The people’s champion Come On Frank reminded harness fans there was still life in the champ with a brilliant win at Globe Derby Park on Monday.
Come On Frank ($3.30) rated a sizzling 1:54.8 on a warm afternoon in scoring a 2-1/2 metre win in the BGC Industrial Cleaning Suppliers Pace (1800m) beating Mark Dennis ($2 fav) with The Smiler ($13.20) a half-metre away third.
Trainer-driver Darren Billinger was delighted with the win and was swept up in the joy around the stable.
“That was just about his best win at Globe Derby Park,” Billinger said.
“There had been talk about retirement and this was his way of questioning if anyone had asked him.
“We have been having trouble with his bloods but at the moment they are great so I won’t be changing anything.”
Billinger said provided Come On Frank pulled up okay he would accept for a race on Saturday night with a random draw.
“He hasn’t had much luck in draws so anything better than the outside is a bonus.”
It was a masterful drive by Billinger who settled Come On Frank at the tail of the field of five while Big Spook rolled along in front with early quarters of 29.6 and 29.9 before recording a 28.3 third quarter.
Billinger came one wide with a lap to go but didn’t really go forward effectively putting Mark Dennis, his main danger, in a pocket.
He asked Come on Frank to improve coming off the back and the nine-year-old responded and proved too strong under Billinger’s hard driving.
It was Come on Frank’s 61st win from a 128-start career and took his stakes past $404,000.