Aussie News - 16 Sep
By Adam Hamilton
FORMER star pacer Bling It On is launching a comeback.
The Hunter Cup winner and one-time juvenile pin-up takes his first official step in a Menangle trial tomorrow (Monday).
It comes after a couple of seasons at stud where he has been well-supported by breeders, serving over 200 mares.
"I've driven him in fast work and in a couple of private trials around Menangle and he feels as good as he ever has," driver and co-trainer Luke McCarthy told harness.org.au.
"I'm pretty confident he will make a strong return based on the way his work has been."
The now nine-year-old has not raced since finishing ninth at Menangle on June 9, last year.
His biggest win came in the 2017 Hunter Cup, which followed a desperately unlucky fourth in the Perth Inter Dominion final two months earlier.
McCarthy said the comeback was sparked because Bling It On was "doing too well" during a winter spell and they decided to start jogging him.
"He was sound and felt so good, they decided to press on with him and now he is trialling," he said.
"If connections thought he couldn't get back to racing at the top level they wouldn't entertain the idea of bringing him back in work but his work has been so strong.
"He will keep doing stud work and if we are happy with him on Monday we'll keep going with him."
Bling It On's record stands at 86 starts for 45 wins, 20 placings and $1,656,656 in earnings.
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BUSTER Brady is building nicely.
The star former Kiwi stayer had no luck in two runs back from a spell then turned it around with a trademark fighting win in the VHRC Classic at Melton last night. He paced a slick 1min54.3sec for 2240m.
Trainer-driver Kima Frenning won the race with an early move around the field from the back row to take the lead from eventual runner-up Cant Refuse.
Buster Brady steps back into Victoria's country cup circuit, which he dominated last year, when he runs next in the $70,000 Kilmore Cup on September 27.
Then comes the Group 1 Victoria Cup at Melton on October 12.
Another key Melton winner was the regally-bred Soho Hamilton - a brother to Soho Tribeca - who snared his biggest win so far in the $50,000 Group 2 Home Grown Vicbred final.
He's won three of five runs and oozes potential for trainer-driver Mick Stanley.
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IT'S a long way back to the top for former juvenile star Lumineer, but the early signs are good.
The son of Sportswriter won his first eight starts for hobby trainer Ange McDowall, including the Group 1 Australian Gold 2YO final, then went amiss after tasting defeat for the first time when sixth in the 2018 Victoria Derby final.
He retuned for his first run in almost 20 months with a runaway Terang win last Wednesday night.
Lumineer won by 24m in a cosy 2min0.4sec mile rate for 2180m, including closing splits of 56.7 and 28 flat.
"It was such a relief he did it with such ease," McDowall said. "And the next morning he was floating around Lady Bay (a beach in Warrnambool) like the race never happened."
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VETERAN former Kiwi pacer Our Jimmy Johnstone wound back the clock at Gloucester Park last Friday night.
The 11-year-old used a gun draw in the pole to lead throughout and easily beat some of WA's best open-class pacers in the $50,0000 Group 2 James Brennan Memorial (2536m).
It was one of the most rewarding wins for co trainers Greg and Skye Bond, who has nursed the gelding through a fantastic WA career and deep into his twilight.
And it was a career-best win for driver Bailey McDonough.
"I was pretty nervous before the race and pretty excited after it," McDonough said. "He felt super in the run and at about the 800m I started to get very confident."
And the old boy ran some time too, a 1min55.9sec mile rate for the staying trip, closing in 55.6 and 28.1sec.
It was Our Jimmy Johnstone's first victory since scoring at Gloucester Park on June 1, last year.
It took his record to 118 starts for 28 wins, 43 placings and almost $670,000 in earnings.
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TEAM Tritton has found another good one.
The improving gelding Cocosfella snared the win of the night at Menangle last night.
In a hotly contested mile, Cocosfella did most of the work outside the leader and just kept coming in a 1min50.8sec mile in the $30,600 Group 3 Lazarus New Season Gift final.