A CLASSY final deserves a fitting conclusion and that’s what Bogan Villa and Vansittart delivered for the crowd at Kennerson Park on Monday.
Vansittart ($7.50) led for all but the final few inches of the Bathurst RSL Club Soldiers Saddle Final (520 metres) as Bogan Villa ($7) snatched victory away by a nose.
That distance was the difference between a $10,000 and $1800 pay day for Bogan Villa’s trainer Graham Dixon.
The Parkes trainer watched on from the boxes as his runner chipped away at Vansittart’s lead, the angle leaving him uncertain whether Bogan Villa had got the win.
“You seem to get beaten plenty of times like that,” Dixon laughed, happy to see the result fall his way on this occasion.
“I brought her down for the series and trialled her twice here to get her well acquainted with the track and it’s all panned out perfectly.
“I thought if she could sit in behind the two [Vansittart] she’d be a little too strong for her at the end. It took her 520 metres to get there though.”
Vansittart was easily the best away from the boxes in the final and jumped out to an early one length lead as the pack passed the post.
Bogan Villa, Calypso Blitz and All Night Fever formed a line of three challengers as the daunting first turn loomed.
Race favourite Motor City Gem ($2.30) was paying for her sluggish start out of the squeeze box. She was sitting in a share of last at the time and with no way past the wall of greyhounds in front.
Everyone made it through the turn cleanly but the race began to change its complexion.
Bogan Villa continued to sit on Vansittart’s tail as both she and Calypso Blitz exchanged the runner-up position several times over the back of the course.
All Night Fever lost touch with the leading group while Motor City Gem slithered through the gaps to jump to fourth at the halfway point.
Calypso Blitz couldn’t match it with Vansittart and Bogan Villa on the home turn.
Her plummet down the standings impeded the challenging group and left it a two-dog race for the lucrative final.
Bogan Villa drew within a half length of Vansittart as they straightened for the dash home.
Spectators were treated to a sprint that will go down as one of the best in the Saddle’s history.
Vansittart looked certain to hold on before Bogan Villa’s last ditch dive forced a photo finish.
Victory would have gone to Vansittart if the race was one metre shorter.
Bogan Villa and Vansittart finished in identical times of 30.11 seconds, with the former picking up her third straight race at Kennerson Park.
Motor City Gem recovered well to finish two lengths away in third.