Aussie News - 19th November
By Adam Hamilton
TWO of the major Inter Dominion players – trotter Tornado Valley and pacer Shadow Sax - had easy warm-up wins at Melton last Friday night.
The first was Inter Dominion trotting favourite Tornado Valley, who effortlessly made it 13 wins from his past 15 starts.
He’s the $3 favourite on the Aussie TAB for the trotting final from Kiwi star Speeding Spur at $3.80.
Kate Gath took Tornado Valley straight to the front from gate three, cruised through a 62sec middle half and really just sprinted a 28.2sec to win hard-held by four metres in the Group 3 Lenin Trotters’ free-for-all (2240m).
The fact Kyvalley Blur performed so well in his two NZ Cup Week runs last week speaks volumes for Tornado Valley’s form given he’s been easily beating that horse in Victoria of late.
Shadow Sax and San Carlo clashed in the Group 3 Popular Alm free-for-all (2240m), but it proved a fizzer.
Shadow Sax cruised to the lead, while San Carlo was three pegs and that was the race.
Driver Chris Alford dictated terms in front and ripped home in 54.7 and 26.9sec to win easily on Shadow Sax, while San Carlo only saw daylight late and charged home for second.
The Emma Stewart-trained Shadow Sax has won his past two on end from good draws and boasts 23 wins from just 37 career wins.
X X X
TOP WA trainers Greg and Skye Bond will make a final decision this week on a Melbourne Inter Dominion raid.
The Bonds have set last year’s finalists Galactic Star and the emerging Vampiro for the series, but have travel concerns.
“If they stick with this requirement to be in Melbourne five days before the first round of heats, then we won’t go,” Greg Bond said.
Galactic Star, who finished fifth to Lazarus in last year’s final, has returned with wins at his two starts after a let-up.
The latest win came in strong style at Gloucester Park last Friday night where Ryan Warwick gave him a lovely one-one trail and he scored by 3.4m in a 1min54.2sec mile rate for 1730m.
It was part of a big night for Team Bond, who also won the $50,000 4YO Championship with the exciting former Kiwi, Mighty Conqueror.
The son of American Ideal won three of his four NZ runs before heading to Team Bond where’s easily won all four starts.
But it was last Friday’s win which stamped him as a major Golden Nugget player.
Mighty Conqueror won a blazing 200m sprint for the lead at the start then copped plenty of midrace heat from Golden State – who finished a distant last – and still held-off the classy Bechors Brook to win easily by 7.7m.
His 1min53.9sec mile rate for 2130m was just 1.0sec outside Beaudiene Boaz’s track record.
“We thought he could make a Nugget horse and he keeps stepping-up,” Bond said.
Team Bond already has a major Nugget hopeful in buzz Kiwi import Ana Malak, who makes his debut for the stable at Pinjarra tomorrow (Monday).
Another winner of note last Friday night’s Gloucester Park meeting was former star Kiwi filly Our Angel Of Harlem, who overcame a wide draw to score easily for father/son Mike and Mark Reed.
It will be interesting to see if they throw the now fiur-year-old mare in against the “boys” in the Nugget.
X X X
LET It Ride looks right on target for the Inter Dominion despite being beaten at Menangle last night.
Anthony Butt drove the Group 1 Blacks A Fake winner more aggressively from the outside draw at his third run from a spell and Let It Ride ran a mighty race in slick time.
He did all the work outside the leader and was in front until the emerging Ellmers Image nabbed him in the last 50m.
They went a 1min49.9sec mile.
Ellmers Image’s win gives Amanda Turnbull two good Inter Dominion heat drives, the other being Joes Star Of Mia, trained by her father Steve.
The other feature race at Menangle, the Group 3 Sue Kelly Stakes for mares’, went to the flying Village Witch in a 1min50.9sec mile.
X X X
THE rise and rise of young Swede Kima Frenning continues to build momentum.
Frenning has enjoyed a stellar 2018 through her relationship with open-class pacing stars Wrappers Delight and Im The Boss.
And Wrappers Delight gives her a serious chance of winning the Inter Dominion final.
Frenning scored another career first when former classy Kiwi pacer Buster Brady won easily at Cranbourne last night.
It was Frenning’s first win as a trainer in her own right.
X X X
DAVID Aiken thinks his recent stable addition Big Jack Hammer won’t be out of his depth in the Inter Dominion trotting series.
The six-year-old, raced in the same interests as Aiken’s leading Inter Dominion pacing hope Wrappers Delight, looked sharp winning at Melton last Friday night.
It was just his second run for Aiken.
Big Jack Hammer was backed for plenty on debut for Aiken in the Yarra Valley Trotters’ Cup, but made a mess of the start and caught the eye making up loads of ground afterwards.
His manners were much better from the mobile start last Friday, pushing forward from gate five to find the front and never looking in danger.
The eye-catching run came from runner-up Aleppo Murphy, who galloped at the start, lost at least 30-40m, but flew home to get within 3.3m of the winner.
The flop was Inter Dominion hopeful Magicool, who went into the race with nine wins and two seconds from 11 starts, but weakened after sitting parked to finish almost 30m away in seventh spot.