General Truce Secures A Mazda BT-50 With Victory In 55 Second Challenge Series

Ricky Maund can start clearing out the garage after General Truce earned him a $55,000 Mazda BT-50 at Moonee Valley.

The Cranbourne horseman collected the prize on offer to the trainer of the horse who clocked the fastest time of the 18 heats, each run over 955 metres, of the Essendon Mazda 55 Second Challenge.

General Truce's winning time of 56.12 seconds wasn't the fastest of this year's Night Racing Season, but it mattered little as the gelding held the benchmark time going in to tonight's final meeting.

The son of Brief Truce, who is raced by prominent owner/breeders Kevin and Tanith O'Brien, won in 55.28secs when he defeated then clubhouse leader Weekend Special by a short-half-head in Heat 9 on New Year's Eve.

Maund said the perfect result at tonight's Festival of Racing-ending program, not only retaining his hold on the car but also winning the race.

“I knew I had the right horse in Heat 9 in General Truce to run the super quick time, but to be standing back up here tonight and collecting the trophy of the beautiful Mazda BT-50, plus winning the race for the O'Brien family, nothing could be any more fitting,” he said.

“A massive big thanks to Essendon Mazda for the massive sponsorship that's occurred across the Moonee Valley (night) racing and especially the 955 races.”

General Truce made the most of apprentice jockey Ben Knobel's 3kg claim to score a narrow-but-convincing win.

The four-year-old settled just behind the speed from the inside barrier, but peeled around their heels and came with a well-time run under the urgings of Knobel to score by a head.

Heavily backed to start $2.70 favourite, General Truce defeated Waltzes ($8.50) with Tramuntana ($18) three quarters of a length away third.

Knobel said General Truce relished carrying just 53.5kg and felt right at home at Moonee Valley, where he is yet to be unplaced in five starts.

“Geez, he (Maund) has got this horse going well and he just loves it around here,” Knobel said. “He actually came in really good with the claim, (he only carried) 53.5, and he was always going to be hard to beat.

“He's just a good honest horse and he's as tough as nails too.”
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