Aussie News - 3 Sept

By Adam Hamilton

AUSTRALIA’S leading NZ Cup contender Chicago Bull is having a brief freshen-up after posting his sixth win from as many starts this campaign at Gloucester Park last Friday night.

Gary Hall Sr’s superstar won in trackwork-like style by working to the front from stablemate Runrunjimmydunn, cruising through a 59.8sec middle half and dashing home in 55.3 and 27.5sec to win without being extended.

“I wanted to give him a fairly easy time, but he’s having a little break after tonight so I was happy to let him finish-off the race a bit,” driver Gary Hall Jr said.

“He’s having three weeks at home now. The first couple fairly quiet, then the hopples on again to prepare for the first of two runs here (Gloucester Park) before he heads to the Victoria Cup (Melton, October 13).”

Hall Sr described Chicago Bull’s preparation as “perfect”, but quickly added: “You’re reluctant to say that because they are horses and things can go wrong, but every thing has been perfect so far.

“There’s no doubt he’s come back better than ever.”

The plan is for Chicago Bull to be flown to Auckland soon after the Victoria Cup and race once at Alexandra Park ahead of his NZ Cup tilt at Addington.

Hall Sr and his major rivals Greg and Skye Bond dominated the Gloucester Park card with four wins each.

Along with Chicago Bull, Hall Sr teamed with his son, Gary Jr, to win with three-year-old Speed Man, Beaudiene Beaufighter and Alta Christiano juvenile filly Fake News.

The Bonds struck early winning the first three races with Lincs Tiger, Detroit Lily and the very emerging open-class player Vampiro.

They also snared the quinella in race eight with talented mares Better B Chevron and Dodolicious.

The Bonds had to be content with second in the feature of the night when former star juvenile Mitch Maguire chased home the exciting Simba Bromac in the $25,000 Schrader Final.

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VICTORIANS Chris Alford and Emma Stewart closed-out the 2017/18 season with record-smashing results.

Alford obliterated the previous Australian driving record of 388 wins in a season with a staggering 457 victories. They came at a powerhouse 27.92 per cent strike rate.

Alford’s dominance was underlined by the fact Greg Sugars finished second with 229 winners.

Stewart, who unofficially trains in partnership with Clayton Tonkin, also bettered Grant Dixon’s 299 Australian record with 308 wins. Her strike rate was out of this world at 39.09 per cent and would’ve been far higher if you eliminated the number of times she beat her own horses.

The Queensland-based Dixon had another fantastic season with 289 wins, headlined by Colt Thirty One’s Victoria Derby triumph.

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TIGER Tara’s NZ Cup preparation struck a snag with his scratching from Menangle last night.

There’s nothing wrong with the star stayer, but his trainer Kevin Pizzuto is recovering from minor injuries after a car accident last Tuesday.

“A car came out of nowhere, hit us side-on, so we lost control and crashed into some trees. It’s wrecked my car and float,” Pizzuto said. “We were lucky it wasn’t a lot worse.

“It’s left me needing help with the horses.”

Making matters worse in so parts of Australia is the drought conditions, which has made feed both scarce and very expensive.

With Tiger Tara out of the Club Menangle free-for-all, Team Tritton’s emerging open-class player My Alpha Rock worked to the front, controlled the tempo and blitzed his rivals.

My Alpha Rock finished off in splits of 53.7 and 27.1sec to score by 7.7m in a 1min55.3sec mile rate for 2300m.

The other eye-catching Menangle winner was Jason Grimson’s mare Ideal Lifestyle, who was good enough to blaze a 25.8sec lead time, but keep going to win by a whopping 16.5m in a 1min50.3sec mile.

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GAVIN Lang reminded everyone of his genius in the sulky when he won what looked the unwinnable on the home turn with brilliant mare Carlas Pixel at Melton last night.

In a leader dominated race where the last half was run in 54.8sec, Lang felt he couldn’t winning coming wide, so instead weaved his way through the field, then back inside the leader Three Ways to snatch a nose win in a 1min55.2sec mile rate in the My Lightning Blue free-for-all.

It came just a week Carlas Pixel won the Breeders Crown 4YO Mares’ final. She’s also won the Group 1 Ladyship Mile at Menangle back in February.

Carlas Pixel denied Three Ways’ driver Kate Gath a quartet of wins on the night.

She snared wins on High Rolling, Van Mara and emerging trotter Ymbro Wasted.

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WHEN owner Fred Crews tackled the famous Elitlopp Trot in Sweden with Maori Time earlier this year, he vowed to do it again before too long.

Crews and trained Bill Morgan have always had a huge opinion of trotter Maori Law and, after a stint on the sidelines with injury, he has returned in fine style.

Maori Law had 13 months out, ran two solid placings in his first two runs back, then scored in dominant style at Melton last night with Gavin Lang aboard.

The six-year-old boasts 13 wins from just 18 starts and looks a serious Inter Dominion player later this year.

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IT was a milestone win for Alleluia in the free-for-all at Albion Park last night.

The former Kiwi passed $500,000 in career earnings by posting his 31st win from 132 starts with another 49 placings.

Alleluia’s $7075 for the latest win took his bank balance to $500,900.

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