Aussie News - 23 November

By Adam Hamilton

TRAINER Ryan Bell is looking for positives out of the news his emerging superstar Shockwave was banned from racing for three month after a bleed in last Friday night’s Group 1 Fremantle Cup.

The three-month ban for bleeding from both nostrils ends his WA Pacing Cup dreams and beyond that, derails plans for a Hunter Cup and Miracle Mile raid early next year.

Bell suspected something wasn’t right when Shockwave seemingly ran below his best despite finishing third to local megastar Chicago Bull in last Friday night’s feature.

“I thought he went unders at the time and he came back with a high heart rate, but was back to normal pretty quickly. I was scratching my head how he’d got way on me in five days since his run,” Bell said.

“Then 30 minutes later it (the blood) started coming out, but it’s not all doom and gloom as I got him straight to my vet. He said he’d had a bleed, but there was mucous as well so he treated him and we’ll scope him again in 7-10 days.

“You can’t believe it after the build-up we had and races we had planned, but I could not be more proud of the horse to run third. It’s proof the good ones run through brick walls for us.

“He’s still a relatively young horse and we’ve got time on our side.”

Shockwave’s setback leaves Chicago Bull an absolute standout for the $450,000 Group 1 WA Pacing Cup on Friday week (December 4).

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VICTORIA Cup winner Lochinvar Art is likely to stay home rather than head to Queensland.Trainer-driver David Moran said he would cement plans this week after the superstar pacer’s mighty effort when second to the brilliant Hurricane Harley in track record-equalling time in the Group 2 Breeders Crown free-for-all at Melton on Saturday night.

Lochinvar Art was clocked to run his last mile in 1min50.3sec as he moved three-wide around the field sat parked and still kept coming to got down by just a neck to the leader, Hurricane Harley.

The 1min51.4sec mile rate for 2240m equalled the record Lochinvar Art posted winning the Victoria Cup last month.

Amanda Turnbull rated Hurricane Harley superbly, running home his splits of the last mile in 28.2, 27.4, 27.4 and 27.9sec.

“I couldn’t asked any more of him,” Moran said. “He did all the work and just kept coming. You have in the back of your mind not wanting to give him gut-busters every time, but you’ve got no choice when you draw outside the back.

“I’ll give him an easy week and use the time to decide what’s next.

“While Queensland is an option, I’m leaning towards staying home for races leading towards the Hunter Cup.” 

Hurricane Harley will also be set for the Hunter Cup, via the Vicbred series.

“He’s an unreal horse. He just doesn’t feel like he’s going as fast as he is,” Turnbull said.

That’s two wins from their past three meetings now for Hurricane Harley over Lochinvar Art, albeit the former has drawn much better and led for both those wins.

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EVEN if Lochinvar Art stays home, next month’s Group 1 Blacks A Fake at Albion Park is shaping as a beauty.

On the home state front, Colt Thirty One made it five wins on end when he sat parked and scored comfortably in a 1min54.7sec mile rate form 1660m.

Colt Thirty One now boasts 46 wins and 20 placings from his 76 starts and is edging close to $1 million in earnings.

The other major “local” player is former top All Stars’ pacer Turn It Up, who hasn’t been seen since brilliantly winning just his second start for trainer Vicki Rasmussen at Albion Park on October 24.

Miracle Mile and Hunter Cup winner King Of Swing continued his build-up towards the Blacks A Fake with a dominant Menangle 2300m win on Saturday night.

He worked across from a wide draw to eventually take the lead from gifted stablemate Balraj and pulled right away in the run home to win as he liked by 7.9m in a slick 1min53.5sec mile rate for 2300m.

Balraj, first-up since having a bout of the “thumps” in the Victoria Cup last month, raced flat in patched, but did keep rallying late to run second.

Balraj and Bling It On are other Cross/McCarthy pacers being considered for tilts at the Blacks A Fake.

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NO wonder Anthony Butt has such a huge opinion of the emerging Wolf Stride.

He scored his most important win, albeit not biggest, so far when he worked to the front and blazed a 1min53.9sec mile rate for 2240m to win the Group 2 Breeders Crown free-for-all at Melton last Friday night.

Butt has been raving about Wolf Stride’s potential since he won the Group 1 NSW Regional Metropolitan Championship final at Menangle earlier this year.

He toyed with a Victoria Cup tilt, but Butt opted to go through the grades a look a little further ahead to the Hunter Cup and Carnival of Miracles in the new year.

Once Butt found the front he just kept rolling through splits of the last mile in 28.6, 29.2, 27.8 and 27.5sec.

“He’s a lovely horse who was slow to mature, but it’s all starting to come together now. We’ll head towards the Hunter Cup,” Butt said.

The other highlights of the Friday night Crown meeting at Melton were trotters.

Yabby Dams’ Always Ready used a slightly better draw to lead main danger Mattjestuoso and that proved the difference in the Group 2 Crown 4YO Trotting final. 

As hard as Mattjestuso tried outside the leader throughout, Always Ready powered home in a remarkable splits for a trotter of 55.8 and 27.5sec to win by 3.8m in a 2min0.5sec mile rate for 2240m.

Always Ready, by Ready Cash out of former handy mare Class Of Her Own, boasts 13 wins and five placings from just 20 starts.

Yabby Dams was denied the big double when their pin-up mare Dance Craze was nabbed on the line by the rejuvenated Gus An Maori in the Group 2 Crown trotting free-for-all.

Dance Craze worked around midrace to take the lead and looked the winner on the home bend before Gus An Maori emerged from the packed and stormed home to snatch victory for former Swedish driver Sofia Arvidsson.

It continued the big season with trotters for trainer Matty Craven off the back of the major wins with Pink Galahs.

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