Aussie News - 29 June

By Adam Hamilton 

EMOTIONS ran high for Kate Gath at Melton last night.

And the winners flowed freely as she drove four of the eight winners.

Less than two days earlier, Gath’s grandfather, well-known Port Pirie racecaller and hobby trainer John Tee, passed away.

That’s why she raised her whip and looked to the sky as Kiwi import Arden Voyager brilliantly won the opening race at Melton.

“It was a special night to land a bag of winners, it meant so much,” Gath said.

“Pop loved his racing and we had this strong connection through the horses. He put on too high a pedestal at times, he loved the success I had.

“He’s at peace now and reunited with the life of his life, our nanna, who we lost 15 months ago. They were married over 60 years.”

Gath teamed with husband, Andy, to win with Arden Voyager, who has been a handful at times, but made it three wins on end and paced a slippery 1min54.7sec mile rate for 2240m.

The family connection ran even deeper for Gath’s second win of the night aboard Plan Ce, who used the sprint lane to win from behind the leader for her father, trainer Peter Thompson.

Major stable owner Norm Jenkin then provided Gath with her third and fourth wins of night, courtesy of exciting four-year-old pacer Eureka and star trotter McLovin.

Eureka made it six wins from nine runs since joining the stable and smashed the clock with a 1min52.9sec mile rate for 1720m, capped by a 52.2sec last half and 26.8sec closing quarter.

McLovin atoned for a surprise defeat last week to make it three wins from his four runs since campaign as he strolled home by 12.7m in a 1min58.1sec mile rate for 2240m.

It was McLovin’s 14th win since joining Team Gath 18 months ago.

One race Gath didn’t win was the fourth when she led on favourite and recent Kiwi import, Zigzagzoo, but was beaten by a phenomenal effort from Anton Golino’s emerging gelding Imsettogo.

The four-year-old mare galloped in the score-up, gave the field a least a 40-50m start, caught them up and circled them in the last 500m to win running away by 17.1m. 

It was one of the more extraordinary wins at Melton for a long time.



ONLY time will tell is Chicago Bull can still be a genuine Grand Circuit force, but the signs are good.

Gary Hall Sr’s rising eight-year-old showed his trademark dash to post his fifth win from nine runs in this comeback campaign. He’s finished three times and third in the only other run.

The rising eight-year-old enjoyed being able to camp off the pace, albeit only a moderate tempo, instead of sitting parked and had his rivals covered out three-wide rounding the final bend.

Driver Gary Hall Jr strategically waited before pressing the button, knowing he had his main danger, Ocean Ridge, pocketed in the one-one trail.

Chicago Bull held-off Ocean Ridge, who charged late when clear, to win by 2.1m in a 1min55.6sec mile rate for 2130m.

Hall Sr will soon a better line on Chicago Bull with some of WA’s best pacers, including the likes of Shockwave, Mighty Conqueror and Vampiro, all back in work.

It’s going to be an exciting build-up towards the rescheduled Fremantle and WA Pacing Cups in November/December.




WHAT a shame the much-improved Leonidas is just about to leave for the US.

The four-year-old showed he could’ve been a potential Victoria Cup player with yet another powerhouse win at Bendigo in slick time last Friday night.

It Leonidas’ fifth win with another three seconds from just eight starts since bring sold to US owner Steve Finkelstein and switched from NSW trainer Blake Fitzpatrick to David Aiken in Victoria.

Leonidas’ 1min54.8sec mile rate after coming from a back row draw and sitting parked was 1min54.8sec for 2150m, just 1.3sec outside Centenario’s track record.

Aiken’s son, Josh, took the reins last Friday as he has in every run since Leonidas joined the stable.

The Aikens snared a double when the exciting Auckland Reactor gelding Reactor Now made it nine wins from just 12 runs and seven on end.

The rising five-year-old came from a mile back in a hotly-run 1650m scamper and stopped the clock in a 1min52.2sec mile rate. It was just 0.5sec outside Leonidas’ recent track record.



FORMER megastar Kiwi juvenile Follow The Stars snared one of the biggest wins of his siring career at Gloucester Park last Friday night.

His exciting daughter, Black Jack Ruby, continued her rise with a dawdle and sprint home to win the Group 1 Westbred 2YO Fillies Classic (2130m).

Chris Voak used the pole to lead on the Shane Quadrio-trained filly and slowed them to a walk through a 64.6sec middle half and ripping home in a 26.6sec last quarter.

Black Jack Ruby, out of former NZ-based McArdle mare What A Card, made it seven wins and a second from her eight starts.

Team Bond continued its stellar year by winning with the Group 1 Westbred final for colts and geldings with Mach Three two-year-old Give Us A Wave.

Stable driver Ryan Warwick held the lead from the pole and never looked in danger, dashing home in 56.1 and 28sec to score by 5.8m in a 1min57.1sec mile rate for 2130m.



EXCITING juvenile Manila Playboy let himself down in his first feature race, but wasn’t about to do the same the second time round.

In contrast, the Pet Rock gelding highlighted his potential by doing all the work and digging deep to win the $100,750 Group 1 Garrards Redcliffe Yearling Sale final (1780m) last night.

It took his record to three wins from just four starts, the only defeat coming at his second run when he galloped and lost all chance as favourite in the Qbred Breeders Classic final at Albion Park in May.

It gave owner/breeder/trainer Shane Fraser his first Group 1 success as Manila Playboy dug deep after sitting parked for the last 1100m in a 1min57.3sec.

In the other feature, the Redcliffe Gold Cup, former classy Kiwi pacer Northview Hustler was denied victory in the last stride.

Northview Hustler, second from a spell, came off a 10m handicap and unleashed around the field to storm to the front on the final bend.

But it was another Kiwi-bred, the four-year-old Sole Ambition, who snatched victory for young driver Lachie Manzelmann and trainer Donny Smith by a half-head.




MUCH-TRAVELLED pacer Zennart is building nicely in the latest chapter of his career with Craig Cross in NSW.

After the success switch of King Of Swing to Sydney, many of the same owners agreed with Gary Hall Sr to do the same with Zennart, who had been enigmatic at Gloucester Park.

Zennart’s six runs for Craig Cross has netted two wins and second, but his win last night certainly pointed to lots more.

The rising nine-year-old worked to the front for driver Luke McCarthy and just kept running for a very slick 1min53.6sec mile rate for the longer 2300m trip, capped by closing splits of 54.6 and 27.4sec.

He’s still sparingly raced with just 37 starts for 14 wins.

Cross has three wins on the night, including the feature, the Group 3 Frith Stakes, with Black Silhouette, the $81 outsider of his five runners.

Black Silhouette, a five-year-old Shadow Play mare, came off the back of leader, stablemate and favourite Speak No Evil to salute in a 1min50.5sec mile.



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