- 19 February 2018
By Adam Hanilton
CHAMPION trainer Gary Hall Sr has no regrets about staying at home with Chicago Bull.
Many have asked why he didn’t chase the Hunter Cup and Miracle Mile given how well his home state arch-rival, Soho Tribeca, has performed.
But Hall Sr is looking longer term.
“He’s had a couple of big seasons at home at this is his first full season in the really big league,” he said. “I’m sure he’d be very competitive in this races, he showed it during the Inter Dominion, but we’ve picked up a couple of feature races here.”
Chicago Bull made a one-act affair of the $50,000 Group 2 RWWA Cup (2130m) at Gloucester Park last Friday night.
Driver Gary Hall Jr pushed forward from gate six and found the lead, steadied through a cosy 60.3sec middle half, then ripped home in 55.1 and 27.5sec to win by 12.1m in a 1min54.4sec mile rate.
Stablemate Ohoka Punter is well past his best, but still running big races in WA and grabbed second spot.
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EMMA Stewart already has a stable of stars, but she must have loved getting the call-up to add to classy young mate Carlas Pixel to the barn.
The daughter of Courage Under Fire has always shown outstanding speed and potential with Dean Braun.
And, at her first run for Stewart, she led throughout to beat Australia’s best performed mare Ameretto in the Group 3 Robin Dundee Stakes in a 1min51.7sec mile last night.
It cemented her spot in the Group 1 Ladyship Mile next Saturday night.
Ameretto lost no fans after drawing the outside, sitting parked and hanging tough to finish only three metres away in closing splits of 54.8 and 27.5sec.
The likes of Our Golden Goddess, Our Piccadilly Princess, Partyon and Delishka await them in what shapes as a ripper Ladyship next week.
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IT is a case of “what if?” for Team Tritton and their emerging star My Alpha Rock.
They have the speedy and much-improved Anything For Love through to the Miracle Mile, but felt My Alpha Rock would qualify as well.
That was until he was balloted out of the two qualifying sprints.
Shane Tritton was shocked and said so through social media.
The team then proceeded to make a statement when My Alpha Rock paced a brilliant 1min50.5sec mile winning the opening race at Menangle last night.
There’s no doubt he would have been an X-factor in those qualifying sprints.
My Alpha Rock has now won all runs for Team Tritton and gone quicker each time: 1min51.7sec, 1min51.0sec, 1min50.6sec and the latest 1min50.5sec.
Tritton wants to step him up to the Bohemia Crystal on Miracle Mile night, but he may miss a run in that as well with priority entry going to those contested Miracle Mile qualifiers.
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LOVEABLE old marvel is perhaps the best way to describe Messini.
The now seven-year-old has spent almost all his career racing at the top level and just about all of it racing his weird, but adorable dipped head.
We all know he started his career owned by Bill and Jean Feiss and trained by the mighty All Stars’ barn, but huge credit goes to Brent Lilley and his current owners for what’s been a fantastic second chapter.
Messini added to that second chapter with a dominant win in last night’s $30,000 Group 3 Terang Cup (2680m).
It’s a race the mighty Blacks A Fake won in his prime.
Gavin Lang drove like he was on the toughest and best horse and was rewarded with a comfortable 2.3m win in a 2min0.1sec mile rate.
The crunch stage of the race came in the middle stages when Lang applied some pressure outside the leader and favourite Motu Meteor and his driver Grant Campbell opted to take a trail.
Lang then dictated the terms in front and ripped home in 56.5sec.
It capped a golden night for Lilley, who also won the Terang Trotters’ Cup with Any Old Time, who bolted in for driver Michael Bellman.
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MIKE Reed won the $40,000 Group 2 Caduceus Club at Gloucester Park, but not with the horse punters hoped.
Bechers Brook was smashed into $1.90 favouriye, but didn’t have the speed to use gate four, while stablemate Golden State found the front.
Chris Lewis controlled the race in front and never looked in danger before a 1.6m win over Speed Man with Bechers Brook third in a comfortable 1min56.8sec mile rate for 2130m.
They look the major players in the upcoming WA Derby.
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FORMER exciting All Stars’ youngster Stars Align has another training, but he’s still winning.
The four-year-old switched from Dean Braun to Alison Alford – wife of champion driver Chris – and won his first start for them at Melton last Friday night.
Chris Alford took him to the front from gate two and rolled along for a 1min53.6sec mile rate over 1720m.
The formline was certainly there with Stars Align’s previous run being a close second to subsequent Chariots Of Fire winner Jilliby Kung Fu in the Group 1 4YO Bonanza at Melton on January 27.