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Dunachton Gale wins second straight Exhibition Cup


There was some celebrating at Truro Raceway Saturday evening after Dunachton Gale won his second Exhibition Cup. The horse got attention from many of those connected with him, including canine friend Coal. Lynn Curwin - Truro Daily News

TRURO - Dunachton Gale won the $7,500 Nova Scotia Provincial Exhibition Cup with a 1:55.1 victory for Phil Pinkney and owners David and Mitchell Fillmore of Berwick and Jason Mullen of Weymouth, NS, at Truro Raceway Saturday night.

It was the fifth straight victory in Maritime invitational ranks for the six-year-old Drop Off-Just Say Yes stallion and the second year in a row he has won the raceway's signature event.

Dunachton Gale won by three parts of a length over Marymatt Hanover (Ken Arsenault) with Rigio Hanover (Mark Campbell) another half-length back in third. Minor shares went to Porthill Alf (Gilles Barrieau) and Lakota Hall (Walter Cheverie).

Dunachton Gale had to work hard for the victory as he was parked out in the opening quarter of 27.3 before taking the lead from Post 7.

"I didn't think Walter (Cheverie) would want to be on the front end, so I decided to send my horse to the front." said Pinkney explaining his decision to move early.

Jason Mullen, one of Dunachton Gale's owners, said he expected him to do well.

"We've got a real fine horse and a driver who drives him like a champion. Horses like him don't come along often. He is probably in his prime now."

David Fillmore said he was confident the horse would win.

"The seven hole is always tough, but I felt once he cleared the top the rest were in trouble. I wasn't worried that he would be caught. He never gives up."

Dunachton Gale didn't get a chance to relax as Darren Crowe challenged with Snoopmattydog, a new arrival for Prince Edward Island owners Charles MacLennan and Blair MacLaughlan, forcing the pace to the half in 56 seconds. Snoopmattydog made a break leaving from Post 6, but was quickly set by Crowe and sent after the leader.

Marymatt Hanover joined the battle on the backstretch with Rigio Hanover and Porthill Alf following his cover.

Dunachton Gale enjoyed a one-and-a- half-length lead at the top of the lane, but both Marymatt Hanover and Rigio Hanover were nipping at his heels.

Porthill Alf was able to find racing room at the three-quarters and rallied to finish fourth, beaten by two-and-a-half- lengths while Lakota Hall was shuffled back to fifth before he could shake loose. By then it was too late and he lacked a closing kick.

"My horse is good right now, and he needed to be tonight." said Pinkney, who said the Truro racing surface did not come up big for the night. "The track was pretty deep and some of the horses had difficulty getting good footing."

The 1:55.1 clocking was well off the track and Nova Scotia record of 1:53.2 set by Dunachton Gale in last year's NSPE Cup.

Olay Olay, the highly touted three-year-old from the Whebby Stables of Dartmouth, failed to finish in the money in his seasonal debut. He finished sixth, beaten by five lengths with Marc Whebby driving. The colt was to leave for New Jersey this week.

Ready Cash was seventh with a well spent Snoopmattydog last and on the steward's list.

The win was the 8th in 10 starts this year for Dunachton Gale and his 43rd lifetime victory. Bred by Don Smith of Pownal, PE, the $16,000 yearling purchase went over the $191,000 mark in career earnings.

Owner Fillmore says Dunachton Gale has been nominated to the Gold Cup and Saucer Series.

The owners said their horse, a fan favourite when he appears at the local track, as well as at tracks in P.E.I., will continue to be based at Truro Raceway and compete in the Maritimes. They also said they appreciate the fan support.

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