The West

Veteran mare Salliwood scored the biggest win of her career and swept aside retirement plans when she was successful in the Garrard's Horse & Hound BOTRA Cup (2902m) at the Gloucester Park harness racing meeting tonight.

The Debbie Padberg-trained 10-year-old, who started at $31.80, set a solid pace for reinsman Michael Tenardi and held off fast finisher Rockyourbaby by a neck.

Salliwood, owned by a partnership, has won 17 races and run 42 places in a 156-start career.

She is one of the oldest mares competing in Australian harness racing and connections were discussing whether she should be retired this year.

In three weeks, Salliwood will be an 11-year-old. Southern hemisphere harness racing horses have birthdays officially on September 1, whereas thoroughbreds are on August 1.

Tonight's cup victory convinced Salliwood's owners to continue her racing career.

"She has won her past two races," said part-owner John Padberg, husband of the trainer.

"After tonight's win, we've agreed she'll keep racing, at least for the time being. Why retire her when she loves competing?

"Salliwood is 10 years old but she has the looks and style of a four-year-old.

"She has never worked better than she did on Wednesday."

Top trainer Gary Hall announced a rich target for Crusader Banner after he won the BOTRA Centenary 1914-2014 Three-Year-Old Pace (2536m).

"That was super win," Hall said. "He'll be aimed at the Golden Nugget."

The $175,000 Golden Nugget Championship (2536m), restricted to four-year-olds, will be a highlight at Gloucester Park's summer carnival.

Hall predicted Algranco Under Fire, his BOTRA Info Pace (2130m) winner, had more victories in store.

"He's tough and will work through classes," Hall said.

Mighty Flying Thomas broke an 11-run losing sequence when he won the BOTRA Red Pepper Catering Pace (2536m) for trainer Peter Anderson and reinsman Thomas Buchanan.

"He's very tough," Anderson said. "He'll be kept racing on a regular basis."

The West Australian

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