Even right up until the very second his name was read out, Reg Storer, had no idea who they were talking about when it came to announcing one of the major awards at last Saturday night’s Woodlands Stud 2017 Canterbury Breeders, Owners, Trainers & Drivers Associations Awards Dinner in Christchurch.
IT remains unclear whether Western Australian pocket rocket Chiacgo Bull will chase the Victoria Cup at Melton on October 14.
A first-up win last Friday would have almost sealed he trip, but the five-year-old could only manage fourth – albeit a ripping run – in the Howard Porter free-for-all (2130m) at Gloucester Park.
It was an odd race and not much went right for Chicago Bull, most notably when stablemate Beaudiene Boaz bafflingly came away from the marker pegs rounding the last bend when seemingly under pressure. It oushed “The Bull” wider and cost him any chance.
Chicago Bull lifted late and surged to the line to finish four metres from upset winner Jambiani, who enjoyed a gun marker peg run and snatched victory as a $45.60 courtesy of a superb Shannon Suvaljko drive.
The headstrong Run Oneover led, overraced at times as he tends to, and lifted after looking beaten a few times for a close second in a sizzling 1min53.8sec mile rate.
Beaudiene Boaz was the flop of the race after trailing through from the back row to camp behind leader Run Oneover, but wilting late to finish 22m away in 10th spot.
Hall Sr unveils another of his Perth Inter Dominion contenders when much-travelled former Kiwi star Ohoka Punter returns from injury at Gloucester Park.
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STILL on the Perth Inters and former Kiwi pacer Shandale is staking his claim for the series.
The Mike Reed-trained five-year-old has improved at each of his three runs this campaign and was simply breathtaking in the “B” free-for-all at Gloucester Park last Friday night.
Despite doing the work in a very hotly-run race, Shandale smashed the clock and powered to a 1.8m win over Ideal Tyson with classy sit-sprinter Heez On Fire in third spot.
Despite some queries over the timing on the race, the official result shows Shandale’s mile rate at a track record 1min51.8sec for the 1730m.
Shandale has raced just seven times in WA for five wins and a second, but it was last Friday’s win which really showed his arrival as a serious player.
Interestingly, former Purdon/Rasmussen pacer Lets Chase The Dream, who beat Shandale, Lazarus, Chicago Bull and others in the NZ 2YO Sires final, was beaten at his first run for the Gary Hall Sr stable last Friday night.
Lets Chase The Dream used the pole to lead, but copped pressure from Kyle Harper’s fit and in-form Thereugo, who simply outstayed him to win by a head in a 1min56sec mile rate.
Hall Sr felt Lets Chase The Dream would benefit from the run and also need some experience around the tight Gloucester Park track to be completely comfortable.
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MAORI Time is one of the biggest recent success stories in Aussie trotting.
A juvenile star with the now retired Chris Lang Sr, the eight-year-old mare is still winning feature races for former Kiwi trainer Brent Lilley.
Maori Time used her renowned gate speed to blast to the front from gate seven and control the Group 3 Maoris Idol (1720m) at Melton last Friday night.
It was her 21st career win from 57 starts with another seven placings and she has now earned $352,101.
Lilley snared the quinella when another veteran – also a former Chris Lang Sr-trained trotter – Kyvalley Blur showed a glimpse of his best form for a strong second in a 1min57.3sec mile rate.
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THE success rate of Greg and Skye Bond horses being sent across from Perth to the McCarthy family for stints at Menangle continues to grow.
The latest was the promising Galactic Star, who was sent to Craig Cross and Luke McCarthy having won six of his most recent eight starts in WA.
The Bonds cut their team recently when Greg copped a 12-month ban and Skye took over the team with help from Ryan Warwick.
Galactic Star could hardly have been more impressive winning his first Menangle outing despite having to step straight into open-class racing.
The five-year-old son of Bettors Delight powered to a 5.7m win in a slick 1min55.8sec mile rate for the 2300m trip and ran home in 54.3 and 27.5sec.
The former Kiwi’s record since coming to Australia in mid-2016 is 19 starts for 13 wins and three seconds.
The other star of the Menangle card was Amanda Turnbull with three driving wins, two of them she also trained.
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EMMA Stewart “owned” her home track meeting at Ballarat last Saturday night.
The champion trainer, still basking in the glory of dominating the huge Breeders Crown meeting, trained four of the nine winners at Ballarat.
And Chris Alford drove them all.
Just for good measure, Alford went one better by driving a fifth winner when he wife, Alison, trained Grinalltheway to win the fourth race.