Aussie News - 27th May

By Adam Hamilton

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Having just his second run back from six months out with his back injuries, he pint-sized superstar found the front from gate three and all looked rosey.

But veteran stablemate Whozideawasthis, who handed-up early from the pole, peeled-off Chicago Bull’s back and easily ran past him to win by 1.6m in a brisk 1min53.6sec mile rate for 1730m.

“Sure it’s a shock when think you’ve beaten Chicago Bull like that, but knowing how this horse works with him at home and goes past him, it didn’t blow me away,” driver Stuey McDonald said.

“You’ve got to remember this horse is rock hard fit, has a fantastic kick of speed off a cold run and Chicago Bull is nowhere near wound-up, he’s still carrying plenty fat around his tummy after so long out.”

Trainer Gary Hall Sr was philosophical after the defeat and landing the first four home in the Members Sprint itself.

“It was a great result for the stable, just not the way we expected it,” he said. “Bully needs the racing. Sure we thought he’d still win, but it shows how important the next couple of runs will be to trim him down.

“You can only get them so fit at home and he’s never been a great trackworker at the best of times.”

Driver Gary Hall Jr only had to wait 20 minutes to bounce-back from Chicago Bull’s defeat when he partnered with trainer Justin Prentice and Kiwi-bred filly Majorpride to win the feature, the $50,000 3YO Diamond Classic (2130m).

Majorpride led, looked in trouble and switched-off a few times, but rallied when needed to beat another Kiwi bred, Hello Hotshot, in a cosy 1min58sec mile rate.

 

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JOT down June 15 for the comeback race of Aussie pacing star Soho Tribeca.

Trainer-driver Mick Stanley has been pleased with the six-year-old since he won a Melton trial last week at his first public appearance since fracturing a leg in the Sunshine Sprint at Albion Park last July.

“He’ll have another couple of trials then, all going well, I’ll run him first-up in that Italian Cup at Melton (June 15),” he said.

“It’s been a long, slow haul back and you do worry if they’ll make it back at all, but so far, so good.”

Stanley has ruled-out the Len Smith Mile in Sydney late next month and will also skip a Queensland Winter Campaign to stay home in Victoria.

That said, rumblings continue in Western Australia about a possibly match-race later in the year between Soho Tribeca and arch-rival Chicago Bull.

While it would be a fantastic PR opportunity, it will need a lot to go right to happen.

 

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IT’S a real shame star Aussie three-year-old Lochinvar Art isn’t heading to the Harness Jewels, but he’s being kept busy at home.

The Laura Crossland and David Moran trained colt toyed with a moderate field of older rivals at Shepparton on Monday.

He then skipped across the NSW border to Wagga to make it 12 wins from just 21 starts in a qualifying heat of his next major target, the NSW Breeders Challenge.

Lochinvar Art’s 1min53.8sec mile rate for 1730m is by far the quickest time run at the sprint trip around the recently redeveloped Wagga track.

Beyond the Breeders Challenge, Lochinvar Art is early favourite for the Queensland Derby in July.

In a season of mixed results, he looks set to get his chance to snatch Australian 3YO of the Year honours despite a string of horror draws and minor placings in the big races so far.

 

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IT was the race Emma Stewart simply couldn’t lose with all six runners and star colt Centenario proved the best of them.

Chris Alford took Centenario straight to the front from gate two in the Holloway Classic at Ballarat last Friday night and his chances soared when main danger, Hurricane Harley, broke for no reason outside the leader in the early stages.

Alford then let Centenario roll along in slick splits and cruised to a 5.1m win in a brisk 1min53.4sec mile rate for 1700m over the outsider of the six runners, Always Fast, who trailed the leader with filly Two Time Bettor making late ground along the inside for third.

Hurricane Harley lost at least 30m in his break, settled last and made some ground late for a 12.2m fifth, which was impressive given Centenario’s closing splits of 54.6 and 26.4sec.

In other stable news, Stewart’s huge wrap on youngster Mirragon is certainly shining through.

Gutted when a gallop in a heat cost him a berth in the Australian Gold final, Stewart quickly switched focus on a compensatory, albeit less lucrative target, the Group 2 Home Grown final.

After a powerhouse heat win, Mirragon stepped-up again to thrash his rivals despite the doing all the work in last night’s $50,000 final.

Insiders say Stewart rates Mirragon right alongside Australian Gold third placegetter Be Happy Mach as the stable’s top baby this crop.

 

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THE margin wasn’t big, but the win was impressive by Queensland’s best pacer, Colt Thirty One, at Albion Park last night.

Grant Dixon’s four-year-old made a midrace move to sit parked, given main danger Lilac Flash the one-one trail, and just held-off that pacer to win by a nose in a brisk 1min54sec mile rate for 2138m.

Best driven with a sit, Colt Thirty One certainly has the talent to be a major players in the feature races at Queensland Winter Carnival for leviathan owner-breeders Kevin and Kay Seymour.

 

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IT’S hard to believe not that long back trotter Savannah Jay Jay went more than two years – October 14, 2016 to November 11, 2018 - and a staggering 39 races without a win.

Now he’s going better than any trotter in Australia.

Hobby trainer Stan Cameron has rejuvenated his eight-year-old, who made it four wins on end beating another in-form star McLovin in the Group 3 Jack Slack Memorial Trotters’ Cup at Ballarat last Friday night.

It was a ripper contest with McLovin surprisingly having to sit parked outside roughie Illawong Armstrong in blazing times and Savannah Jay Jay making the most of a one-trail for drivers James Herbertson to snatch a 1.3m win.

McLovin’s performance was monstrous given the 1min57.8sec mile rate for 2200m. It was just 0.3sec outside My Tribeca’s track record.

 

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TRAINER Bernie Hewitt made the big Dubbo meeting his own last Friday night, jagging four of the seven winners.

Those wins included the feature, the Group 3 Red Ochre Classic where he teamed with his son, former rugby league player Doug Hewitt, and emerging mare Scarlet Babe.

It was the biggest win of Doug’s fledgling driving career.

 

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PICKING up some media presenting work with Sky Racing in Sydney has provided a fringe benefit for Queenslander Brittany Graham.

Graham, daughter of successful trainer Darrell, is making a real splash at Sky and her family sent her down one of their better horses, Franco Totem, to train in her spare time and race at Menangle.

He’s won two of his past three starts, including an easy victory with Robbie Morris aboard last night (Saturday).

“We always liked him at home and felt he was one of our best horses, but to have him come down here and do so well is such a thrill. I’m pinching myself,” Graham said.

Also at Menangle, emerging open-class player Joes Star Of Mia staked his claim for next month’s Len Smith Mile and a Queensland winter raid with a first-up win.

Driven off the pace by Amanda Turnbull, he just held-off Outrageous El by a whisker to win in a slick 1min54.6sec mile rate for 2300m.

The shock of the night came when Great Southern Star winner Dance Craze beat just one of her five rivals home as a $1.08 favourite in the Group 2 NSW 4&YO Trot.

The Group 2 3YO final went to owner Emilio Rosati and trainer-driver David Miles with filly Emerald Stride over favourite and NSW Trotters’ Derby winner Xebec.

 

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