Aussie News - 10 Feb

By Adam Hamilton

KEVIN Pizzuto’s new stable star Majordan reminded everyone he would be a serious Miracle Mile contender with a dominant Menangle win last night.

Todd McCarthy used his blazing gate speed to whiz straight to the front from gate eight, but did have his two main rivals – Ignatius (three pegs) and Wrangler (leader’s back) – camped right on him.

Majordan was able to switch-off with a cosy 29.4sec second split then McCarthy drove to take the sting out of his stalkers with a 26.7sec third split.

Majordan was still able to reel off another 26.7sec last quarter – for a blistering 53.4sec last half – to win by 4.3m over Wrangler with Ignatius third.

Kiwi raider Hail Christian got a long way back from an outside draw and never had a chance to get into the action with the tempo. He ran sixth.

Majordan is arguably the fastest beginner in Australia and that weapon will make him a force in the countdown to the $1 million Miracle Mile on March 7.

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KERRYN Manning snared her first South Australian Cup win and continued with dominance of Victorians in the feature with Pat Stanley’s hard-fought win last night.

Victorians have won 13 of the past 14 SA Cups, including four by the great Smoken Up (2008, 2011, ’12 and ’13), with just Mark Purdon’s Smolda (2017) bucking the trend.

Manning took Pat Stanley to the front from gate two and dictated the terms through the middle stages before having to pull-out everything to beat another Victorian, Rackemup Tigerpie, to win by a half-neck with another 17m away to Somewhere Secret in third spot.

Pat Stanley is a former Kiwi who spent two years in NSW with Blake Fitzpatrick before switching to Manning’s barn just over a month ago.

Brent Lilley, who won last year’s SA Pacing Cup with Sicario, landed the SA Trotters’ Cup last night with recent Kiwi import Izmok, driven superbly by Aussie Mifsud.

And the SA Derby went to powerhouse combination Emma Stewart and Greg Sugars with Mach Dan, who is raced by Cruz Bromac’s owner Danny Zavitsanos.

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TRAINER Michael Stanley had to watch from afar as his two-year-old Soho Lanikai made the most breathtaking debut at Melton last night.

Stanley was at Globe Derby where he grabbed second spot in the feature, the SA Cup, with Rackemup Tigerpie.

So it was his stable second-string driver Ryan Duffy who took the reins as Soho Lanikai (Somebeachsomewhere-Obamha Joy) won the Premiere Stakes by a phenomenal 65.2 metres. Yes, 65.2 metres.

And the time also showed the win was special with a 1min54sec mile rate for 1720m.

Soho Lanikai was bought by Watson for $30,000 at last year’s Australian Gold Melbourne sale.

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FIRST comes the NSW Derby and then Anthony Butt is eyeing-off a WA raid with his star three-year-olds Line Up and Perfect Stride.

“That’s the plan, to take them both if they come through the NSW Derby well,” Butt said.

“I’ve spoken to Gary Hall (Jr) and asked if he’d drive one of them for me.”

Line Up won his heat and final of the Victoria Derby, while Perfect Stride ran a terrific third in the final.

In other stable news, Butt’s exciting three-year-old trotter Elite Stride steps out for just his second run at Menangle on Tuesday.

Elite Stride, raced and bred by Emilio and Mary Rosati, won his run at Melton on January 20 by 50.5 metres.

“He’ll have a couple of runs through this (NSW) Foundations series, then head back to Victoria for Need for Speed (Group 1, February 29),” Butt said.

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STILL on Butt and he had an armchair drive to win a NSW Oaks lead-up race aboard Dr Susan at Menangle last night.

Aided by the late scratching of key rival Stylish Memphis, Butt took Dr Susan straight across to the lead from the outside and dictated terms in front then ran home the last three splits in 28.5, 27.6 and 27.7sec to win by 8.4m in a 1min55.7sec mile rate for 2300m.

At Melton later in night, three of the fillies Dr Susan beat in the Victoria Oaks final continued their NSW Oaks preparation.

John Yeomans’ Its Beaujolais snatched victory from a gallant Alice Kay, who sat parked, in a 1min57.6sec mile rate for 2240m.

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FORMER WA Derby winner Handsandwheels smashed through the $600,000 stakemoney barrier with a fast-finishing win in the $50,000 Governors Cup (2130m) at Gloucester Park last Friday night.

Trained and driven by young Aiden De Campo, Handsandwheels continued his consistent and terrific season when he overhauled the classy Galactic Star to win in a sizzling 1min53.2sec mile rate.

It was a frantically contested affair with favourite Our Jimmy Johnstone working to lead then copping huge midrace pressure from the headstrong Talktomeurmattjesty. They went a 27.9sec split from the 1200-800m.

On the same night, Double Expresso emphatically stamped herself as WA’s best three-year-old filly with a dominant win in the $50,000 Group 2 Daintys Daughter Classic (2130m).

Buzz former Kiwi filly Tiffany Rose led, but Double Expresso sat outside her and was simply too strong in a 1min56sec mile rate and closing splits of 56.8 and 28.6sec.

The other key winner of the night was Barry Howlett’s recent Kiwi import, Culpeka, who sat parked outside and the talent Bletchley Park and won an epic battle in a 1min55.1sec mile rate for 2130m.

Culpeka ran third at his first WA run on December 2, but has since won six on end and is the state’s most exciting progressive pacer.

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TRAINER Andy Gath is still shaking his head about South Australia’s decision not to give his recent Kiwi import Ronald J a spot in last Saturday night’s SA Trotters Cup field.

Remarkably, the former Paul Nairn-trained winner of 10 races in NZ, was installed first emergency with some clearly inferior locals making the cut.

Rather than sweat on a run, Gath scratched Ronald J, who contested the recent Auckland Inter Dominion series, and will run him first-up for the stable in the Group 3 Terang Trotters’ Cup next Saturday night.

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FORMER Kiwi and recent Auckland Inter Dominion finalist Sicario has snared another feature win.

Brent Lilley’s five-year-old, fresh from an upset win in the Pure Steel on Hunter Cup night, led throughout to easily win the $35,000 Group 3 Echuca Cup last Friday night.

It was a big night for Lilley who also landed the quinella in the feature trot, the Crystal Bucket, with nine-year-old veteran Father Christmas beating Stress Factor.

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LET’S just hope General Dodge stays sound.

The injury-plagued seven-year-old launched his latest comeback with the most impressive of Melton wins last night.

It was General Dodge’s first run in almost 20 months and took his record to 12 wins (and a second) from just 16 runs.

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