The hard-working Lee stable in country Victoria’s Western Districts region has put a lot of time and money into six-year-old harness racing square gaiter Keayang Ignite , but he’s a star in the making.
The gelding toyed with his rivals in the GoodForm On The Trots.com.au Trot at Melton Entertainment Centre tonight (Nov 11), working forward from the start and rolling to the front with ease after 400metres.
Keayang Ignite and Jason Lee left rivals in their wake
“It was nice to not have to knock him around because it was virtually just a quick dash up the straight,” driver Jason Lee said after the race.
Asked if his heart rate would be higher than that of the horse, Lee replied that “Antti (Ruokonen) who does a lot of the work with the horse at home, would have a higher heart-rate than anyone!”.
Keayang Ignite won his first four race starts back in 2019—his latest on December 21 – but was off the scene until September 8 of this year. He now has seven wins and two placings from nine starts.
Keayang Ignite is owned by Marg Lee and trained by Jason’s brother Paddy. Jason said Paddy and Antti had done most of the hard yards with the horse.
“He’s always had a soft spot in all of our hearts. He’s come back from a heap of niggling issues such as bone bruising along with tendon and ligament worries,” he said.
“We sent him to Lee Evison for a rehabilitation stint and he did wonders. He’s got a big motor, but we’ve just got to keep him sound.”
Evison, a former harness racing trainer, is now widely regarded as a rehabilitation “guru” primarily working with thoroughbreds, but also for standardbred clients.
Leading up to this Melton win, the trotter broke the track record in taking out the Swan Hill Trotters Cup.
“We all know the bubble can burst, but if mum and Paddy can keep picking out the right races, he will keep doing the job,” Lee said.
Keayang Ignite won by 15 metres from Hot To Trot (Sonya Smith/Anthony Butt) with a further one metre to third placegetter Central Otago (Andy and Kate Gath). The mile rate was 2:00.2 for the 2240 metre journey.