Rare Group One dead-heat

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    JO'S DREAM on pegs, Partyon in the middle and Bonnie Jean on the outside - Photo TRISH DUNELL

    LAST night’s Queen Of Hearts at Alexandra Park had historians searching through the record books after Jo’s Dream and Partyon dead-heated in the feature.

    With the event carrying Group One status, the question quickly raised was how often have two contenders been locked together at the end of a top-shelf event?

    While the occurrences have been rare, according to Harness Racing NZ chronicles it is the fourth time a judge has been unable to separate the first two competitors across the finish in a Kiwi Group One.

    Amazingly two of the previous three instances were in the Dominion Handicap, with Lady Scott and Will Cary the Shaky Isles’ first Group One dead-heaters in 1944.

    Martina H and Take A Moment followed suit in 2002.

    As for pacers, it has been more than seven decades since Haughty and Turco dead-heated in the 1946 New Zealand Free-For-All.

    Harness racing’s most famous dead-heat came in 1965 when Robin Dundee and Jay Ar were locked together in the Inter Dominion – which happened to be run in New Zealand that season!

    Driven by Andre Poutama, Jo’s Dream sprinted along the passing lane to tie with Partyon, which set the pace for Natalie Rasmussen.

    In what was almost a triple dead-heart, Bonnie Joan finished stoutly along the middle of the straight to be a nose away third.

    Rasmussen co-trains Partyon with Mark Purdon, while Jo’s Dream is prepared by Amanda Kiddie.

    The mares rated 1:57.7 over 2200 metres.

    • PAUL COURTS

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