Aussie News - 4th Feb
By Adam Hamilton
TIGER Tara’s stunning Hunter Cup win wasn’t Kevin Pizzuto’s only major win last night,
Pizzuto’s four-year-old Picard made it two wins from as many starts this campaign and booked a spot in the Chariots Of Fire.
Picard blasted to the front from gate nine, steadied through a 29sec second quarter then rocketed home in 53.3 (26.4 an d 26.9) to win the Group Hondo Grattan.
“I told you he’s good,” Pizzuto said. “He’s the reason I missed races like Perth and the Ballarat Cup with Tiger … to get this guy ready for the Chariots.”
The All Stars’ Ashley Locaz was the hardluck story, emerging too late from a three pegs pocket and storming home to run second, just 1.2m from the winner.
The first four home qualified for the Chariots Of Fire, including Hail Christian (third) and The Black Prince (fourth).
Poster Boy qualified through the 4YO Bonanza win at Melton last week, so five spots remain going into next Saturday’s Paleface Adios.
That field include the likes of Spankem, Chase Auckland, Ignatius, Maraetai, Rackemup Tigerpie, All You Need Is Faith and Colt Thirty One.
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THERE is just no stopping Kima Frenning.
The former Swede added to her golden past 12 months with another Group 1 win aboard emerging trotter Big Jack Hammer at Melton last night.
Frenning used gate one to sit behind the leader and favourite Save Our Pennys and finished strongly along the sprint lane to win the $50,000 Group 1 Dullard Cup.
It was her second Group 1 win, the other coming aboard Wrappers Delight in last season’s Vicbred 4YO final.
“I’m lost for words. He’s such a lovely trotter, so fast and off a run like that I knew he’d be hard to beat,” Frenning said.
“Aik (trainer David Aiken) has really liked this horse since came to the stable and that’s why we had a go at the Inter Dominion.”
Big Jack Hammer posted a slick 1min57.5sec mile rate for 2240m.
“To win this for Aik is great, but also for Dom (Martello, owner), who has been such a big supporter of mine,” Frenning said.
Martello also owns Wrappers Delight.
Save Our Pennys had its chance after leading, while Kiwi raider Temporale ran yet another minor placing (third) in Australia.
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A TOUGH Inter Dominion campaign certainly hasn’t jaded veteran Maximan.
The 10-year-old has returned to Menangle in great style and ran down star speedster Majordan to win in a 1min50.4sec mile last night.
Admittedly Majordan did have to burn a 25.9sec opening quarter to lead from the outside, but he still ran home in 26.4sec and was unable to hold-off Maximan.
Maximan and Majordan are now expected to clash again in Friday night’s $100,000 Group 1 Newcastle Mile.
Trainer Kevin Pizzuto said Majordan’s stablemate, Tiger Tara, also remains a chance of backing-up at Newcastle.
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CHASE Auckland did what was needed at Menangle last night.
After missing a place when first-up from his long spell last week, Chase Auckland enjoyed the stretch from a mile to 2300m and finding the lead last night.
Driver Luke McCarthy nursed him to the line to beat a gallant Franco Landry, who chased hard, by 2.7m in a 1min54.9sec mile. They ran home in 54.3 and 27.1sec.
Chase Auckland get his one chance to qualify for the Chariots Of Fire, a race he was a long-time favourite for, in star-studded Paleface Adios at Menangle next Saturday night.
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NEXT stop Sydney for classy Kiwi mare Utmost Delight.
The five-year-old gave Steven Reid his second win of the Summer of Glory when she lifted after looking beaten to win the Group 3 Pure Steel against the boys at Melton last night.
And she’s into $5 for the Group 1 Ladyship Mile at Menangle.
Utmost Delight settled midfield before stand-in driver Greg Sugars made the move to sit parked when leader Shadow Reign slowed the tempo.
Utmost Delight looked beaten on the home bend, but just kept lifting and snatched victory by a whisker on the line in a slick 1min54.4sec mile rate for 2240m.
“Greg Sugars gave her a good wrap and said he thought she was always going to win it,” Reid said. “I just want to get to Sydney on the big track and where they go hard in the races.”
Reid said he would decide during the week who drives Utmost Delight in Sydney.
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SIDELINED superstar Chicago Bull got the all clear to resume training this week.
The six-year-old has been sadly missed in the big league since a freakish stable mishap sidelined him during his time in Auckland back in October.
One horse enjoying Chicago Bull’s absence has been popular WA pacer Vultan Tin, who made it back-to-back Gloucester Park wins last Friday night.
The WA-bred gelding made the most of gate two to lead throughout and score easily over Team Bond’s El Jacko in a 1min57.7sec mile rate for the long 2536m trip in the $50,000 Group 2 City Of Perth Cup.
Another winner of note at the Gloucester Park meeting was WA Derby hopeful Shockwave.
Trained by Ryan Bell and driven by Gary Hall Jr, the son of Mach Three made it four wins from seven starts this season and seven from 17 lifetime.