Dashing front-runner South Seas Rock does what he wants — and wins

Harness racing at Winton. PHOTO: HRNZ
Harness racing at Winton. PHOTO: HRNZ
If South Seas Rock’s growing popularity ever warrants him having a theme song, Frank Sinatra’s My Way might be the perfect fit.

Just as the classic tune says, the pacer "did it my way" when powering to an exciting victory for trainer Tyler Dewe and driver Hayden Douglas at Winton on Saturday.

South Seas Rock got keen in the lead, resulting in him running 10 lengths clear of his rivals at the 800m mark of race 10.

Douglas admitted it was his intention to lead with the 5-year-old, but it was his horse’s decision to pull away from the field by such a margin and set up a highly exciting contest.

"I wish I could take some credit for it, but the horse is pretty sharp", Douglas said.

"The plan is always to roll them along, but he got going a bit quicker than I would have liked.

"But he held on at the end."

Douglas had his concerns South Seas Rock had gone out too hard, but by the 400m the reinsman’s confidence was high.

"Going down the back I was unsure, but as we got to the 400m I was pretty confident."

South Seas Rock completed back-to-back wins — he had won at the Wairio meeting late last month .

Dewe will soon base his team at fellow trainer Kirstin Green’s base after being stationed at Ascot Park.

It will be something of a homecoming as he began his career at owner Tom Kilkelly’s Tisbury property.

"I learnt everything I know there", Dewe said.

"I left school as a little ratbag 16-year-old back in 2013 and went out to Kirstin and Tom’s and worked for them."

"I have done close to four or five years there off and on."

Dewe puts South Seas Rock’s outstanding recent form down to the horse getting over a series of minor issues.

Putting the skin complaints in the rear view mirror has allowed the trainer to work the horse back to full fitness and keep him happy.

"It was just a matter of ironing all them out and getting his fitness back and keeping him in a happy place."

Green was also in the winner’s circle at Winton on Saturday with Big Boyz Toyz.

The pacer overcame a wide second-row draw to break maidens in his 11th start.

Some excellent early manoeuvring from Green enabled the pacer land to outside the leader early, and from there he toughed out an impressive win.