Aussie News - March 31

By Adam Hamilton

TOP young driver Nathan Jack thinks he had some help from a close, departed friend to win the Echuca Pacing Cup.

As a tribute to the late Tiffany Murray – who Jack was good friends with – Jack drove in her driving pants at the meeting, which honoured Murray, a young mother who lost a short battle with illness three years ago.

“I couldn’t think of a better way to honour Tiff’s memory,” Jack said.

Jack teamed with David Aiken’s evergreen veteran Smudge Bromac for a gritty win from a 20m handicap in the $25,390 feature.

It was the second leg of a double at the meeting for Jack, who also won the third race aboard promising three-year-old Wingara.

The Tiffany Murray Memorial race – restricted to invited female drivers – was won by Donna Castles aboard $25.50 outsider Cee Goddess.

The other feature, the Crystal Bucket Trot, went to the emerging five-year-old Bellmac Kody.


TALENTED Kiwi-bred mare Steam Washed scored one of the most significant wins of her career in the Jodies Babe (1720m) at Melton last Friday night.

It was the six-year-old’s 18th win from 62 starts and edged her earnings close to $200,000.

Steam Washed drew gate five and driver Chris Shinn was aggressive early and surged his way to the front.

Hot favourite Beauty Secret – racing for the first time since running second to Adore Me in the Ladyship Mile – landed the one-one trail and looked ominous.

But Shinn went for home on the final bend and won easily by 5.3m in a slick 1min53.5sec mile rate, capped by closing splits of 55.7 and 27.5sec.

Beauty Secret raced flat and struggled into third spot, while her stablemate Goodtime Marjie did a fantastic job to hold down second spot after sitting parked throughout.

Beauty Secret’s trainer Emma Stewart had a better result earlier in the night when the exciting colt Goodtime Sammy led throughout and easily won the Youthful Stakes (1720m).

Driven by Greg Sugars, Goodtime Sammy posted a 1min56.7sec mile rate to make it two wins from as many starts.


LIFE after Im Victorious’ unfortunate demise as a racehorse continues to build for his trainer Michael “Mouse” Brennan.

Former Kiwi pacer Back On Board gave Brennan another feature win when he made the most of a dream run to upset his rivals in the $35,000 4YO Championship (2130m) at Gloucester Park last Friday night.

Back On Board began well, sat behind the leader Kimba Bay and took an inside run to snatch victory by a head.

On the same night, the consistent Pacific Warrior continued his good campaign by winning the free-for-all.

Earlier this campaign he finished a luckless fifth in the WA Pacing Cup and second to David Hercules in an Inter Dominion heat.



THERE’S at least bit of Caribbean Blaster about Burnaholeinmypocket.

He’s trained by Andy Gath, is taking time for the penny to drop, but there’s something exciting about where he could end up.

Gath thought enough of the gelding to have a crack at the NSW Derby heats, but Burnaholeinmypocket finished a luckless sixth.

He returned home and finished second twice, but showed why Gath has high hopes by destroying a handy field at Melton last Friday night.

Kate Gath took him to the front from gate two and turned him loose from the 1200m.

Burnaholeinmypocket ran home his last 1200m in 1min25.1sec, including a 56.4 half and 28.3sec closing quarter to win by almost 20m in a 1min57.3sec mile rate for 2240m.

“He’s been a bit of a slow learner, but he’s starting to work out what racing is all about,” Andy Gath said.

“I guess he’s got that in common with Caribbean Blaster. It took him most of his three-year-old season to turn into a serious Group 1 horse. I can only hope the same happens with this guy.”

IT is nothing new for the McCarthys dominate a Menangle meeting these days, but normally its Belinda and Luke.

It was different last Friday night the patriarch of the clan, John, and his youngest son, Todd, took centre stage.

John trained and drove the consistent Monifieth himself to win the Group 3 free-for-all in a 1min52.7sec mile.

Earlier he teamed with his youngest son, Todd as driver, to win with Im The Agent in the fourth event.

Todd had a treble on the night. His other wins came on the Brett Cotterill-trained Theartofconfusion in the opening race and Peter Rixon’s Prince Kai in race six.

Another notable Menangle winner was former Kiwi trotter On Thunder Road, who blazed over a mile in 1min55.4sec to win the final race.


REMEMBER the name Bettor Downunder.

The Victorian four-year-old mare has been a work in progress for trainer Steve Loftus, but is now starting to deliver.

For the second time in as many runs, she put a huge gap in her rivals … this time winning the opening race at Melton by almost 30m in a fast 1min57.4sec mile rate for 2240m.

The recent pairing with underrated driver Michael Stanley has worked wonders.

“She’s only lightly-raced and is really starting to put it all together. She’s an exciting talent,” Stanley said.

The obvious target is the upcoming Vicbred series for four-year-old mares.


CLASSY five-year-old Majestic Mach clocked up yet another Albion Park win last Saturday night.

Trained and driven by Grant Dixon, the former glamour juvenile led throughout in a 1min58sec mile rate for 2138m in the free-for-all.

It took his record to 34 wins from 52 starts and more than $760,000 in earnings.

The star of the Albion Park meeting was trainer Vicki Rasmussen with three wins, including former Kiwi gelding Luksam in the $50,000 Group 2 Silks Restaurant Cups Carnival final (2138m).

Luksam burst through along the sprint lane to win by a head over the fast-finishing Alleluia with hot favourite and leader Epaulette a close-up third.