Aussie News - 15th April

By Adam Hamilton

VETERAN trotter Monty Python is heading home.

Trainer Brent Lilley confirmed the nine-year-old would head to Auckland for the Anzac and Rowe Cups to be reunited with former trainer Phil Williamson.

The decision to leave Monty Python with Lilley in Victoria after the Inter Dominion last December has reaped rewards.

The gelding has won three races and earned almost $70,000 in Lilley’s care.

Monty Python posted the third of those wins at Melton last Friday night, with driver Chris Alford weaving through traffic from a back row draw to score.

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STAR mare Major Occasion remains very much on target for the Harness Jewels despite a defeat at Menangle last night.

Chris Frisby’s four-year-old drew the outside, worked hard and was just nabbed late when second to Come Cullect in a 1min52sec mile.

It looks a formality Major Occasion, who has really surged through the rankings this season, will land the Aussie invite in her Jewels division.

Star speedster Majordan won the free-for-all on the night, blasting to the front from his outside draw and pacing a 1min50.1sec mile.

Trainer Kevin Pizzuto is keeping him ticking along towards the Group 1 Len Smith Mile on June 30 and a possible Queensland winter campaign.

Young gun driver Todd McCarthy drove Majordan and finished with a superb five wins on the nine-race Menangle card.

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CLASS prevailed in one of Australia’s biggest and most popular country cups.

Proven Grand Circuit performer San Carlo looked the standout class act of the series and, despite a back row draw, easily won last night’s $60,000 Group 1 final.

He was helped by the fact major rivals Reciprocity (third) and Brallos Pass (seven) also drew the back row.

Driver Bec Bartley summed the race up well, whizzed around to take the front and won easily by 5.1m in a slick 1min58.6sec mile rate for the 2600m.

Trainer Steve O’Donoghue must now be tempted to target the Group 1 Len Smith Mile on June 30 and Menangle and maybe even a Queensland winter campaign.

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KIWI trainer Steve Telfer won the main support race, the $25,000 Australia Cup final, at Mildura.

Telfer’s emerging mare Our Step Up did the work, but was simply a class above a handy field, winning by 2.7m in a sharp 1min58.2sec mile rate for 2190m.

Our Step Up is relishing the Aussie style of racing and should keep roaring through the grades if Telfer keeps her here.

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PUT a ring around buzz pacer Ignatius for the Len Smile Mile in June.

Trainer-driver Jimmy Rattray only gave his stable a few a freshen-up after the Chariots of Fire on February 16.

And he was back at the trials, winning easily in a 1min53.8sec mile at Menangle last Tuesday.

Ignatius, boasts 17 wins from 22 starts, brilliantly won his Chariots of Fire qualifier before working too hard and wilting for ninth in the big one itself.

He’s shown all the right ingredients to make a serious Grand Circuit player in time.

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KEEP the name Smart As Camm Be in mind.

Every now and again Queensland produces a young horse good enough to mix it with Australia’s best.

And she is.

Kylie Rasmussen’s daughter of Cammibest thrashed her rivals in the Group 2 Qbred Triad final in a 1min57sec mile rate for 2138m at Albion Park last night.

Hopefully connections head south for a crack at the Victoria Oaks.

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CARETAKER trainer Dean Braun shelved plans for a Tasmanian Easter Cup raid with gifted former Kiwi pacer Ana Malak.

That’s despite the four-year-old winning a Melton trial in a 1min57sec mile rate for 2240m, including closing splits of 56.5 and 27.2sec last Monday.

Ana Malak won all four starts in WA for Greg and Skye Bond late last year, including the Group 1 Golden Nugget, before being sent to Braun because he’s better suited to the Victorian handicapping system.

“He’s open-class over here, but can work through the grades in Victoria. He’ll come back here when the time is right as we think he’s got the makings of a really top horse,” Greg Bond said.

At the same set of trials, Emma Stewart’s gun three-year-old Centenario narrowly beat classy stablemate Hardhitter in a 1min57sec mile rate for 2240m.

The Easter Cup heats went ahead last Friday, but a statewide power issue almost ruined the meeting.

After a string of delays, eventually power returned and Gavin Lang’s Victorian raider Franco Tristan won the first heat from a 10m handicap in a 2min1.6sec mile rate.

The second heat saw an upset when $20.60 local Illegal Immigrant beat buzz local Ryley Major by 1.9m in a 2min0.4sec mile rate.

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GARY Hall Sr’s latest Kiwi import Balcatherine looks right on target for the Group 1 WA Oaks.

Nominal favourite is another former Kiwi, the Trevor Casey-owned Dracarys, but Balcatherine caught the eye at her first WA run at Gloucester Park last Friday night.

The daughter of American Ideal was held-up behind the leader until too late, got clear and flashed home for second, beaten just a head by stablemate Fake News in an Oaks Prelude.

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A FEW years back hobby horseman Stephen Reed resurrected the injury-plagued Lovers Delight to finish second in the Perth Inter Dominion.

Now his patience and genius with badly injured horses has shone through again.

This time it’s with former high-priced Kiwi import Kiwi Legend.

The now seven-year-old had virtually been written-off with injuries, but Reed nursed him back to the races after 18 months out.

After just five runs back, Kiwi Legend won the free-for-all at Gloucester Park as a $41 outsider last Friday night in quick time.

The gelding found the front and Reed’s brother, Mark, just let him roll in front with splits of 29.5, 29.5, 27.4 and 28.1sec for a 1min54sec mile rate over 1730m.

It capped a good night for the Reed family with Stephen’s father, Mike, combining with Mark to win the mares’ race with another high-priced former Kiwi Our Angel Of Harlem.

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