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Aussie News - 14th April

MIRACLE Mile winner My Field Marshal produced one of the biggest runs of his career, but had to be content with a second placing at Menangle on Saturday night.

Rather than drift back from a wide draw as he did first-up, driver Anthony Butt kept working forward, but nothing went right.

Heavily-backed favourite Franco Nelson went forward in front of My Field Marshal, parked outside leader Shannonsablast and posted the Miracle Mile winner three-wide for the entire trip.

Despite the torrid run, My Field Marshal just kept giving and got past Franco Nelson, but he couldn’t stave-off the late swoop of Mach Doro, who beat him by 1,2m in a 1min50.3sec mile.

On the same card, former glamour Kiwi mare A Piccadilly Princess returned to something like her best form for a gritty win in the Group 3 Ranji Bill Stakes (1609m).

It was a vast improvement on her two previous runs since being left with Craig Cross to train at Menangle by Mark Purdon after her fourth in the Ladyship Mile on February 24.

A Piccadilly Princess did the work outside the heavily-backed favourite and leader, Dont Think Twice, and was simply too classy and tough in 1min53.2sec mile.

It was her 17th win and took her close to $730,000 in earnings.

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KIMA Frenning’s trademark infectious smile said it all.

The young lady from Sweden had just won one of Victoria’s most sought-after country cups, the $50,000 Group 2 Mildura Cup aboard Im The Boss.

“I did not ever think this would happen when I left Sweden,” Frenning said shaking her head. “This is unbelievable. I have so many people to thank who have helped me in time over here.”

Frenning originally came across as a stablehand and to drive in some Monte (saddle trot) races.

“Driving in the races here wasn’t really in my mind,” she said. “But I’ve given so many opportunities and so much support.”

It was fitting the Mildura win came for trainer David Aiken, who has been Frenning’s backbone. She dates his son, Josh, and has been a key part of the stable, working with stars like Hectorjayjay and Lennytheshark.

Im The Boss, who was plucked from a claiming race last September by the Stokie Group and given to Aiken to train. He’s won more than $80,000 for the new connections and a Cobram Cup along with Mildura.

Another of the star performers on Mildura Cup night was Little Peanut, who produced a massive win the Mildura Guineas.

Despite working three-wide in a 27.8sec opening quarter of the last mile, co-trainer and driver Greg Sugars was able to find the one-one trail and lift the popular gelding to a narrow but impressive win.

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EMMA Stewart’s dominance of Australia’s juvenile racing keeps growing with every year.

It reached a new level when she and partner Clayton Tonkin won all three heats of the rich Australian Gold 2YO colts and geldings series at Melton last Friday night.

The most impressive winner and benchmark juvenile in Australia this season is Americal Ideal colt Centenario, who is unbeaten in four starts.

Chris Alford, who drove all three heat winners for Stewart, had an armchair drive on Centenario as he cruised to a 9.8m win in a fastest of the night 1min55.4sec mile rate for 1720m, including a 56.5sec last half.

Stewart landed first and third in the first Gold heat when Bettors Delight colt Hurricane Harley led throughout to beat Major Exclusive with stablemate Fourbigmen in third spot in a 1min57.7sec mile rate.

The third heat went to the raw Mach Three colt Hardhitter, who led throughout in a cosy 1min58.2sec mile rate.

“Centenario is our best chance in the final. He’s a natural and he’s getting better with each run,” Stewart said.

The $300,000 final is at Melton on May 5.

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TRAINER Mike Reed is winning his race against time to win the $150,000 Group 1 WA Oaks with high-priced Kiwi import Our Angel Of Harlem.

The daughter of Mach Three has improved at each of her three WA runs after an interrupted preparation when travelling from NZ to Perth.

“She got stuck in Melbourne for about five weeks and missed a lot of work, so we’ve had to build her up again,” Reed said.

Our Angel Of Harlem showed good signs with a fighting third in a WA Oaks prelude on April 6 then stepped-up again to win another Oaks prelude at Gloucester Park last Friday night.

She sat parked outside the emerging Amelias Courage with hot favourite Lady De La Renta stalking in the one-one, but Our Angel of Harlem was too strong in a 1min58.1sec mile rate for the long 2536m and closing splits of 56.8 and 27.5sec.

She is clearly the one to beat in the Oaks on May 5.

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IT is amazing to think former Kiwi trotter Tornado Valley went winless in his first 13 starts this season.

The six-year-old made it five wins on end for Andy and Kate Gath, albeit only narrowly, when he came off a 20m handicap to win snare the $20,000 Group 3 Coulter Crown (2760m) at Melton last Friday night.

Tornado Valley did the work outside the leader and talented Father Christmas and just did enough to snatch a head victory in a 2min2.4sec mile rate.

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PIXEL Perfect is one heck of a broodmare.

The daughter of Art Major never made it to the racetrack herself, but has a phenomenon in the breeding barn with five foals to race, all winners and all very smart pacers.

The standout of course is WA Cup winner Soho Tribeca (by American Ideal) with 20 wins and $1.09mil in the bank so far.

Recent Ladyship winner Carlas Pixel is another with 14 wins and almost $300,000 in earnings so far.

Then there are Perfect Mach (14 wins and $125,338) and Birdy Mach, who posted his 24th win at Menangle on Saturday night and edged close to $230,000 in earnings.

The latest of Pixel Perfect’s progeny, Soho Nolita, has inherited all the family speed and potential.

The Mick Stanley-trained filly Soho Nolita (by Mach Three) lifted after a shock flop in her Australian Gold heat to destroy her rivals and smash the clock in a repechage. She won by 20m in a 1min55.8sec mile rate for 1720m at Melton last Friday night.

Soho Nolita, who boasts three wins from looks the one to beat in the $300,000 Gold final for 2YO fillies at Menangle on April 28.

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IT seems a long time ago when NSW pacer Match In Heaven went to close to upstaging the then almost unstoppable Our Waikiki Beach in the 2016 Breeders Crown 3YO final.

It was the run of a horse really going places, but trainer-driver Blake Fitzpatrick’s patience has been tested since.

Match In Heaven had a largely disappointing four-year-old season with 14 starts netting only three wins, three placings and less than $30,000 in stakemoney.

But a stronger and more mature Match In Heaven is starting to reassert himself again now, as shown by his narrow but impressive win in the $50,000 Group 2 Renshaw Cup (2525m) at Penrith last Thursday night.

It was third win from his past four starts and the biggest of his career so far.

The son of Somebeachsomewhere dug deep to beat grand old stayer Ultimate Art in a 1min56.8sec mile rate, which wasn’t too far off Tiger Tara’s 1min55.2sec track record set in last year’s Renshaw Cup.

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