LEADING reinsman Jack Painting rates Blazing Banner among the best juvenile pacers he has driven after breaking the Riverina Paceway two-year-old track record.
What seemed an ordinary NR 47 Pace (1740m) at Wagga on Tuesday night suddenly drew attention from across the country when Blazing Banner set a new fastest time at Riverina Paceway.
Blazing Banner ($1.10) withstood some early heat before surging clear to score by 32 metres in a mile rate of 1:51.2.
It eclipsed Kashed Up's previous time for a two-year-old by a second, and is faster than the three-year-old record of 1:51.6, held by Jerulas Grin.
It was inside of a second of Star Major's overall track record of 1:50.3.
While most would be happy to set a new record, Painting certainly had not planned to go so quick.
"I was not happy at all, to be honest. We didn't want to do that. That's a good way to stuff a horse, really. We were just a victim of circumstances. Not many horses can actually do that," Painting said.
"I was just hoping to give him a nice quiet run before I take him down to Melbourne but that didn't go to plan at all.
"I knew we were rolling, I just wasn't sure what Robbie (Morris) was doing but he said he was pretty confident in his horse and thought it could run a bit of time so he poured the pressure on the whole way. At the 400 board when I saw 26 something come up, and I knew we went a quick first half, I thought we're in for some time here.
"After the first half, I thought we're going to see what we're made of here and he just kept giving. He's only a little horse but he's got a real high cruising speed. You actually don't feel like you're running quite that quick. He just gets over the ground good for a little horse."
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With four wins from five starts, Blazing Banner is now bound for Victoria for the Vicbred Super Series heats at Shepparton on December 14, the same night as the qualifiers for the MIA Breeders Plate at Leeton.
Trainer David Kennedy will see how Blazing Banner pulls up but had considered a run in the Sapling Stakes at Menangle leading into the Vicbred series.
"He seem to have come through the run pretty good, which is good news this morning," Painting said.
While not thrilled to give Blazing Banner such a hard hit-out, Painting hopes it could help him heading into the Victorian series.
"You'd imagine people in Victoria would have seen that run after (Tuesday) night," he said.
"It's hard to get respect off Emma (Stewart) and Clayton's (Tonkin) horses because there is just so many and they're so good but that's who he has got to go up against in the next month."
It was a good night out for Painting at Wagga with Blazing Banner's win kicking off a winning treble.
He combined with Kennedy for success of Artie's Dime ($3.70) and then steered Sweedish Meetballs to victory for Darrell Hillier ($2.30).
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