Auckland's Abernethy brothers, Jay and Sailesh, looked well on the way to repeating last year’s success in the ‘Brothers in Arms’ Invited Drivers’ Series at Oamaru on Saturday when the latter won the first two races.
Saleish first scored with favoured runner Major Four for trainer Regan Todd and half an hour later posted a big upset when Tijuana Taxi, the rank outsider bar one, won at odds of better than $47.
The Colin Harrison-bred, owned and trained Tijuana Taxi had been out of form since winning on the all-weather track at Oamaru back in June.
Not a lot seemed likely to change when the Now Another Look mare was tailed off for much of the running and she was still well back and wide as they swung for home.
But Tijuana Taxi unwound a terrific finish to get up and, when Abernethy finished second in the third race of the penalty-free series, a repeat of last year’s win appeared highly likely.
Sailesh won three of the six races last year including the last two and Jay won another.
However, locals Matthew and Brad Williamson had been second in the first two races and Matthew would win the third and fourth events with Brad third and fourth in them.
And with Jay failing to pay a dividend all day in the five-race series, the Williamsons won comfortably in the end with 17 points as the Abernethys fell back into a tie for second with the Dunn brothers, Dexter and John, on 12 points.
Sailesh did walk away with individual honours again when he finished fourth in the last race with Bontz, as Matthew Williamson had to pull up his runner Playboy Prince after a gallop at the start, which probably made for a long flight home for Jay.