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Allards win The Guardian Gold Cup and Saucer with Somewhere Fancy

Simon Allard and Somewhere Fancy won the 59th edition of The Guardian Gold Cup and Saucer. Allard tipped back in the sulky as he approached the finish line.
Simon Allard and Somewhere Fancy won the 59th edition of The Guardian Gold Cup and Saucer. Allard tipped back in the sulky as he approached the finish line. - Jason Malloy

CHARLOTTETOWN, P.E.I. - Trainer Rene Allard will tell you some things never get old and that includes winning three out of the last five Gold Cup and Saucer finals after Somewhere Fancy captured the 2018 edition Sunday night at Red Shores at the Charlottetown Driving Park (CDP).

The $60,000 Guardian Gold Cup and Saucer final was postponed to Sunday evening after rainy conditions made the CDP surface unfit for races on Saturday. The final race of Old Home unfolded with race favourite Rockin In Heaven (J. Harris) leaving hard from Post 1 while Bet On Brett (Brad Forward) was first off the gate from Post 4 and to set down on front before the quarter. Asap Hanover (Jody Jamieson) made a break midway through the turn and was taken wide in front of eventual winner Somewhere Fancy, who was put in the four-hole by driver Simon Allard. Rockin In Heaven left the two-hole to move to the front past the 27.2 first quarter and would proceed to lead the way to the half in 54.3. Somewhere Fancy was then advancing first-over and engaged the leader at the three-quarters of 1:23.1 then cleared to the lead and kicked home in 27.3 to stop the clock in 1:50.4. 

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Rockin In Heaven was second while locally owned Rose Run Quest (Marc Campbell) was third and Always N The Money (Travis Cullen) finished fourth. The other Island owned horse, Bet On Brett, finished fifth. 

A seven-year-old son of Somebeachsomewhere, Somewhere Fancy is owned by John Mehlenbacher of Oakville, Ont.

“I thought we would be racing off the pace with a lot of speed and action to my inside,” Simon Allard said after the race while noting how close he was to ASAP Hanover when he made the first turn break. “I was lucky to get into a nice spot. I drive like whatever happens, happens. You can think too much, I just go around obstacles and when they go slow, you go fast and keep your horse alive to the wire.”

Rene Allard first won this race in 2014 with Bigtown Hero and driver Brad Forward, then visited the winner’s circle again in 2016 as Ys Lotus launched the career of driver Louis Philippe Roy, but had never won the race with brother Simon Allard in the bike despite previous appearances in the final. The brother duo is dominant in Pennsylvania harness racing after growing up in rural Quebec. Before the wire Sunday night, when Somewhere Fancy had the race wrapped up, Simon took both feet out of the stirrups and stuck them straight in the air in celebration.

“We just like to have fun because everything we have done together is just so special,” Rene said. “We come from a small town and we learned how to do the horses with our dad racing ponies at night and on the weekend. It’s like a kid growing up in a small town playing hockey and end up in the NHL. We try to enjoy every moment, that’s why we have the T-shirts ‘Win Or Lose We Drink The Booze’ and come down here. We don’t come for the money, we just find this race so special. Simon has fans that always wonder what he’s going to do next when he wins a big race. He never tells me about it before hand.”

Rene watched the replays of both Gold Cup and Saucer trials “at least 30 times” in preparation for the final and he believes that readiness is part of his success that sees him sit second in wins amongst trainers in the U.S.

“The race went exactly as I expected, except I didn’t think Rockin In Heaven would move out of the two-hole. Simon and I talked about it and all week we knew Somewhere Fancy would be first over. I told Brad Forward ‘halfway through the turn Jody will be put in some bad steps and you will clear to front right where the starting gate parks.’ I thought Bet On Brett would be going right down the road but when Rockin In Heaven made front I said, ‘Oh no, the race is over.’ Because Rockin In Heaven is usually a horse that just keeps on coming and I thought he would swell right up.”

Rene said he will never grow tired of hitting the winner’s circle in the culmination of Old Home Week in Prince Edward Island.

“This never gets old,” he said. “This is my favourite race. It is such a special race. This tops any race I win including the ones Simon and I have won for half-a-million. As soon as it’s over I start looking forward to next year.”

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