Aussie News - 1st April

By Adam Hamilton

FORMER Kiwi Buster Brady confirmed his tag as Victoria’s Country Cups “King” with a spellbinding win in the $60,000 Group 2 Horsham Cup.

The gelding is known for switching off at times in his races, but also for his staggering will to win.

He showed plenty of both, but rallied courageously when it mattered to snatch a 1.5m win over talented pair Jilliby Chevy and Cant Refuse. Both had easier runs than him.

Today’s Horsham Cup win followed other country cup wins at Maryborough, Echuca, Cobram and Geelong.

The gelding has been a revelation for owners the Stokie Group and Kima Frenning, who is trying her hand for the first time as a trainer with Buster Brady.

It was a stirring contest today, especially when Cant Refuse’s trainer-driver Matty Craven showed aggression in the middle stages, posted Buster Brady three-wide then eventually worked to the front and Buster Brady outside him.

Cant Refuse pinched a break coming to the home turn and Buster Brady looked spent, while Jilliby Chevy surged through along the sprint lane.

Just when it seemed Jilliby Chevy had Cant Refuse beaten and was home, Buster Brady lifted remarkably, surged and snatched the an epic win in a 1min58.7sec mile rate for the long 2700m trip.

Another former Kiwi, Monty Python, made light of a 10m handicap courtesy of a superb Chris Alford drive to win the $25,000 Group 3 Horsham Trotters’ Cup.

Andy Gath’s latest Kiwi import, Il Pirata, was the heavily backed favourite, but did some midrace work, trotted roughly and hung in the last 300m and was just fair in third spot.

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THERE is a real sense of timing about Major Trojan’s WA Derby campaign.

In fact, barriers pending, Gary Hall Sr’s latest star has next Friday night’s Group 1 feature at his mercy.

That became clear when, after three placings from his only three previous WA runs, Major Trojan finally draw well, led and thrashed his rivals in the Derby Prelude at Gloucester Park last Friday night.

It was an armchair drive for Gary Hall Jr, who dictated through a dawdling 62sec middle half then zipped home in 56.2 and 27.3sec to win by 10.6m in a comfortable 1min58.1sec mile rate for 2130m.

“All his runs have been fantastic and we knew he was building fitness. When he drew well this time, we knew he had the speed to use the draw and expected to him to win,” Hall Sr said.

“Gaz said he did that easily and he’s right where we want him going into next week.”

The main rival looks to be Kyle Harper’s exciting Franco Edward, who actually beat home Major Trojan (third) when second to Eloquent Mach at Gloucester Park two week’s back.

Franco Edward stormed home from last and also looks to be building nicely.

His owner Rob Watson shocked many recently when he said Franco Edward was potentially the best horse he’d had, remembering Watson also bred and races the outstanding Soho Tribeca.

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THIS is shaping as one heck of a juvenile crop in Australia.

Jilliby Nitro grab top seeding with his mesmerizing Gold Crown win at Bathurst last Friday.

But we’ve been hearing for weeks now Be Happy Mach is the next young star out of Emma Stewart and Clayton Tonkin’s barn.

Be Happy Mach made the most of a lovely run to win his second race from as many starts and beat some exciting youngsters in the process in last night’s $24,000 Shakamaker Classic (1720m) at Melton.

After trailing the leader and using the sprint lane, Chris Alford nursed him to a 2.9m win over the eye-catching Sanday for Andy and Kate Gath charging home for second and Kiwi-bred Hes Goneski tiring after leading for third.

The only buzz youngster in the race, Soho Hamilton, was far from disgraced in fourth spot after drawing wide, being three and four wide early then doing the work outside the leader.

Be Happy Mach and Jilliby Nitro are headed towards an Australian Gold showdown.

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LOVEABLE young mare Miss Sangrial gave Team Brennan and stable driver Michael Grantham not only one of their biggest, but most rewarding wins at Gloucester Park last Friday night.

Blowing punters away as a $51 shot, Miss Sangrial snatched a half-head win over classy former Kiwi mare Our Alfie Romeo with Lady De La Renta third and hot favourite Eden Franco fourth in the $50,000 Group 2 Empress Stakes (2536m).

“This is as good as it gets,” trainer Michael “Mouse” Brennan said. “We’ve always had a good opinion of this mare, she’s a stable favourite, and to share the big win with Mickey (Grantham) is fantastic.”

Another popular win on the came from Vultan Tin, who returned to form in the free-for-all for trainer Phil Costello and driver Chris Voak.

The seven-year-old snatched a half-head win over Brennan’s evergreen The Bucket List with favourite Handsnwheels third in a 1min56.8sec mile rate for 2536m.

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LAST season’s star three-year-old trotter Stress Factor will need to lift to snare a Harness Jewels invite.

The Trotters’ Derby and Breeders Crown winner was moderate at best when fifth to Claudys Prince at Maryborough last Friday.

He’s yet to show anything like his best form this term, casting in serious doubt a planned Kiwi raid by trainer Brent Lilley.

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AS well as a Melton treble, top trainer Emma Stewart also won the feature race at Globe Derby last night.

Stewart’s filly Celebrity Chef did the work outside the leader and dug deep to win the $15,000 Botra Fillies’ Classic with Jaimie-Lee King aboard for her first race start.

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