Aussie News - 14 January
By Adam Hamilton
STAR Kiwi pacer Im Pats Delight won’t back-up in the $100,000 Group 1 Ballarat Cup this weekend.
Just 18 hours after his hard-fought $60,000 Group 2 Shepparton Cup win last night, trainer Cran Dalgety confirmed he would wait another week and tackle the Group 1 4YO Bonanza.
“It’s about trying to qualify for the Chariots Of Fire,” Dalgety said. “We’d love to go to Ballarat, but we can’t run in everything with all the races so close together.”
Dalgety said it was Gavin Lang’s amazing drive rather than Im Pats Delight’s work which won at Shepparton.
“We know how good Gavin is and that was a Gavin Lang special,” he said. “You definitely want Gavin in your corner.
“He didn’t cover an extra inch off ground than he needed to and made all the right moves when it mattered.”
In a race of attrition, Im Pats Delight just did enough to get past a gallant Our Uncle Sam (third) and hold-off a big finish from Our Triple Play (second).
Buzz pacer San Carlo sat parked in slick times and tired late for fourth in a smart 1min56.2sec mile rate for the long 2690m trip.
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WHIRLWIND is the best way to describe Tim Butt’s weekend.
It started with the high of My Field Marshal’s superb Fremantle Cup win and continued when new stable addition Cheesy Fingers brilliantly won the Raith Memorial at Menangle.
But the low came when another stable star, Let It Ride, went awfully in the Group 2 Shepparton Cup after leading and stopping to a walk.
Butt has scrapped Ballarat and Hunter Cup plans and is taking Let It Ride back to his Menangle base to try and resurrect him for the Miracle Mile.
“He overraced and basically choked-down,” Butt said. “It looked bad and he did stop very quickly, but he pulled-up well so that’s a relief.”
Cheesy Fingers, having her first start for Butt after only landing in Sydney from NZ the day before, led throughout for stand-in driver Jimmy Rattray.
“Credit to Brian Hughes, who trained her up well in NZ. It was a big effort to arrive the day before and go out and run a 1min50.3sec mile. She’s a very nice filly,” Butt said.
Cheesy Fingers, a half-sister to The Orange Agent, had to dig deep to fight off a very brave Soho Nolita, who ran a mighty for second after sitting parked in such quick time.
Butt said the NSW Oaks was next logical target ahead of features like the Victoria Oaks and Breeders Crown deeper into the season.
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A KEY scratching and gun drive helped classy trotting mare Red Hot Tooth successfully defend her Group 3 George Gath crown at Shepparton last night.
When outsider Its No Dark Yet was scratched from gate one it moved the likely leader Big Jack Hammer into the pole and meant Red Hot Tooth followed him out.
So astute punters unleashed, backing Red Hot Tooth from as much as $14 into $3.50 and she saluted after trailing Big Jack Hammer throughout and sprint-laning to win by 1.2m in a 1min59.8sec mile rate for 2190m.
Veteran star Kyvalley Blur ran well for second, while Big Jack Hammer held on for third.
Inter Dominion runner-up Sky Petite had to park throughout and a sizzling 27.6sec split down the back straight saw her weaken late for fourth.
It’s clear Tornado Valley, who runs in the Cochran Cup at Ballarat next Saturday night, has the measure of those who fought-out The George Gath.
So the interest centres on Kiwi raiders Marcoola and Speeding Spur to spice up the Group 1 Great Southern Star at Melton on January 26.
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KIWI visitor Hail Christian is enjoying his time in Sydney.
Paul Court’s emerging pacer snared his most important Sydney win yet when, courtesy of a superb Blake Fitzpatrick drive, he easily won an MO at Menangle last night.
Hail Christian began well from the outside draw, dropped in behind leader Alpine Stride and finished too strongly to win easily in a 1min57.1sec mile rate for 2300m. It was a sprint home with splits of 55.2 and 28.3sec.
He’s won three of his four Aussie runs.
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POPULAR South Australian pacer Emain Macha won his 24th race from just 37 starts in the Italian Cup at Globe Derby last night.
And he’s won four of his past.
Greg Schofield’s five-year-old looked a class above his rivals and won accordingly, by 9.3m in a 1min59.2sec mile rate for 2230m.