Aussie News - 2nd December
By Adam Hamilton
SENDING Hail Christian back to Sydney was an easy decision for Paul Court.
And it only took one race to see why.
The talented son of Christian Cullen blasted his way to a career-best 1min50sec mile win in the free-for-all at Menangle last night (Saturday).
“There’s just no point him being in NZ,” Court said. “He had that terrific campaign in Sydney late last year and earlier this year, then came home and couldn’t win a race at home (NZ).
“He loves the Menangle track, the tempo of the race and there are so many better opportunities there for him.”
Hail Christian’s 10 starts back in NZ after his previous NSW stint earned him just $31,050. He pocketed $15,600 for last night’s win alone.
Driver Blake Fitzpatrick settled Hail Christian three back on the inside while favourite Cash N Flow worked across in a quick 26.6sec opening quarter to lead.
Things got messy halfway down the straight when Fitzpatrick angled into the clear and appeared to contact the tiring Harjeet, who went roughly.
But Hail Christian exploded when clear to win by 3.2m in closing splits of 54.4 and 27.2sec.
Another winner of note at Menangle was two-time Inter Dominion placegetter Flaming Flutter.
The now 10-year-old’s 1min52.2sec mile win was a a another great advertisement for Shane Tritton’s ability to turn around former stars and underlined the opportunities in the NSW handicapping system.
It also took Flaming Flutter’s earnings past $800,000.
It was a big night for Team Tritton win a treble. The other winners were former Kiwi pair Gods Spirit and My Ruebe Star.
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POPULAR WA trainer Michael “Mouse” Brennan admitted it took a while to start celebrating his latest Group 1 win with Sangue Reale.
That’s largely because Sangue Reale wasn’t first past the post and had “win” the $125,000 Group 1 4YO Classic (2130m) in the stewards’ room.
But, the stewards’ footage showed enough interference from “winner” Shockwave in the closing stages for the result to be overturned.
“I don’t think I have ever felt that strange after winning a big race,” Brennan said.
Sangue Reale stormed home and looked like running past a very gallant Shockwave before they came together in the closing stages and the margin was just a nose.
And Sangue Reale’s win showed his shock second as $31 shot to $81 outsider Theo Aviator in the first of WA’s major 4YO races a couple of weeks back was no fluke.
Sangue Reale was $71 again last night and Theo Aviator finished third at $51.
Driver Chris “The Voak Train” Voak deserved huge credit for both his patient drive on Sangue Reale and compelling evidence in the stewards’ room.
The race was ferociously contested from the start when plunge runner Bletchley Park led, but buzz pacer Wildwest worked forward and Gran Chico kicked-up in the middle.
The lead time was a slick 36.4sec and a fiercely-pulling Bletchley Park then ran a scorching 57.2sec middle half. He weakened to run eighth, while Wildwest was basically eased out of the race after stopping from the 700m.
Gran Chico, the recent high-priced Kiwi import, did plenty of early work then sat one-one and battled away fairly into a distant sixth spot.
It all makes for a fascinating “grand final” of WA 4YO features in the Group 1 Golden Nugget at Gloucester Park on December 14.
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YOUNG gun trainer-driver Aiden De Campo only had to wait 24 hours to get some consolation for having the Group 1 4YO Championship win taken off him.
De Campo’s drive Shockwave was first across the line, but lost on protest to Sangue Reale in the Championship.
But De Campo led throughout on the rejuvenated Handsandwheels, who he trains and drives, in the $50,000 Group 2 Bunbury Cup last night (Saturday).
The former WA Derby winner has found career-best form heading towards the state’s biggest races, the Fremantle and WA Pacing Cups, in January.
Handsandwheels worked to the front from gate six, dictated through a steady 59.9sec middle half, then zipped home in 56.4 and 28.7sec to easily hold-off Convert Denario, who trailed him.
Vultan Tin closed well for third, while favourite Mighty Conqueror sat parked, never really threatened the leader and battled away fairly for fourth.
The Bunbury Cup has been a strong form pointer over the years, being won by Im Themightyquinn in 2010 and last year’s winner Rocknroll Lincoln went on to win the WA Pacing Cup.
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JOT down Born To Be Watched as a serious Victoria Derby player.
Top trainer Emma Stewart already has nominal Derby favourite Be Happy Mach, but Born To Be Watched turn plenty of heads with a stunning debut win at Melton last night (Saturday).
The Hes Watching colt did plenty of work, but roared clear to win by 19.4m in a slick 1min54.6sec, including a 27.6sec closing quarter.
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IT’S great to see former megastar juvenile trotter Wobelee emerging as a serious open-class player.
The now five-year-old has built nicely on the comeback trail from injury. His 10 runs have back have netted five wins and five seconds, including three wins on end.
Wobelee’s Melton win last night was his 18th victory from 28 starts and took his earnings to $324,089.
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IT was great to see hugely exciting pacer Ideal Liner resume from injury with a good second at Gloucester Park last Friday night.
It was always a big ask from out deep in gate seven with favourite Ocean Ridge leading from the pole, but Ideal Liner sat parked and was just 2.3m away in a 56.6sec last half.
The betting indicated he needed the run, but time will tell whether he can build and improve quickly enough for the Fremantle and WA Cups in January.