News

Aussie News - 4th September

By Adam Hamilton

STAR Kiwi pacer My Field Marshal lost no fans in defeat when he resumed from a freshen-up at Menangle last Saturday night.

Tim Butt’s stable star came from the extreme outside draw, punched the breeze from the middle half and went down fighting in slick time by a half-head to another former Kiwi, Little Rascal, who had a cosy trip.

Just when it seemed My Field Marshal was sent for victory, driver Luke McCarthy extricated Little Rascal from a peg run to the running line, the three-wide to launch a late challenge and snatch the win.

My Field Marshal couldn’t much more considering the closing splits of 54.7 and 27.3sec at the end of a 1min51.8sec mile.

Butt’s plan is to give the classy pacer at least two more Menangle runs before heading south to chase the $200,000 Group 1 Victoria Cup at Melton on October 14.

The win was Little Rascal’s biggest since making NSW home. He managed just three wins from 22 starts last term.

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THE new season started just as the old one did for Chris Alford.

Alford, who topped 6000 career wins and snatched a string of major races last season, bagged four wins at Melton last Saturday night.

It took him a few races to hit top gear, but Alford won the last four races on the card, starting with the charming story of Emma Stewart’s comeback 11-year-old stayer Mister Onetwo.

Alford’s other wins came aboard Maree Caldow’s trotting mare Miss Noelle, Dean Braun’s claimer Beach Boy Adios and Emma Stewart’s four-year-old mara A Victor.

The other star of the opening Melton meeting of the season was Greg Sugars with three wins. He partnered claimers Washmepockets and Saint Flash to win heats of the Battle of the Claimers as well as veteran free-for-aller Flaming Flutter.

Flaming Flutter showed a hint of his vintage best when he sustained a strong three-wide run to win in a slick 1min53sec mile rate in the My Lightning Blue free-for-all (1720m).

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VETERAN Queenslander Avonnova continues to amaze.

Trainer Ian Gurney retired him after a feature win at Albion Park late last year, but opted to bring him back because he “simply too unhappy in hid paddock.”

Avonnova won two of five comeback runs between April and July, then had a let-up.

The 11-year-old opened this season with a scorching Albion Park win last Saturday night, beating the classy Ultimate Art in a 1min51.5sec mile rate for 1660m.

It was his 52nd win with another 49 placings from 160 starts and took his earnings to a thumping $913,769.

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CLASSY former Kiwi pacer Shandale continues to make his mark in Western Australia.

Now with the Mike Reed stable, Shandale won impressively when second-up from a spell in a 1min55.8sec mile rate for 2130m at Gloucester Park last Friday night.

The five-year-old son of Art Major has raced six times for Reed for four wins, a second a seventh.

The test will come over the next few weeks when he steps into open grade against the likes of Chicago Bull, Ohoka Punter, Beaudiene Boaz, Run Oneover  and others.