- 26 February 2018
By Adam Hamilton
SHANE Tritton was left wondering what might have been with stable newcomer Franco Nelson.
And that was after winning a Group 1 race.
Tritton couldn’t help but wish Franco Nelson had been in the Miracle Mile rather than winning the Bohemia Crystal free-for-all.
“He’s the best horse I’ve trained and quite clearly,” he said. “If you gave him the runs Jilliby Kung Fu and My Field Marshal had, I think he could’ve won the Miracle Mile,” he said.
Franco Nelson overcome a few things going wrong to lift and rundown the classy San Carlo in a blazing 1min53.2sec mile rate for 2400m. It was just 0.5sec outside Smolda’s 2016 track record.
“We thought he’d just lead and win, but it changed when he was crossed at the start and then San Carlo found the front,” Tritton said.
“He did a big job to be part of the early burn, but then still finish it off as strongly as he did in a 26sec final quarter.
“Lauren (Tritton, driver) said he just jogged it, too. She said he switched-off a bit when he got in front of San Carlo.”
While many of the open-class stars will be headed for breaks, Franco Nelson’s campaign has just started.
“He’s only had four runs. It’s all ahead of him,” Tritton said. “There is the Len Smith, the Kilmore Cup is down in Victoria. We haven’t made plans yet.”
X X X
WHILE all the talk was around My Field Marshal’s 1min46.9sec record-breaking Miracle Mile win, there was another head-spinning win at Menangle.
Did you ever think you’d see an Australasian trotter run a 1min51.5sec mile?
That’s just what rejuvenated mare Maori Time did in the $50,000 Group 1 Trotters’ Mile last Saturday night.
Think about this … it took 1.7sec off Flying Isa’s track record and came after Maori Time blazed 26.8sec opening quarter and set all the pace herself in front.
It was a golden moment for leviathan owner-breeder Fred Crews and trainer Brent Lilley.
When you think Maori Time was a star juvenile for former trainer Chris Lang Sr, Lilley has done a superb job to continually resurrect her after she’s hit flat patches in her career.
And this was her defining statement.
Maori Time’s won 24 races from 65 starts with another 19 placings and earned almost $420,000.
X X X
EMERGING young driver Mark Pitt has driven in his share of major races for Emma Stewart, but this was his moment.
Most thought Pitt’s first major win would come aboard one of Stewart’s young stars, but he did it himself.
Pitt trained and drove the big and raw Shez All Rock to a barnstorming NSW Oaks win.
Just as she did beating the Stewart-trained Nostra Villa in the Oaks heat, she stormed home to win the final.
Nostra Villa did the work outside the leader and looked the winner halfway down the straight, but first Soho Burning Love and then Shez All Rock pounced.
It was a fantastic training effort with Shez All Rock having just her fifth start and posting a 1min54.3sec mile rate for the 2400m against a quality field.
The disappointment of the race was boom Queensland filly Fame Assured, who had the one-one trail, but battled from the home bend and finished seventh.
X X X
SMALL fish are sweet for Gary Hall Sr.
And that’s exactly what he’s landed by staying home instead of chasing the Miracle Mile with stable star Chicago Bull.
The superstar five-year-old landed his third consecutive $50,000 “mini feature” win when dominant in last Friday night’s Group 2 Governors Cup (1730m) at Gloucester Park.
And it was in stunning style.
Despite sitting parked outside stablemate Ohoka Punter throughout, Chicago Bull zoomed clear to win by 7.6m in a blazing 1min53.9sec mile rate, capped by closing splits of 56.2 and 28.0sec.
In other Gloucester Park results, promising filly Lady De La Renta continued her WA Oaks preparation with strong win.
Trained by Annie Belton and driven by Chris Voak, Lady De La Renta did a power of work and dug deep to be another leading Oaks contender, Cott Beach, in a 1min57.5sec mile rate for 2130m.
And Victoria media man Rob Auber had another big buzz as an owner when his classy mare Madame Meilland led throughout to win the Lewis Mares’ final.
Fittingly she was driven by Chris Lewis for trainer Ross Olivieri.
X X X
TANGOWITHSIERRA looks like following in the hoof prints of her half-sister Dancingwithsierra.
The daughter of Modern Art, out of Sierra Tango,
Dancingwithsierra was one of the best Victorian juvenile fillies of her year back in season 2014/15. She’s raced 31 times for 12 wins and almost $150,000 in earnings.
Tangowithsierra had turned heads at the troals before using the pole to lead and impressively win her debut run in the Allied Express 2YO Classic (1720m) at Melton last Friday night.
X X X
YOU can see why connections of classy mare Rockstar Angel went so close to a Harness Jewels raid last year.
The David Aiken-trained mare is right back to her best form with three good wins on end, including last Friday night’s $20,000 Ian Daff Memorial (1720m) at Melton last Friday night.
She sat parked and defied all challengers for a tough win in a 1min55.4sec mile rate.
X X X
BERNIE Hewitt knew he was on an outstanding youngster and drove accordingly.
It was a drive of extreme confidence to sit parked on College Chapel (Mach Three-Meljoy), hammer the leader and favourite Major Roll then go for home at the top of the straight.
College Chapel thrived on the challenged and trashed his rivals by 7.6m in a scorching 1min52.6sec mile.
The other eye-catcher was Shane Tritton’s third-placed Platinum Revolution, who ran its race in patches, but closed strongly late.