Aussie News - 3rd December 2018

By Adam Hamilton

GREG Bond watched from Melbourne as one of his stable’s most satisfying nights unfolded at Gloucester Park last Friday.

Bond and wife, Skye, completely dominated by winning half the 10-race card, but it was Ana Malak’s victory in the Group 1 4YO Classic (2130m) which stole the show.

It was Team Bond’s first win in a race dominated for so long by their arch-rival Gary Hall Sr and won last year by Ultimate Machete.

And it came with a buzz Kiwi import at just his second WA run after a somewhat rushed campaign.

Ana Malak’s preparation was interrupted by a hoof abscess, but the son of Bettors Delight gave a serious hint of his potential with a terrific win.

Driver Ryan Warwick summed it up best: “He raced in patches, switching on and off at times, and he nearly cost himself at the finish.

“He still doesn’t know what it’s all about, but he’s a very exciting horse. He needs to learn how to do it better and I’m sure he will.”

Ana Malak drew the pole and won the first big contest when he led easily, but then copped some pressure with a 28.8sec split to open the last mile.

The highly-rated Jack Mac moved around to sit parked, but didn’t really apply pressure which allowed Warwick to “save” for closing splits of 56.8 and 28.4sec and stave-off the booming late surge from Hall Sr’s Ideal Liner.

Another Bond runner, Mighty Conqueror, was arguably the run of the race in third spot after sustaining a three-wide run from last in the final lap. It was his first defeat in five Aussie runs.

Jack Mac ran well below his best, tiring late for sixth, but the biggest worry was yet another dismal showing from King Of Swing, who was tailed-out and stood down pending a vet test and trial.

This is one heck of a WA four-year-old crop and it would be no surprise if they beat the older horses in races like the Fremantle and WA Cups next month.

But, for now, we anxiously await the return clash of these four-year-olds in the Group 1 Golden Nugget at Gloucester Park on December 14.

Ana Malak and Mighty Conqueror are the headline acts of Team Bond’s four-year-old crop, but they won with another couple of them – Fizzing and Bright Diamond – at Gloucester Park on Friday.

Team Bond’s other wins on Friday came with Our Max Phactor, who made it 10 wins from just 11 WA runs, and emerging open-class player Mitch Maguire.

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THE barrier draw could well decide the much-awaited clash between WA’s best mares in the $125,000 Group 1 Mares’ Classic at Gloucester Park next Friday night.

The flying Eden Franco is top seed, but Maczaffair is primed as well.

The Mike Reed-trained Maczaffair made the most of a gun draw in the pole to thrash her rivals in the $30,000 Howard Porter Memorial (2130m) at Gloucester Park.

Driver Mark Reed pushed through to lead, cruised through a 61.2sec middle half then zipped home in 56 and 27.8sec to win by 10.1m in a cosy 1min57.4sec mile rate.

Eden Franco has won three of her past five starts and thrashed Maczaffair when they met a couple of weeks back, but Maczaffair had the back row that night.

Go back to the York Cup on November 9 and Maczaffair drew inside Eden Franco, led and proved too good.

Bring on the next stoush!

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FORMER Queensland “King” John McCarthy made a triumphant return “home” to win the Group 3 Be Good Johnny Sprint (1660m) at Albion Park last night (Saturday).

Better known as a tough stayer, Rakarolla, zoomed home along the sprint lane from three pegs to beat Ian Gurney’s stablemates Mach Alert and Our Hi Jinx in a blazing 1min51.9sec mile rate.

The other Albion Park feature went to former All Stars’ pacer Mr Kalypso, who stretched his Queensland record to seven wins from as many starts.

The five-year-old son of Art Major did a power of work, but kept finding to snatch victory from the classy leader, Aqua Miss, in a 1min57.1sec mile rate for 2138m.

He’s trained and driven by Natalie Rasmussen’s sister, Kylie.

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TWO of WA’s emerging open-class stars Rocknroll Lincoln and Vampiro, fought-out a strong $50,000 Group 2 Bunbury Cup last night (Saturday).

Team Bond’s Vampiro was the hot favourite, but had to be content with second to Justin Prentice’s Rocknroll Lincoln, driven by Gary Hall Jr.

Both look major players in next month’s Fremantle and WA Pacing Cups.

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AMANDA Turnbull way down in Melbourne for the Inter Dominion, but still won Menangle’s main race last night (Saturday).

Turnbull’s speedy mare Eye See Diamonds speared to the front from a wide draw (gate nine), copped plenty of midrace pressure but found plenty to win the Group 3 Teeny Teeny for mares’ in a 1min51.6sec mile.

Former Kiwi Rocker Band continued her improvement for new trainer Tim Butt with a good second, while another former Kiwi, Bridget Blue Chip, ran a mighty third after sitting parked for Team Tritton.

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IT was a fair drop in class and Kiwi pacer Hail Christian made the most of it.

Paul Court’s talented four-year-old dropped back from chasing some of NZ’s best pacers at Addington and Kaikoura to a mid-week restricted class Menangle race last Tuesday.

Blake Fitzpatrick drove him with confidence accordingly and Hail Christian looked terrific, doing all the work and holding on strongly to win in a 1min52.4sec mile.

The son of Christian Cullen looks set to roar through the grades at Menangle.

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