WHEN Junee filly Frith took out last year’s Bathurst Gold Bracelet Final by 10 metres, she assured herself a place as one of the greatest performers the annual Gold Crown Carnival has seen.
But come next month, her half-brother will be looking to make his presence felt in the annual Bathurst Gold Crown Carnival.
Bathurst’s annual event has become one which attracts leading trainers, drivers and owners from across Australia and among them are Junee duo Bernie Kelly and Bruce Harpley.
The trainer-driver combination have certainly earned respect for the quality two and three-year-olds they bring to Bathurst, and this year their team is set to include a gelding called Stening.
He will line up in the heats of the headline event – the two-year-old colts and geldings Gold Crown Series – on March 22.
Stening made his racing debut at Leeton last Friday and showed his class as he took out the TAB Rewards Pace (1,758m) by 9.5 metres.
His status as half-brother to Frith saw him backed into $1.70 favouritism and he did not disappoint punters who supported him.
Going from barrier two with Harpley in the gig, Stening showed good gate speed to grab the lead and from there on was not troubled.
He cruised through the first half of the mile with back-to-back sectionals of 32 seconds before stepping up the pressure after the bell.
Showing good strength for a two-year-old on debut, he peeled off quarters of 29.4 and 28.7 in the run home to clock a 2:00.9 winning mile rate.
The effort saw him comfortably beat the David Kennedy trained Sporty Spook ($7).
Though the final result may not have been a surprise, Kelly admitted the ease of the victory was not something he had anticipated.
“Winning on debut in two minutes, I was very happy,” Kelly said.
COME ON: Driver Bruce Harpley urges Frith down the home straight and on to victory in her Gold Bracelet heats at the Bathurst Paceway last year. Next month her half-brother Stening will be one to watch at the Gold Crown Carnival. Photo: ANYA WHITELAW 032513yfrith
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