Aussie News - 2nd March
By Adam Hamilton
TALK continues to bubble away around a possible Swedish trip for star trotting mare Dance Craze.
And it gained more momentum when she snared her third Group 1 win and downed Australasia’s best trotter, Tornado Valley, in the $100,000 Australian Trotting Grand Prix (2240m) at Melton on Saturday night.
Once again it was Dance Craze’s sparkling speed, combined with a glorious Glen Craven drive, which won the race.
An early move to sit parked turned into the coveted one-one trail for Craven when Tornado Valley ran to the lead and Wobelee came around to sit outside him.
Tornado Valley spent plenty of petrol to find the top after Temporale initially held him out, but Tough Monarch then made a line of three and the leader surrendered after a lap.
Dance Craze always looked dangerous and as hard as Tornado Valley tried, he couldn’t hold off the mare in a 1min58.2sec mile rate.
“She’s a fantastic mare and has overcome so much to get the three Group 1’s,” trainer Anton Golino said. “She’s been so close in a few other Group 1’s as well, including this race last year.”
Dance Craze joined her mother, former champion trotter La Coocaracha, on the Grand Prix honour roll.
Temporale’s early burn hurt, but he held on well for third, while his stablemate, Massive Metro, ran sixth,
Dance Craze, Temporale and Massive Metro are among those expected to back-up in the Group 1 trot at Menangle next Saturday night.
Tornado Valley is staying home.
Golino and the Yabby Dams team had a huge night with three-year-old filly Im Ready Jet thrashing her rivals in the Group 1 Need For Speed Princess final.
The daughter of Quaker Jet cleared out by 23.8m in a 1min55.6sec mile rate for 1720m.
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ANTHONY Butt simply couldn’t be in two places at once.
As much as he wanted to be at Melton with buzz young trotter Elite Stride, he had to stay at Menangle for a string of key drives, including winning a NSW Derby heat on Perfect Stride.
So Chris Alford jagged the drive on Elite Stride for Butt and owners Emilio and Mary Rosati.
Even by Alford’s standards, it was a drive he won’t forget in a long time.
It may have well have been the first real sign of the greatness which awaits Elite Stride, who the Rosati’s bred (by Muscle Hill) out of their former US trotting mare Real Babe.
Elite Stride, having just his fourth start, sat parked and roared away to win by a staggering 23.5m in the Group 1 Need For Speed Prince final.
For a three-year-old trotter doing that sort of work, his 1min55.8sec mile rate for 1720m was amazing.
“He’s got amazing talent and he’s learning all the time. He’s so exciting,” Butt said.
Alford won another of the Group 1’s on the big Melton card when four-year-old mare I Am Pegsus just held-on in the $50,000 Breed For Speed Gold final.
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YOUNG trainer-driver David Moran may already have found his heir apparent to stable star and Miracle Mile favourite Lochinvar Art.
The buzz around Moran’s two-year-old gelding Patsbeachstorm was massive going into his debut run at Menangle last Tuesday.
Although they didn’t smash the clock and the winning margin wasn’t great, the son of Somebeachsomewhere oozed speed and excitement.
He appeared to be nursed through most of the last quarter in 26.1sec when he beat stablemate, Lochinvar Chief, by 2.8m in a 1min56.4sec mile.
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MUCH-TRAVELLED trainer-driver Darren McCall added some genuine international flavour to the stellar Menangle meeting on Saturday night.
McCall’s juvenile filly Girl From Oz is part-owned in North America, and caused a big upset as a $31 shot winning the $50,000 Group 2 Pink Bonnet Stakes in a 1min55.6sec mile.
Many of the owners watched the race via Australia’s Sky Racing Active app in Canada.
The race changed complexion big time soon after the start when hot favourite Soho Almasi was unable to lead then galloped herself out of contention.
Girl From Oz is a daughter of out Heston Blue Chip out of Sportswriter mare Girls Go Racing.
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YOUNG driver Stephanie Lippiatt had one of the biggest thrills of her career when victorious aboard Catch A Moment at Menangle on Saturday night.
Lippiatt drew the plumb drive on the Amanda Turnbull-trained four-year-old in the Schweppes Lady Drivers Invitational and made the most of it.
Catch A Moment ran a 26.9sec split to hold the front and kept bowling to win impressively in a 1min50.6sec mile.
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THE connections of Bright Energy were left wondering what might have been after his sparkling Menangle win on Saturday night.
The gelding was one of the Craig Cross runners controversially scratched for arriving late at the Newcastle Mile meeting.
A win in the Newcastle Mile would have jagged Bright Energy a Miracle Mile berth.
Instead, he dropped back in grade for a barnstorming win from off the speed in a 1min49.8sec mile in the opening race at Menangle.
He’s set to back-up next week in the Group 1 Bohemia Crystal.
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FORMER star Kiwi pacer Tintin In America landed a siring quinella in one of the feature races at Gloucester Park last Friday night.
It was also a quinella for popular trainer Annie Belton when Lady Jadore beat stablemate Adore Me Some More in the $100,000 WA 2YO Fillies’ Sales Classic final (1730m) at Gloucester Park on Friday night.
Lady Jadore, the $1.34 favourite, did some early work to find the front then took charge for a 3.4m win over Adore Me Some More in a 1min57.1sec mile rate.
Lady Jadore is unbeaten in three runs.
The colts and geldings version of the race went to the exciting Talks Up A Storm, a son of Artspeak, trained by Murray Lindau and driven by Dylan Egerton-Green.
The gelding did plenty of work, but still cleared out to win by seven metres in a 1min56.2sec mile rate for 1730m.
The Gloucester Park free-for-all went to Greg and Skye Bond’s emerging former Kiwi gelding Ocean Ridge