By Adam Hamilton
TWO of Australia’s most decorated pacers – Tiger Tara and My Field Marshal – are right on target for Perth raids next month.
The star pair returned from spells in the free-for-all at Menangle last night (Saturday) and thrilled connections.
My Field Marshal, first-up off a long break, especially delighted trainer Tim Butt when he stormed home from near last to finish second to Alta Orlando in a 1min54.2sec mile rate for 2300m.
The winner ran a 54.6sec last half and My Field Marshal was timed to run his in 53.8sec.
“He’s such a special horse to me and to have him back and go like that is so exciting,” Butt said. “We’re very keen on Perth, I’d say he’s 90 per cent going now. He thrived over there last year.
“He’ll go to the Shirley Turnbull at Bathurst on the 26th (of December), then we’ll make the final decision on Perth.”
Tiger Tara blasted off the gate from an outside draw to lead, dictated terms and seemed to just run out of condition late when overrun and a finishing third, 5.3m from the winner.
“He needed that. He’ll come on a lot from it,” trainer Kevin Pizzuto said. “We’re very keen on Perth.”
Alta Orlando continued his excellent form since coming across from NZ by leading, sitting on Tiger Tara and popping out a the top of the straight to win well.
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REVENGE is sweet, just ask the Shockwave team.
It was only two weeks ago when the son of Mach Three “won” the Group 1 4YO Championship at Gloucester Park, but was stripped of it by a protest from Sangue Reale.
But, last Friday night, it was pay-back time.
Shockwave won WA’s biggest four-year-old race, the Group 1 $200,000 Golden Nugget, in narrow but powerhouse style for trainer Ryan Bell and driver Aiken De Campo.
And, for just a moment at the top of the home straight, Shockwave and Sangue Reale were alongside each other, but this time there was no dramatic twist.
Despite having to come from well back and three and four wide, Shockwave ran his own last half in 55.6sec to gun down leader Patrickthepiranha in a slick 1min56.3sec mile rate for 2536m.
Sangue Reale trailed the leader, didn’t have much room when it mattered, and ran another top race for third.
The way Shockwave has gone to another level this campaign, Bell will surely give serious thought to stepping him up to big stage for the Fremantle (January 10) and WA Pacing Cups (January 17).
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POPULAR veteran Vultan Tin is right back to his very best as WA’s biggest races loom.
The Phil Costello-trained eight-year-old was superbly and confidently driven by Chris Voak to impressively win a free-for-all in slick time at Gloucester Park last Friday night.
Last year’s WA Pacing Cup winner Rocknroll Lincoln resumed from injury and a long spell and found the lead, but Voak very quickly made a move around to sit parked and apply pressure.
“I knew my horse was rock hard fit and here had to be a query on the leader’s fitness,” Voak said.
Voak’s pressure meant a 28.3sec split from the 1200-800m, but was still good enough to rip home in 55.7 and 27.9sec to beat the fast-finishing Handsandwheels by 3.3m in a 1min54.5sec mile rate for 2130m.
The other free-for-all produced a monstrous upset when Talktomeurmattjesty led, overraced through the middle stages, looked in strife at the 300m, but just kept rallying to win in a blistering 1min53.7sec mile rate for 2130m.
Buzz pacer and leading WA Cup contender Mighty Conqueror loomed as the winner on he home bend, but went into a gallop for no reason and lost all hope.
The five-year-old oozes talent, but never really looks fully comfortable around the tight Gloucester Park track.
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TWO of Emma Stewart and Clayton Tonkin’s brightest stars, Ride High and The Storm Inside, added to their stunning records with wins at Melton last night (Saturday).
The immensely talented Ride High made it 10 wins (and a third) from just 11 starts when he survived a late scare to win the Westburn Grant free-for-all in a 1min55.3sec mile rate for 2240m.
He’s building nicely towards races like the Ballarat and Hunter Cups as well as the Miracle Mile.
While the injury-plagued The Storm Inside had to pull out everything in scorching time to post his 15th win (and two seconds) from just 17 starts.
The six-year-old won by a whisker from Reigning Pepper and they went a 1min52sec mile rate for 1720m.
The margin was small, but the times, especially the 54.4sec last half, underlined he enormity of the win.
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IT was great to see racing back at the historic Wayville track in Adelaide again last Friday night.
It was the second “retro” meeting at the tiny track which was the home of SA’s harness racing for so long before Globe Derby.
And Lance Justice, who rarely drives in Victoria these days, loved getting back to Wayville, winning the first two of the six races on the night. He also finished second in another two.