Aussie News - 6th April
By Adam Hamilton
CHAMPION trotter Tornado Valley is on the verge of becoming only the ninth $1 million-earning trotter in this part of the world.
The veteran speared to the front and never looked in danger on his way to a 38th career win and $13,680 first prize in the Uncle Petrika free-for-all at Melton on Saturday night.
Tornado Valley’s earnings sit at $990,297.
Lyell Creek is in a league of his own as the richest-earner with $2,256,724. The others to top $1 million are: I Can Doosit ($1,377,319), Sundons Gift ($1.275,264), Speeding Spur ($1,220,147), Take A Moment ($1,132,695), Stent ($1,130,406), Keystone Del ($1,063,560) and One Over Kenny ($1,060,394).
“As you know we almost retired him before the Great Southern Star so to come back and win that and be a chance to top the $1 million shows how remarkable he is,” trainer Andy Gath said.
“It was great to see him keen on the gate and when he led we all know how hard to beat he is in front.”
Tornado Valley staved off a strong late finish from his improving stablemate Monaro Maro to win by 2.3m in a 1min55.4sec for 1730m.
It completed a trotting double for Andy and Kate Gath on the night with recent Kiwi import Justamollyarcher leading throughout to make it two wins from as many Aussie runs as well.
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DAVID Moran has plenty of good distractions while he nurses superstar Lochinvar Art back to full health and fitness.
The good news is Lochinvar Art is finally on the mend after his hoof abscess turned nasty and gave Moran a real fright.
“It lingered so long and got so bad, we had to have scans to make sure it hadn’t got into the bone. Thankfully it hadn’t,” he said.
“It’s finally turned for the better and, although he’s not totally through it, he’s coming out the other side now.”
Moran will let Lochinvar Art’s recovery decide whether he can prime Australasia’s best pacer for a planned raid on the rich Brisbane Winter Carnival, now dubbed Constellations.
In other stable news, his brilliant juvenile filly Beach Memories made it two wins from as many starts at Maryborough las Thursday.
The margin was a lot closer than her runaway debut win, but she did all the work and ripped home in 55.4sec for her last half to rundown the Nathan Purdon-trained Captn Me for a 1.1m win in a 1min56.2sec mile rate for 1690m.
“There’s a race at Geelong next week and I’m weighing-up whether I go there or spell her now. Sadly there’s nothing much else for her now. She’s not in the Australian Gold, so it’s more a long term view to the Breeders Crown and Vicbred at the end of the year. She’s very, very exciting,” Moran said.
Meanwhile his NSW Derby winner Patsbeachstorm is just “ticking along” with a slow build-up towards the Queensland Constellations where the Queensland Derby will be his main goal.
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TURN It Up’s baby half-brother is making a name for himself.
Narutac Prince, a three-year-old sone of Art Major trained by David Aiken, posted his fourth win from just five starts when he smashed the clock to win the $50,000 Group 2 Vicbred Platinum Home Grown final (1730m) at Melton on Saturday.
The colt ripped to the front from gate two, kept rolling and then finished-off in 54.7, 27.7sec to score in a 1min52.6sec mile rate.
The fillies’ version was won by dominant fashion, albeit a much slower 1min55.3sec mile rate, by Ruby Wingate for trainer Adam Stephens and driver Michael Bellman.
Another feature, the Shakamaker 2YO Classic, went to A Rocknroll Dance colt Solesseo Matuca in a 1min55.5sec mile rate.
Another win to turn heads on the night was exciting mare Tangoinsierra, who made it five wins on end and 11 wins from just 23 starts. She raced three most of the 1730m trip in a 1min54.1sec mile rate.
It was an emotion-charged win with trainer Gary Hoban battling cancer.
“That was special on many levels,” driver Greg Sugars said. “It was a win full of heart, she just wouldn’t let them get past her despite doing so much work.”
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IT was a triumph for the locals in one of Tasmania’s biggest races.
Locals filled the trifecta, headed by Scooterwillrev, in the $75,000 Group 2 Easter Cup at Launceston on Saturday night.
Trained Craig Hayes and driver Gareth Rattray landed their first win in the feature when Scooterwillrev staved off an early challenge for the front and then led throughout to just hold-off Tasmania’s best pacer Ryley Major in a stirring drive to the line. Outside Isaac completed the local trifecta.
Dean Braun’s former Kiwi Willie Go West was crunched into favouritism, but made a complete mess of the standing start and lost all hope.
Stablemate and superstar former Kiwi mare Our Princess Tiffany found a 30m backmark beyond her and finished 11.6m from the winner in sixth spot.
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THE picket fence continues to build for Gary Hall Sr’s latest exciting Kiwi import Texas Tiger.
The son of American Ideal led throughout to win the free-for-all in easy fashion, stretching his unbeaten WA streak to eight races at Gloucester Park on Good Friday.
Driven Gary Hall Jr dictated the terms in front and dashed home in 55.2 and 27.6sec to win by 3.9m in a 1min55.8sec mile rate for 2130m.
The Gloucester Park feature, the $50,000 Group 2 Easter Cup, continued its tradition of upset results when $26 shot Leap Of Faith, a former Kiwi by McArdle, finished over the top of favourite Lawrence to win by a neck.
The other win of note came from Team Bond’s Kiwi-bred filly Unconditional who burst into contention for next week’s Group 1 WA Oaks when she improved to lead throughout in good style, relegating star filly Black Jack Baby back to fourth spot.
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RESPECTED horseman Clayton Harmey had the numbers and delivered with complete dominance of the time-honoured Maitland Inter City Pace final on Saturday night.
Harmey qualified a staggering six of the 10 finalists and landed first, second, fourth and fifth in the final.
It was the Kiwi-bred Im Quick As Fire, a son of Bettors Delight, who scored for driver Robbie Morris in a slick 1min59.4sec mile rate for 2422m trip around the old-school Maitland circuit.