Amore Vita impressive in Queensland debut
By Adam Hamilton
Nathan Purdon looks to have found his next superstar in Amore Vita.
The former Kiwi horseman was due some luck after losing his two stable stars in recent months – Amazing Dream to the US and Spellbound to injury.
But Amore Vita is giving him plenty to stay positive about.
The former Kiwi filly’s emergence is no surprise to Purdon, who declared she had serious “X factor” soon after she joined his stable last August.
She’s already won a Breeders Crown final and now looks to have the Queensland Oaks at her mercy.
Amore Vita’s first Queensland run had to be seen to be believed at Albion Park last night,
Snagged off the gate to last by driver Chris Alford, Amore Vita unleashed a huge sprint in the last lap to win running away by 9.5m against some handy male and female opposition.
She should only be further improved by the run given it was her first outing in a month and only her second start since February.
Amore Vita’s win was her 10th (with four placings) from just 15 starts and she’s already banked $221,515.
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Team McCarthy flexed its muscle on night one of the Queensland Constellations last night.
Luke and Belinda McCarthy combined to win the feature, the Lucky Creed Open Pace, with Australia’s top-rated pacer Spirit Of St Louis.
They also won the other “fast-class” race of the night with comeback star Jilliby Kung Fu, who led and ripped home in a scorching 53.2sec last half.
That pair, along with Mach Shard and AG’s White Socks, will give Team McCarthy a formidable assault on the open-class features during coming weeks in Queensland.
Spirit Of St Louis, first-up since his second in the Miracle Mile, led and then took a sit on Blacksadance before overpowering him late to win by a half-neck in a slick 1min55.6sec mile rate for the long 2680m trip.
“He’s had plenty of work and two trials, but that run will really bring him on,” McCarthy said. “It’s good to get that one under his belt.”
Eight-year-old Jilliby Kung Fu, who won the 2018 Chariots Of Fire and finished second in the Miracle Mile of the same year, made it two wins from as many starts on the comeback trail.
“It’s been great bringing him up here because under the handicapping system he can still run in another of these restricted races before having to take on the big boys,” Luke McCarthy said.
“He’ll just keep getting better and better with racing.”
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Chariots Of Fire winner Better Eclipse sharpened-up for his Queensland raid with a first-up win at Melton last night.
The Jess Tubbs-trained four-year-old landed in the one-one trail for driver Greg Sugars and overpowered a gallant leader and favourite, Rock N Roll Doo, late to win by 1.1m in a 1min54.9sec mile rate for 2240m.
Rock N Roll Doo, who is also a possible Queensland raider, had to burn early to find the lead in a slick 43.3sec lead time and still fought the race right out late.
Sugars said Better Eclipse would likely back-up again next week before heading to the $305,000 Group 1 Rising Sun at Albion Park on July 9.
Another four-year-old to impress on the night was Andy Gath’s Yambukian, who returned from a spell with a dominant victory in a heat of the Cadeceus Metropolitan series.
The son of Bettors Delight came from outside the back row to sit parked and still thrashed his rivals by 11.1m in a 1min56.2sec mile rate for 2240m.
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Brilliant young mare Ladies In Red heads to the Melton trials tomorrow (Monday) night as she prepares for a Queensland raid.
A champion at two and three, Ladies In Red will make a hit-and-run raid on the $305,000 Group 1 Rising Sun at Albion Park on July 9.
The four-year-old has only raced twice this season for a win in a heat of the Australian Gold 4YO series and then a fast-finishing and huge second to stablemate Tough Tilly in the final.
“It’s looking like she’ll go up the day before the race so Emma (Stewart) and Clayton (Tonkin) can get her in-and-out quickly,” owner-breeder Bill Anderson said.
“She’s taking on the boys in Queensland, but it’s only because Amazing Dream beat the boys in the race last year. Anne (Anderson’s wife) said if Amazing Dream can do it, then we should give Ladies In Red the chance well.
“But it might be the only time you’ll see her against the boys this season. She won’t go to a Victoria Cup or Inter Dominion.”
Brilliant stablemate Honolua Bay, also raced and bred by the Andersons, will also trial at Melton.
“He’s the one we’re setting for the Victoria Cup and Inter Dominion,” Bill Anderson said.
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Emma Stewart and Clayton Tonkin have yet another young star on their hands with Petracca.
The Captaintreacherous colt zipped to the front and won as he liked first-up with a 26.6sec last quarter at Melton last night.
Petracca, named after AFL star Christian Petracca, has won three of his four starts and finished a luckless third in the Bathurst Gold Crown final from a horror draw at his only defeat.
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Superstar trotter Majestuoso cost himself victory with an early gallop at Melton last night.
Andy Gath’s star broke just before the start, lost at least 30m before still looming as the winner with 100m to go.
The much-improved Nephew Of Sonoko sat behind the leader and zipped through the sprint lane to snatch victory by 2.4m in a 1min56sec mile rate for 1720m.
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One of WA’s biggest owners Robbie Tomlinson had a night to bottle at Gloucester Park last Friday.
As well as teaming with trainer Ray Williams for a double with Magnificent Storm and Ezana, Tomlinson also won earlier in the night with the Dylan Egerton-Green trained Typhoon Banner.
“What a night!” he said. “And all three are really nice horses, too.
“Typhoon Banner has kept betting better with time and I think he’ll make a nice free-for-all, especially with gate speed.”
Egerton-Green won the race at the start when he blasted Typhoon Banner out at the start to cross favourite Regazzo Mach, who never really saw daylight from behind him in the run home.”
Tomlinson said Magnificent Storm would continue to build towards a probable Victorian trip for the Inter Dominion later in the year.
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Regally bred filly Come Say Hi looked a potential Queensland Oaks filly with an impressive Redcliffe win for Team McCarthy last Friday night.
By Bettors Delight out of Three Eagles (dam of Fly Like An Eagle, Mach Doro and Higherthananeagle) led throughout to blitz her rivals and make it four wins and seven placings from just 15 starts.
The Redcliffe meeting boasted plenty of quality, including Manila Playboy’s win in a strong Group 3 Patrons Purse.
Trained by Shane Fraser and driven by Angus Garrard, Manila Playboy was good enough to sit parked and beat a good field.
Another of the features went to Queensland Derby hopeful Teddy Disco in the Group 2 Redcliffe Yearling Sales 3YO final.
Another highlight was Bathurst Gold Crown winner Tardelli smashing his rivals in his heat of the Redcliffe Yearling Sales 2YO series.
Rickie Alchin’s son of Huntsville worked to the front and roared away to win by 34.7m to make it six wins from just seven starts.