Aussie News - 21 December

By Adam Hamilton

KATE Gath has her first Victorian metropolitan driving premiership in the bag.

A winning double on trotters McLovin and Monaro Maro at Melton on Saturday night stretched Gath’s lead to a commanding 11 wins over Chris Alford.

Gath will join Kerryn Manning as just the second female to win the title.

McLovin’s win, his second in a row, was one of the highlights of the night and showed he was back very close to his best form as Victoria’s major trotting races get closer.

Despite sitting outside glamour mare Dance Craze, McLovin looked beaten on the final bend but just keep digging in and snatched a 1.1m win in the Group 3 Freestone Trotters’ Cup. He ripped home in 56.6 and 28.4sec from the death.

It followed Gath’s easy win on talented former Kiwi mare Monaro Maro, who, like McLovin, is raced by Norm Jenkin.


HISTORY-MAKING trotting filly Pink Galahs is chasing her 14th win from just 20 starts in a Vicbred qualifying heat at Maryborough today (Monday).

It was only a couple of months back when Pink Galahs upstaged Australia’s best trotters to win the Group 1 Bill Collins Sprint on Victoria Cup night.

She’s since added the Victoria Derby, Victoria Oaks and looks to have the Group 1 Vicbred final (December 31) at her mercy back against her own age and sex.

Cover Of Darkness, one of just three trotters Emma Stewart and Clayton Tonkin have in work, is chasing his eighth win from as many starts from gate four in his Vicbred heat (race three) today.


A CONFIDENT and aggressive Shane Graham drive helped young Kiwi star One Change score an upset win in “The Creek” Christmas Cup (2680m) at Albion Park on Saturday night.

Just a week after he finished fifth to King Of Swing in the Group 1 Blacks A Fake over the same trip, Graham bustled One Change off the gate from barrier four and worked to the front while hot favourite Colt Thirty One was headed-off from the pole.

Despite clocking a blistering 75.9sec lead time for the 2680m and 28.1sec first quarter of the last mile, One Change thrived in front and dashed home in 55.8 and 27.4sec to beat a gallant Bright Energy with Colt Thirty One third.

One Change, who boasts six wins from 10 starts during his stint with Vicki Rasmussen in Queensland, clocked a brilliant 1min54.6sec mile rate, which was just 0.9sec outside the track record set by Colt Thirty One in the 2019 Blacks A Fake.


CASH N Flow’s stunning 13-race winning streak at Menangle is over.

The former Kiwi star was unable to find his favourite spot in front and finished fourth to the emerging Whereyabinboppin in the Group 2 Harold Park Cup (1609m) at Menangle on Saturday night.

Whereyabinboppin blasted to the front in a scorching 25.5sec opening quarter, steadied the tempo for a 59.4sec split from the 1200-400m and then dashed home in 26.8sec to win easily for trainer Shane Sanderson and driver Cameron Hart.

The son of A Rocknroll Dance boasts 12 wins from just 19 starts.

The other eye-catcher at Menangle was Craig Cross’ recent stable addition, Expensive Ego, who made it two wins from as many starts for the barn when he scored by 10.3m in a 1min51.1sec mile on Saturday night.

The rising four-year-old, who had 13 months out with injury, has raced just 10 times for eight wins and a second.

He looks a genuine Chariots Of Fire contender.


A BRILLIANT Colin Brown drive helped classy pacer Vampiro return to winning form in a strong free-for-all at Gloucester Park last Friday night.

And Team Bond’s rising seven-year-old smashed the clock with a 1min54.1sec mile rate for the long 2536m trip.

The hot pace was set by an overly keen leader Bletchley Park, who ran the middle half in 56.5, third quarter in 27.2 and still held-on bravely for second.

Vampiro sat three pegs until the gaps appeared at the 350m and Brown set out after Bletchley Park and brushing past him to win by 2.6m.

It was mixed result for Team Bond, who also had third placed Galactic Star, but their former WA Cup winner Mighty Conqueror stopped badly after sitting parked and was found to pulled-up lame in his off foreleg.

Team Bond’s WA Derby winner Patronus Star suffered his first defeat in eight WA starts, but certainly lost no fans when a first-up second as he builds towards the upcoming 4YO features at Gloucester Park. 

The hype around two-year-old Lavra Joe continues to build after he sat parked and dug deep in a blistering 1min54sec mile rate for 2130m for trainer Ray Jones and driver Chris Lewis.

The son of Roll With Joe has got better as his busy season has rolled-on with 21 starts netting 10 wins, three seconds and three thirds.


EMILY Suvaljko is young driver going places.

Just a couple of weeks after missing the Group 1 WA Pacing Cup winning drive on Vultan Tin because of suspension, Suvaljko got some compensation with a double, including the feature race, at Gloucester Park last Friday night.

Fittingly, she replaced her father, Shannon, aboard Vivere Damore and led throughout to win the $50,000 Group 2 Christmas Gift.

The Suvaljko’s like keeping it in the family as it was Shannon who substituted for Emily to win aboard Vultan Tin.

Emily completed her double just 30 minutes after Vivere Damore’s win when she caused an upset to score on Cyclone Banner for trainer Ray Williams.


EMERGING gelding The Shallows upstaged Tasmania’s two best pacers, Ignatius aand Ryley Major, to win one of the state’s biggest races, the Golden Apple in Hobart on Saturday night.

The big guns had 30m handicaps to overcome and had to be content with fourth (Ignatius) and fifth (Ryley Major), while The Shallows won well from a 10m handicap.

It capped a great season for The Shallows who has won 12 of his 19 stars this term for a career record of 14 wins from 30 starts.



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