Venue set for veteran’s century bid

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    DESTREOS - Photo Stacey Lear

    LAUNCESTON shapes as the likely venue for Destreos’ attempt to join a select group of standardbreds.

    Thanks to his success at the same venue last night, Destreos’ tally is sitting on 99 wins from a record 444 starts, with trainer Ken Rattray pencilling in the target for the 14-year-old’s century bid.

    Rattray plans to race Destreos in a free-for-all over 2200 metres – the same conditions as his latest victory – on January 28.

    Should he emerge triumphant, the son of Astreos will become just the third pacer in the southern hemisphere to top the ton.

    Only the immortal Paleface Adios and former Queensland warhorse Cane Smoke have reached triple figures.

    Paleface Adios was the first ‘centurion’, notching the ton at Cranbourne on February 25, 1980 – exactly eight years to the day after he first graced a racetrack.

    Paleface Adios eventually registered 108 wins before being retired.

    Cane Smoke, which raced until he was 15, won 120 races in a 400-start career.

    “He’s just an old marvel, which is still racing like a young horse,” Rattray said. “He has pulled up great and will be back in Launceston in a fortnight.

    “There is also a suitable race for him the following week in Hobart, so we will head there as well.”

    Driven by Gareth Rattray during his latest win, Destreos led throughout to account for Remember Joe and Fernco Bobby G in 1:59.6.

    “I was glad to see him got up last night as I felt he was in need of the run,” Rattray said.

    “He goes better when he races on a weekly basis, but again he will have to wait a fortnight for a suitable race.

    “It’s likely he will be better again in Hobart a week after Launceston.

    “As he gets closer to the century it is pretty exciting and hopefully he can get it down at his next start.”

    • PAUL COURTS

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