau. Thanks to Wayne and Tracy Steele who looked after Bono,” said Dave Fahey, who indicated he will possibly look at the rapidly approaching heats for the $100,000 Christchurch Casino New Zealand Cup as the next major assignment for Runway Bono. Just imagine the atmosphere at the Fahey’s local, the Anglers Arms Tavern in Sefton on Show Day if he happens to win the NZ Cup!

Runway Bono has now raced on 13 occasions since crossing the Tasman, winning six of those and he has finished third twice. The win sees his Kiwi stakes earning now sitting at just on $25,000.

By Peter Fenemor

Posted on 26/09/2017 4:28:40 PM

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