Aussie News - 18th June
By Adam Hamilton
YOU can put the pen through Australia’s most exciting pacer Jilliby Kung Fu for the Len Smith and Queensland Winter Carnival.
Trainer Marg Lee is only focused on the Vicbred 4YO series now with the Chariots Of Fire winner and Miracle Mile runner-up.
Jilliby Kung Fu, who sadly missed the Harness Jewels after a minor hiccup, returned from a spell with a narrow but ultra-impressive Shepparton win last Friday night.
Forced to sit parked at his first run since the Miracle Mile, Jilliby Kung Fu kept lifting under pressure for driver Glen Craven and snatched a neck win over the underrated and emerging leader, Wrappers Delight.
They paced a 1min56.8sec mile rate for 2190m on a cold wet night, which was just 1.1sec outside the track record.
“I doubt he’ll travel in the short term, we’re only thinking about the Vicbred for now,” Marg Lee’s son, Jason, said.
“The long term plan is the (Melbourne) Inter Dominion because we think he’ll love the long trip.”
Jason confirmed his cousin Glen Craven would drive Jilliby Kung Fu through the Vicbred series and he would partner another of the family’s promising pacers, Jilliby Chevy.
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LEVIATHAN owner-breeder Rob Watson has found his next star.
Kiwi-bred American Ideal colt Franco Edward oozes X-factor.
Trained and driven by Kyle Harper, Franco Edward made it three wins from four starts when he arrogantly thrashed a crack field in the $100,000 Pearl Classic final (1730m) at Gloucester Park on Friday night.
In contrast to his heat win when he raced greenly and did plenty wrong, Franco Edward looked a real professional in the final, zooming out to lead from the pole and winning as he liked in a 1min56.4sec mile rate.
“He’s really exciting. It looks like we’ve got another really nice one,” Watson said.
The run of second-placed Shockwave was also fantastic considering he came wide and made-up plenty of ground and the last three quarters were paced in 28.3, 28.8 and 28.0sec.
The disappointment was Bling It On’s baby brother, Bletchely Park, who blazed a 1min53.6sec mile rate for the same trip a week ago, but weakened after sitting parked last Friday and ran seventh.
Back to Harper and it both ends of the spectrum for him last Friday with baby Franco Edward winning and stable veteran and stalwart Bettors Fire also saluting.
It was the nine-year-old’s 39th win from 100 starts and edged him very close to $800,000 in earnings.
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THE news is a lot better than first feared with high-class former Kiwi pacer Shandale.
Now based in WA with Mike Reed, Shandale seemed to trip and crash heavily to the track in the free-for-all at Gloucester Park last Friday night.
He was tended to for a long time on the track, but a relieved Reed later said Shandale had cuts, abrasions and would require some time off, but seemed to have escaped really serious injury.
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CHAMPION driver Luke McCarthy had a night to remember at Menangle last night.
McCarthy drove both semi-final winners of the rich NSW Breeders Challenge series for two-year-old colts and geldings with Victorian raiders Lochinvar Art and Hardhitter.
The Laura Crossland-trained Lochinvar Art toyed with his rivals in the first semi, sitting off the pace then blowing them away to win by 8.8m in a 1min55.4sec mile.
Hardhitter showed he was yet another Emma Stewart and Clayton Tonkin juvenile star when he blasted to the front and smashed the clock to beat buzz baby Muscle Factory in the second semi.
Despite the fact he went a 1min52.7sec mile – much quicker than Lochinvar Art – McCarthy confirmed he would drive Lochinvar Art in the July 1 final.
It’s expected Chris Alford will take the reins on Hardhitter.
McCarthy also partnered the Darren Reay-trained Rollin With Holly for a dominant win in the first semi of the Challenge for two-year-old fillies in a 1min54.3sec mile.
That series was thrown wide-open when nominal final favourite Miss Halfpenny was narrowly upset by Cee Cee Armbro in the second semi in a 1min54.9sec mile.
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LEVIATHAN NSW-based owner Emilio Stride has found his next star.
Improving mare Cherry Stride sparkled winning the first semi-final of the NSW Breeders Challenge for flour0-year-old mares and looks to have a mortgage on the July 1 final.
Trained by KerryAnn Turner, it was her husband Robbie Morris who worked forward to find the lead after the start on Cherry Stride and played with their rivals.
The daughter of Rocknroll Hanover opened right up to win by 21.4m in a sizzling 1min51.4sec mile signailing she is a bit special.
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ANOTHER Victorian trotting feature and another win for Andy Gath’s former Kiwi gelding Tornado Valley.
Owned by Norm Jenkin of Flashing Red fame, Tornado Valley was blasted to the lead from outside draw (gate seven) by Kate Gath and always looked in control.
He cruised around in a 1min59.5sec mile rate for 2240m to post his ninth win from just 12 starts since crossing the Tasman to join the Gaths’ stable.
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THE buzz around WA three-year-old Jack Mac hit a slight snag when he beaten but certainly not disgraced at Gloucester Park last Friday night.
On face value, he seemed to be beaten by a very smart former Kiwi gelding in Bettor Aim, who has sparkled winning all three WA runs for Greg and Skye Bond.
Driver Ryan Warwick drew six and inside Jack Mac (eight) and used that advantage to work to the front and park Jack Mac.
They blazed a 1min55sec mile rate for 2230m, including a 27.4sec split down the back straight, but Bettor Aim found plenty to beat Jack Mac by 3.9m.
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BRILLIANT former Kiwi mare Reaza Grunter continues to zoom through the grades for Shane and Lauren Tritton.
The four-year-old daughter of Christian Cullen led and thrashed a handy field in her most impressive Aussie win yet at Menangle last night.
She ran the mile in a slick 1min51.5sec, won by almost 11m and posted her 10th win from just 15 starts since crossing the Tasman.
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