Aussie News - 5 August
By Adam Hamilton
BUZZ NSW pacer Balraj will stir plenty of interest when he steps out at Menangle for the first time on Tuesday.
He’s the former Kiwi pacer who is unbeaten in three Aussie runs for trainer Anthony Simiana, including his latest staggering 55.9m win in a track record smashing 1min50.9sec mile on July 15.
Remember he sat parked for the first 900m of that race and Menangle is a significantly faster track than Newcastle.
If that’s a true indication of his potential, then he’s headed for big things and some blazing times around Menangle.
Balraj raced five times in NZ, missing a place at his first three runs then winning twice at Forbury Park on February 21 and March 7 before heading to Australia.
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BRENT Lilley “owned” day of the Redwood Carnival with four wins last Friday.
His most significant win came with former top juvenile Cruisin Around in the fast-class trot, who just nabbed Ymbro Wasted to score by a head.
Lilley’s other wins came with four-year-old mare Bacardi Chardy, former Kiwi three-year-old filly Sunnys Little Jestic and four-yeaar-old gelding Birthday Suit.
Champion driver Chris Alford drove three of Lilley’s winners, but snared five wins across the day. Also scoring in smart three-year-old filly I Am Pegasus and Miranda Maid in race nine.
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FORMER Kiwi three-year-old Wildwest stretched his unbeaten record to three wins with an easy Gloucester Park win last Friday night.
The son of Raging Bull, who won his only Kiwi start at Winton on May 11, won at Pinjarra last Monday and then again four days later at Gloucester Park.
“He’s pretty green, but he’s got plenty there. He relaxes great during his races and he’s pretty exciting,” driver Gary Hall Jr said. “I think a really good horse like Major Trojan would have his work cut out to trying to sit outside him and beat him.
“When he settles down a little bit more and keeps improving, he should be right up with the best of them. It’s exciting to have him and Major Trojan in the stable and aiming for the Golden Nugget (in December).”
Another highlight of the night came when former WA Derby winner Handsandwheels scored one of the most impressive wins of his career in the free-for-all.
It was a huge effort to sit parked over the 1730m trip and dig deep to beat Im Soxy by a half-head in a sizzling 1min53.9sec mile rate, capped by closing splits of 55.4 and 27.6sec.
It took the Andrew De Campo-trained five-year-old’s record to 21 wins and 22 placings from his 64 starts and edged him past $450,000 in earnings.
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IT has been a breakthrough season for NSW bush pacer Courtsinsession.
The Bathurst-based gelding has transformed from handy performer to serious Menangle player with 1 starts this season netting 10 wins and six seconds.
He’s won five of his past six runs at Menangle and posted some slick times including a 1min50.8sec mile winning last night (Saturday). His best is a 1min50sec flat mile on July 6.
The son of Art Major did a big job to overpower the leader Replaced Eye (third) with Major League sitting behind the leader and finishing second. They dashed home in 54.5sec.
Classy trotter Tough Monarch smashed his PB winning easily in a 1min53.7sec mile.
Better known as a stayer, Rickie Alchin’s gelding showed he’d taken no harm from a recent Queensland campaign when he romped home by 9.1m.
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PHOENIX Prince must surely rate up with the “finds” of the season in Victoria.
He’s roared through the grades from a C1 country class to multiple free-for-all winner at Melton for Emma Stewart.
The five-year-old found the front from gate three, driver Darby McGuigan dictated terms early then ripped home in 54.4sec to win another free-for-all at Melton last night (Saturday) in a 1min53sec mile rate for 1720m.
Phoenix Prince has won nine of 16 starts this season and 13 of his 21 lifetime.
Emerging pacer Rackemup Tigerpie ran a mighty race for second from the back row give the sectional times.
McGuigan has won his past three drives on Phoenix Prince, helping build a strong bond with the powerhouse Stewart stable.
He also scored an easy win last night on Stewart’s emerging four-year-old Tam Major, who made light of a back row draw to win by 16.5m in a blistering 1min53.7sec mile rate for 2240m.
Tam Major has been a rung below the best through his two and three-year-old campaigns, but has gone to another level late this season.
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TRAINER David Aiken and driven Kima Frenning teamed with Aiken’s star three-year-old pair Max Delight and Malcoms Rhythm for easy wins at Melton last night.
NSW Derby winner Max Delight thrashed his older rivals in a 1min52.5sec mile rate for 1720m, 0.5sec quicker than they ran in the free-for-all on the night.
And Malcolms Rhythm beat a small but select field to win the Nevele R Stud Graduiate.