Aussie News - 17 Feb

By Adam Hamilton

NEXT stop Sydney for the rising star of Victorian harness racing.

Code Bailey continued his fantastic summer and gave driver Jason Lee the biggest thrill of his career winning his hometown $50,000 Group 2 Terang Cup last night.

It was a destruction job with Code Bailey whizzing straight to the front and clearing out in a blistering last 1200m to win by 17.9m from Kerryn Manning’s last-start SA Cup winner.

Kiwi raider and Ballarat Cup winner AG’s White Socks made a midrace move to sit parked, but was beaten before the home bend and battled into a distant third, almost 20m from the winner.

Code Bailey, fresh a fighting fourth in the Hunter Cup, mile-rated a slick 1min56.8sec for the long 2680m trip and ran his closing splits in 28.7, 27.4 and 27.1sec.

The Terang win followed his Bendigo Cup win on January 3 and a fifth in the Ballarat Cup.

“There’s as much relief as excitement with this win,” Lee said. “I was so nervous going into it, probably the most nervous I’ve ever been.

“I thought he was a great chance and this is a race I’ve always wanted to win, the hometown Cup. I’ve always said it’s a Terang Cup then the Inter Dominion then any other Group 1’s.”

Recent Terang Cup winners include Arden Rooney (2015) and Blacks A Fake (2006).

“As long as he comes through it well, we’re off to Sydney to try and get a spot in the Miracle Mile,” Lee said.

That will be through the two qualifying sprints at Menangle on February 29.

The Terang Trotters’ Cup was dominated by Chris Svanosio, who landed the quinella with Magicool beating Kyvalley Finn.

The shock came when recent Kiwi import Ronald J, the $1.80 favourite, led, but pulled so hard he choked-down and dropped right out.

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STAR Kiwi three-year-old Smooth Deal adds plenty of interest to Tuesday’s Menangle meeting.

Surprisingly balloted out of a race at Menangle last night (Saturday), Mark Purdon switched focus to Tuesday’s race to sharpen-up Smooth Deal for the heats of the NSW Derby on February 29.

It might be just a midweek Menangle race, but it’s attracted a ripper field including exciting former Kiwi Zeuss Bromac, now in the Paul Fitzpatrick barn.

Tim Butt’s regally-bred and exciting Surreal (gate nine) is also in the field, along with the speedy Crunch Time (gate 10).

Smooth Deal is sure to be favourite from gate six with Zeuss Bromac outside him in gate eight.

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HE may never live up to the early hype, but it was great to see Ideal Liner back to his best with a terrific Gloucester Park win last Friday night.

Gary Hall Sr’s import showed huge potential early, but has struggled in open-class.

The signs were much better when, driven by Maddison Brown, the five-year-old sat parked outside the co-favourite Ocean Ridge and held-off the classy sit-sprinter Bill Haley to win.

Ideal Liner, a $26 outsider, dashed home in 55 flat and 27.6sec to beat Bill Haley by a head in a 1min56.9sec mile rate for 2130m.

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PROMISING former Kiwi gelding The Crimson Prince won the iconic Albury Cup last Friday night.

Amanda Turnbull’s sit-sprinter caused a minor with driver Jackson Painting in the sulky, beat David Aiken’s $1.95 favourite Shelby Bromac.

The Crimson Prince, who packs a lethal turn of speed, has won seven of his 12 Aussie runs for Turnbull with another three placings.

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