Aussie News - 1st June
By Adam Hamilton
COMEBACK star Hectorjayjay will step-out again at Albion Park next Saturday night.
The $1.16 million earner has thrilled trainer Jack Butler since winning easily at his second run back from almost two years out at Albion Park on May 12.
“We just gave him a few easy days after the win and he’s raring to go again,” Butler said. “He’s come through those first two runs back so amazingly well.
“We are starting to think about what to set him for. One race I’d love to go for is the Shirley Turnbull Memorial back in Bathurst (Butler’s home town) around Christmas time.”
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YOUNG trainer Justin Prentice’s star continues to rise.
And his decision to team with Gary Hall Jr as stable driver continues to pay dividends.
Prentice teamed with Hall Jr and the very exciting Kiwi-bred juvenile filly Always An Angel to win the $100,000 Group 1 2YO Fillies Diamond Classic (2130m) at Gloucester Park last Friday night.
The daughter of Art Major – out of Christian Cullen mare Angel Of Destiny – ran third on debut and since won five on end.
But she went to another level last Friday, sustaining a huge three-wide run the field on a very track and treating her rivals with contempt.
The other talking point of the race was Greg and Skye Bond’s filly Unconditional, who looks to ooze talent, but still has lots to learn.
She caused a false start when she straddled the outside fence at the first score-up, then was wayward outside the leader and eventually galloped under pressure at the top of the straight while still a chance of filling a minor placing.
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CHICAGO Bull earned “little freshen-up” after his Gloucester Park win last Friday night.
It was his seventh run in as many weeks on the comeback trail, which have returned four wins and three placings.
And this win was little more than trackwork when main danger Ocean Ridge, who is best suited driven with a sit, led early and handed over to Chicago Bull after 400m.
Gary Hall Jr then dawdled through a 63.4sec middle half on a rain-sodden track before finishing off in 28.8 and 28sec flat to beat Ocean Ridge by 1.5m.
“He’s really needed the hard racing to get the weight off,” Hall Jr said. “It was good to get an easier run compared to the work he’s had to do most runs this time back.”
Hall Jr landed four wins on the night, including promising Kiwi-bred three-year-old Master Publisher.
The son of A Rocknroll Dance made it three wins on end and six from his 11 starts for Gary Hall Sr when he worked to find the front, but scored easily in a 1min57.5sec mile rate for 2130m.
On the same card, Merv Butterworth and Graeme Rogerson combined with former handy Kiwi filly Queen Shenandoah and trainer Ross Olivieri for a big upset in a strong mares’ race.
Some driving magic from Chris Voak helped her to snatch an unlikely nose win over the leader and hot favourite Typhoon Tiff.
Star former Kiwi mares Dracarys (third) and Balcatherine underlined the strength of the race in third and fourth spots.
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MULTIPLE Group 1 winner Big Jack Hammer has certainly made the most of Victoria’s COVID-19 zoned racing.
David Aiken’s star trotter made it three wins on end – and three wins from just four runs during the zoned racing – when he unleashed huis trademark speed to score at Bendigo last Friday night.
Big Jack Hammer, who didn’t handle Alexandra Park during last year’s Inter Dominion, now boasts 20 wins from his 81 runs with another 24 placings and is edging close to $400,000 in earnings.
“He’s an absolute gem of horse. I’m so bloody luck to have him,” owner Dom Martello said.
Victoria’s zones are eased and metropolitan racing returns from July 1 so it’ll be great to see Big Jack Hammer back against the likes of McLovin in the Melton free-for-alls.
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STAR trotter McLovin made it two wins from as many runs this campaign when he cruised to victory against a moderate bunch at Melton last night.
The former Kiwi gelding worked forward from the outside draw (gate six) to find the front, dictated terms and really just ran home a quarter in 28.8sec to win as he liked in a cosy 1min59.1sec mile rate for 2240m.
He is a class above the trotters he’s facing at Melton under the zoned racing for the rest of this month.
Also at Melton, Major Times made the most of not having stablemate Poster Boy to contend with by winning the fast-class race.
He’s been a fantastic pacer for Emma Stewart and connections, having now won 16 of his 39 starts with another 16 placings and almost $210,000.
Kerryn Manning and husband, Grant Campbell, combined for a double on the night with recent stablemate addition Glenavril King and Merv Butterworth’s handy former Kiwi gelding Yankee Lincoln.
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ANOTHER week and another Menangle win for the flying Cash N Flow.
The former All Stars’ pacer made it six Menangle free-for-all wins on end, but it was closer than expected as a $1.12 favourite with stablemate Replaced Eye getting within a neck.
It was a 1min50.2sec mile, but essentially just a sprint home in 54 flat and 26.3sec.
Paul Court’s Hail Christian improved second-up for third, albeit 10.4m from the winner.
Cash N Flow was the third leg of a treble for trainer Craig Cross and driver Luke McCarthy, who also scored with Speak No Evil in the opening race and Hows The Memory in a strong mares’ race.
Hows The Memory blazed a 1min50.8sec mile to beat stablemate Love My Sister. Cross just missed the trifecta with Molly Kelly finishing fourth.
The disappointment was classy former Kiwi mare Havtime, who did the work outside the leader, but weakened right out to last, beaten almost 40m.
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THE buzz keeps growing rapidly around former Kiwi pacer Speech Is Silver in Queensland.
The Mach Three five-year-old started his career with the All Stars’ barn with three runs netting a win and two seconds.
He’s now with Darren Weeks and Kylie Rasmussen and looks better every time he steps out.
Speech Is Silver made it 10 wins from just 12 runs in Queensland when stormed home to win as he liked in a 1min53.8sec mile rate for 1660m at Albion Park last Tuesday.
He’s blessed with electric speed and looks every bit a feature race player in the making.