The legend that is South Australia’s favourite harness horse Come on Frank added another chapter at Globe Derby Park on Friday, June 19.
Come on Frank, the pacer with his own Facebook page, and Australia-wide cheer squad, has regularly delivered on significant anniversaries and such was that case at Globe Derby Park.
Part-owner, and perhaps biggest fan, Julie Billinger, wife of trainer-driver Darren Billinger was having a birthday on Saturday, June 20, so Come on Frank delivered the best present with a return to form in the PFD Food Services Open Pace (1800m).
Even Come on Frank would admit his recent runs have not been up to his normal standard, but on Friday night, he was back to his brilliant best recording a 1:56:1 mile rate in scoring an easy four-and-a-half metre win.
A $2.50 chance, the seven-year-old notched his 50th win at his 100th race start (another notable milestone with a 50 per cent winning strike rate) with a win over Fistfullofdollars ($5.50) with Some Kinda Tactics the heavily backed $1.90 favourite two metres away third.
For those who don’t like believing in fairytales or the mystique of Frank’s story, but look for something more substantial, Darren Billinger explained he had added block blinkers to the gelding’s gear this week.
“I’m not sure he had been concentrating in his races,” Billinger said. “I thought by adding the blinkers it might get him thinking a bit more about actually racing and it looks like they worked.”
The trainer also said race tactics had helped his cause.
Fistfullofdollars kicked up from gate one to try and lead but Mark Billinger on Some Kinda Tactics from gate three also wanted the lead but it took him a few hundred metres to cross and as a result a first quarter of 29.4.
“I missed all the early action, but as soon as they worked out the lead I decided I wasn’t going to let them back off,” Billinger said.
“So I head around and made sure the pace stayed in the race.”
There was a 30- second second quarter before Come on Frank again stepped up the speed coming home with 28.7 and 28.6 final quarters.
Some Kinda Tactics tried hard but the early burn took its toll and while Fistfullofdollars tried hard to launch a challenge, Frank was too good.
And another chapter had been written.
Image - Graham Fischer/OSLSA - copyright