News

Aussie News - April 6

By Adam Hamilton

SIMONE Walker could have found another Inter Dominion horse.
 
Walker and her father, Bill, tackled two Inter Dominions with handy pacer Hit The Spot – Melbourne 2000 and Brisbane 2001 – without much success.
 
Hit The Spot retired at the end of 2002 with 27 wins and $158,100.
 
There’s no doubt the Walkers’ latest stable star Hectorjayjay is a level or two up on Hit The Spot.
 
Hectorjayjay, an exciting talent since his juvenile days, made it 16 wins from just 27 starts and edged past $140,000 with a sparkling victory in last Sunday’s Warragul Cup (2627m).
 
In contrast to his favoured sit-sprint racing style, Walker made the most of gate one to lead and held the front through a comfortable lead time and 61.4sec first half of the last mile.
 
It was always going to be a dash home and Hectorjayjay did that brilliantly. He finished-off in 55.8 and 27.6sec to win without being fully extended by 2.9m.
 
The mile rate was a solid 1min59.9sec.
 
And the quality of the win was underlined by last-start Inter Dominion fifth placegetter Im Corzin Terror finishing strongly for second after having the one-one trail most of the trip.
 
Hectorjayjay looked a good thing beaten behind Our Sky Major in the Paleface Adios three starts back and then had little go right again when eighth in the Chariots Of Fire.
 
The Warragul Trotters’ Cup went to the promising Sunset Invasion, who overcame a 20m backmark to score by 4.9m in a 2min2.7sec mile rate for 2627m.
 

 
BRENT Lilley has scrapped plans to take rejuvenated trotter Kyvalley Blur to the Rowe Cup.
 
But he still has sights set on a return to his homeland with classy four-year-old Messini.
 
Lilley is keen to tackle the Taylor Mile and Messenger and stay for the Harness Jewels if Messini earns enough prizemoney to qualify.
 
Lilley wasn’t too disappointed when Messini returned from a let-up and could only manage second to Inky Cullen at Ballarat last Thursday night.
 
It was his first run since finishing sixth in the Chariots Of Fire on March 1.
 
Chris Alford drove with real aggression to find the lead early, then slammed on the breaks in the middle stages before being outzipped in the last 200m.
 
“He’ll be better for the run,” Lilley said. “We’re keen to give the big races a go in NZ.
 
“I was going to take Kyvalley Blur as well, but in reality he’s not good enough to beat Stent in his current form, so we’ll keep him at home.”
 
Another big race player to step-out at Ballarat was Dean Braun’s former Kiwi filly Sudden Change.
 
The daughter of Changeover, a recent Tasmanian Oaks winner, cruised to victory in moderate company as she continues her build-up to the Victoria Oaks heats.
 

 
ROAD To Rock is relishing Victoria’s Country Cup circuit.
 
The Keith Cotchin-trained seven-year-old jagged another win when he led throughout and dug deep when challenged late in the Ararat Cup (2570m) last Saturday night.
 
It looked certain Dean Braun’s heavily-backed former Kiwi pacer Macho Comacho was going to win when he peeled-off Road To Rock’s back in the home straight.
 
But Nathan Jack threw everything at Road To Road and he lifted to win by a head in a 2min2.9sec mile rate.
 
The eye-catching run came from another Kiwi-bred, Hilltop Hustler, who made up an enormous amount of ground from near last to grab third in a 58sec last half.
 
Road To Rock has contested 10 Victorian Country Cups this season for two wins, three seconds, a third and a fourth.
 

 
FORMER Kiwi gelding Luksam is loving life in Queensland.
 
Just a couple of weeks after winning the Group 2 Carnival of Cups final at Albion Park, he took-out last Saturday night’s Easter Gift (2138m) at the same track.
 
Trained by Vicki Rasmussen and driven by Shane Graham, Luksam began well but had to sit parked and still too strong in a 1min57.7sec mile rate.
 
It took his Queensland record to 19 starts for seven wins, eight placings and almost $90,000 in earnings.