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Compliance romps to Ballarat glory

Rising star Compliance claimed his first Group event on Friday night when turning the G2 SJC Concreting Ballarat Cup final (450m) into a one-act affair with an explosive front-running exhibition.

Trained at Pearcedale by school teacher Karen Pitt, Compliance was lining up in his third feature final, having led everywhere bar the winning post when runner-up in the G1 Silver Chief on New Year’s Day and finishing unplaced in last month’s G2 Shepparton Cup final.

The complexion of the Cup final changed dramatically on Thursday with the shock scratching of fastest qualifier, Mr. Audacious, which saw rails runner Hennessey backed into favouritism at $2.50.

BALLARAT CUP
Final standings

🥇 COMPLIANCE (Karen Pitt, Pearcedale)
🥈 YOZO BALE (Correy Grenfell, Anakie)
🥉 SUBSTANTIAL (Anthony Azzopardi, Rowsley)

🕒 24.87sec

Drawn in Box 6, as was the case in his 25.11sec heat victory, Compliance started at $7.30.

A son of 2013 Melbourne Cup hero and dual country cups winner Black Magic Opal, Compliance showed his customary early speed to cross to the front and was in a race of his own from that point as he opened up a massive lead.

Compliance careered away in the home straight, defeating 2020 Ballarat Cup winner Yozo Bale by a massive 5.87L in 24.87sec, with surprise Shepparton Cup victor Substantial ($7.40) running third.

WATCH: COMPLIANCE (6) was best to begin and there was simply no stopping his charge to the $50,000 first prize, defeating YOZO BALE (2) and SUBSTANTIAL (5) in 24.87sec.

“He’s just a baby,” a delighted Karen Pitt told James Van de Maat.

“We just hoped he could clear them but never in my wildest dreams did I think he would be off and gone like that.

“All I wanted to see was his bum getting across because I knew he’d be charging across. I thought as long as he didn’t get hit and found the rail… and he did that and everything else was him.”

BALLARAT CUP NIGHT
Feature race winners

$10,500 Autumn Classic Final (450m) – STRUCK GOLD (Gary Peach)
$10,000 Cup Night Match Race (450m) – TYPHOON SAMMY (Jason Thompson)

Compliance’s breakthrough Group success improved his impressive record to 10 from 17, with the $50,000 winner’s purse boosting his prizemoney tally to $131,765.

He’s now won three of his four starts at Ballarat, with his only defeat being when second to star sprinter Paddy Wants Pats in the Listed Western Districts Derby in February.

Karen Pitt continued the excellent recent record of female trainers in the Ballarat Cup, following the success of dual winners Angela Langton (2015 and 2019) and Seona Thompson (2017 – 2018).

WATCH: BAROOGA SMOKE (1) tried valiantly to reel in the front-running TYPHOON SAMMY (3) in the Cup Night Match Race, but the latter emerged victorious, snaring the $10,000 winner-take-all prize in 24.96sec.

Photos by Clint Anderson

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About Gerard Guthrie - One of Australia's leading greyhound racing journalists since 2000 with the Greyhound Recorder and now with Greyhound Racing Victoria. Part-owner 2013 Group 1 Paws Of Thunder winner Sheikha. (The views in this article are those of the author and not necessarily those of GRV)
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