Aussie News - 18th Nov

By Adam Hamilton

WE now have a clear top seed for Perth’s biggest races.

Greg and Skye Bond’s exciting five-year-old Mighty Conqueror is that horse.

The American Ideal five-year-old made it 15 wins from just 22 starts when driver Ryan Warwick made the most of a pole draw to lead easily, dictate terms and blast home in 54.8 and 26.7sec in the free-for-all at Gloucester Park last Friday night.

Mighty Conqueror was certainly suited by being on the marker pegs around Gloucester Park, where he hasn’t been overly comfortable at times compared to the bigger Pinjarra track.

It’s great to see Motu Premier back to his best, finishing a fantastic second after sitting parked.

Buzz pacer Bill Haley, who went into the race three-from-three, was never a chance after getting back to near last and coming wide in those blistering late fractions. It was no disgrace to finish fifth.

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GLOUCESTER Park race caller Ritchie Bell picked it with 250m to run.

As the field rounded the final bend in a star-studded $50,000 Group 2 4YO Championship, Bell said: “We could have an upset on our hands.”

As they hit the line, the $109 second outsider of the field, Theo Aviator, snatched a half-head win from $31 shot Sangue Reale with $61 shot Shockwave flashing home for third.

There was no sign of big guns Wildwest (eighth), Gee Jay Kay (seventh), Patrickthepiranha (ninth) and Taroona Bromac (11th).

Another outsider, Robbie Easton, set the tone for the race when he worked to lead and overraced badly in front for young driver Maddison Brown, setting-up the scorching 1min53.7sec mile rate for 2130m.

With a lap to run, the unbeaten buzz pacer Wildwest grabbed the three-wide trail home and loomed as the key player, but when he had to come four-wide at the 450m, he hung, and was quickly a spent force.

Theo Aviator gave popular and hard-working trainer-driver Aldo Cortopassi one of his best and most satisfying wins.

The result throws the race to next month’s Group 1 Golden Nugget wide open.

Earlier in the night, another key Nugget hopeful, high-priced recent Kiwi import Gran Chico, opened his WA account with a victory, albeit against moderate opposition.

The Bettors Delight four-year-old worked forward early to find the lead and kept rolling for driver Shannon Suvaljko and trainer Mike Reed.

He looked to “loaf” at times, but won well in a 1min56.3sec mile rate for 2130m.

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ENIGMATIC former Kiwi pacer King Of Swing farewelled WA and Gary Hall Sr’s stable with a return to winning form last Friday night.

The WA Derby winner has really mixed his form over the past two seasons and Hall Sr says it’s largely because of the small Gloucester Park track.

“He’s never really been comfortable here unless he’s been in front,” Hall Sr said. “So we all decided it was best for him to head to Sydney so he can race on the big track at Menangle.”

King Of Swing heads to the stables of Craig Cross and Luke McCarthy this week.

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HOBBY trainer Ange McDowall knows life is about to get a whole lot harder for her untapped buzz pacer Lumineer.

The former gun juvenile made it 12 wins from 13 starts - and four from four on the comeback trail from a serious injury – when he was nursed to a strong but narrow Melton win last Friday night.

Driver Jason Lee had to really burn Lumineer off the gate from six to get across main danger Deedenuto then steadied the tempo through the middle before dashing home in 55.2 and 27sec to beat a gallant Fake Smile by a neck. They went a 1min54sec mile rate for 1720m.

“I was happy enough to miss that 4&5YO Championship the other week because he’s still getting fitter and learning from the experience,” McDowall said. “He’s a big goof at times and needs to learn more before we go against the big boys again.

“Races like the other night are important. He didn’t get it easy and had to find when Jason asked.”

Lee enjoyed a big night with a treble, his other key win coming aboard the fast and emerging trotter Jilliby Babavska in the Group 3 Lenin Free-For-All.

The son of Sundon speared to the front from gate two and always looked in control on his way to a 12th win from just 25 starts in a 1min59.9sec mile rate for 2240m.

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AMANDA Grieve had a week to treasure being trackside for Cruz Bromac’s NZ Cup win and being such a big part of the build-up.

Grieve, who trained the star pacer in Victoria before his late switch to the All Stars’ barn for the Cup assault, continued the big week when exciting four-year-old Holy Basil continued his unbeaten streak at Melton last Friday night.

The son of Changeover made it five from five when he zoomed away to score by 17m in a 1min57.6sec mile rate for 2240m.

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MAYBE Craig Cross and Luke McCarthy are having second thoughts about not taking former Kiwi pacer Cash N Flow back “home” for the Auckland Inter Dominion.

The former All Stars’ gelding continued his fantastic season with a career-best 1min49.9sec mile win at Menangle last night (Saturday).

And Cash N Flow punched the time himself, working to the front from a wide draw and running along with splits of 27.7, 28.5, 27.5 and 26.2sec to leave a good field in his wake.

Tasmania’s best pacer Harjeet, who so impressively won his first Menangle run for Jimmy Rattray, closed strongly without ever threatening the winner to finish second from another former Kiwi pacer Letsspendanitetogetha.

Amanda Turnbull’s Inter Dominion contender Ellmers Image did all the bullocking in the quick time and wasn’t disgraced in fifth spot, 11m from Cash N Flow.

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TEAM Tritton hopes former All Stars’ pacer Funatthebeach could be their next topliner.

The five-year-old defied a surprising betting drift to lead throughout and win as he liked at his Aussie debut in a 1min53.5sec mile at Menangle last night.

Lauren Tritton held the lead easily from the pole, controlled a slow tempo through a 58.7sec first half then ripped home in 54.8 and 27.2sec to easily beat stablemate Gotta Go Ya Hu, who sat behind the leader.

“He’s the best horse in our stable, easily the best,” Shane Tritton said of Funatthebeach. “Like all horses, he’ll keep improving with experience racing at Menangle, but what he’s shown us so far is really exciting.”

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EMOTIONS ran high after Glenledi Boy’s Cranbourne win last night.

It came just days after successful and respected horseman Gordon Turner passed away and his wife, June, then suffered a heart attack and was rushed to hospital.

Their daughter, Deb Quinlan, co-trains Glenledi Boy with her husband, Gary. Deb propped-up an iPad in hospital so her mother could watch in the hope a win would prove a much-needed tonic.

Glenledi Boy did his bit. Despite racing roughly at times he was too good.

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