Aussie News - 7 December
By Adam Hamilton
SUPERSTAR pacer Lochinvar Art will some flair to midweek racing this week.
With trainer-driver David Moran opting to bypass a Queensland raid, Lochinvar Art will open his Vicbred 4YO campaign in a qualifying heat at Bendigo on Thursday.
From there he goes to a semi-final on December 22 ahead of the $130,000 Group 1 final at Melton on the hyped-up New Year’s Eve meeting.
“We thought a lot about Queensland, but the sums didn’t add-up with it being a $175,000 and he’s racing for almost as much in the Vicbred series at home,” Moran said.
“He’s got a busy few months ahead so it’s probably best he stays home now.”
There’s no rest for Lochinvar Art after the Vicbred final with Moran keen on his hometown Group 2 Shepparton Gold Cup (January 16) and the Group 1 Ballarat Cup (January 23) as lead-ins to the Hunter Cup on February 6.
“That’s the plan at this stage. It all fits well and then it’s up to NSW straight after the Hunter Cup because Kevin (Gordon, owner) wants him to run in the Newcastle Mile on his way to the Miracle Mile,” Moran said.
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KATE Gath on the verge of winning her first Victorian metropolitan driving premiership.
A stunning haul of four wins at Melton last night, including a couple of the features, extended Gath’s lead to 11 over Chris Alford with only three weeks remaining.
Gath opened the Melton card with an easy win on Emma Stewart’s juvenile filly Beach Music in the Youthful Stakes then followed with victories on Pacifico Dream (Group 3 Caduceus Club 3YO Cup), McLovin (Group 3 Maori’s Idol Trot) and Diamonds N Cash.
Pacifico Dream’s win was the most stunning, coming from outside the back row to blow away a good field by 15m in a 1min55.4sec mile rate for 2240m. It was his ninth win from just 18 starts and his fourth from eight runs since switching from Emma Stewart to Andy Gath’s barn.
The win that meant the most to Gath was former star trotter McLovin’s return to winning form after finally drawing well and leading throughout in a 1min57.8sec mile rate for 1720m.
Mick Stanley was the other star driver of the night with a double on emerging trotter Fremarkspoetry, who boasts eight wins from just 11 starts, and Drain The Swamp in the Youthful Stakes for 2YO colts and geldings.
“She’s a really promising trotter Fremarkspoetry and keeps stepping-up,” he said. “We made a few gear changes with Drain The Swamp when he drew well and it was great to see him back to his best.”
Another highlight of the Melton card was the return to winning form for last year’s Auckland Inter Dominion finalists Sicario for trainer Brent Lilley and driver Chris Alford.
It was his first win in 12 starts this campaign when he staved-off a late challenge from heavily-backed favourite Code Black in the free-for-all.
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REMARKABLE former Kiwi pacer Cash N Flow posted his 16th win for the season when he returned from a break to score at Menangle last night.
The one-time All Stars’ member was first-up since a failed raid on the Victoria Cup in October.
Back to Menangle and his beloved mile racing, Cash N Flow worked across to find the lead from the outside and dictated terms, but he had to pull-out everything to win by a head over The Black Prince in a 1min51.5sec mile.
Cash N Flow’s raced 24 times in this extended season for 16 wins, four seconds and $280,530 in earnings.
Cash N Flow was one of four wins for Craig Cross and Luke McCarthy on yet another feast at Menangle.
The biggest talking point was new stable addition Expensive Ego, the injury-plagued young star, who made it seven wins from just nine runs when he powered clear to win his first run for Cross and McCarthy by 15.2m in a blistering 1min50.6sec mile.
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STILL on Cross and McCarthy and their latest Queensland raid has started in the most stunning fashion.
Cross had 11 runners across the two Albion Park meetings on the weekend and won seven races, including features with Cruz, Balraj and No Win No Feed.
Cruz returned to his favourite track and led throughout to beat local hero Colt Thirty One by a half-head in the $50,000 Group 2 Queensland Cup (2138m).
Cruz has now beaten Colt Thirty One at their past three meetings and boasts six wins from nine starts around Albion Park.
Balraj, who dug deep to win the Group 3 4YO Championship, booked his spot in next week’s $175,000 Group 1 Blacks A Fake alongside Cruz.
But King Of Swing will headline Cross’ Blacks A Fake assault.
Cross’ Queensland raid started with three wins last Friday night when Franco Hampton, Oaxacan Dream and Lets Katchmeifucan all won for driver Leonard Cain.
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TOP Queensland driver Pete McMullen could only shake his head as Queensland’s top 3YO Governor Jujon found a way to beat him yet again aboard Blacksadance in the Group 3 3YO Classic at Albion Park last night.
As great as Blacksadance keeps going, Governor Jujon remains his nemesis and produced an extraordinary performance to get past Blacksadance, who led and smashed the clock, last night.
Grant Dixon’s Governor Jujon looked in big trouble coming to the last bend, but just kept coming and snatched a head win in a scorching 1min53.9sec mile rate for 2138m.
Governor Jujon, runner-up in the Victoria Derby early this season, boasts a remarkable 12 wins and two seconds from his 17 starts this term.
Regally-bred filly Pelosi, a two-time NSW Breeders Challenge winner, also sparkled last night when she came from outside the back row to win the Group 3 3YO Fillies’ Classic
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VICTORIAN raiders dominated South Australia’s biggest meeting at Globe Derby last night.
The border-hoppers won four of the six Southern Cross series finals, headed by Emma Stewart’s top-flight juvenile filly Treachery, who gave local driver Mark Billinger an armchair drive to win by 13.8m.
Billinger also teamed with Kelvin Barker’s tough son of Restrepo, Urbadboy, to survive a late scare and win the $50,000 Group 2 final for 3YO colts and geldings.
Former SA trainer Greg Norman returned “home” to win he $50,000 3YO fillies’ final with Belladonna Girl, driven by the popular Danielle Hill.
The easiest of wins came for Lisa Miles’ classy 3YO trotter Powderkeg, who has been so competitive in a string of Victorian features this season. He won by 23.3m in he 3YO Trotting final.
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SOME of the young stars of Aussie trotting strutted their stuff at the new all-trotting Bendigo meeting last Friday night.
Recent Breeders Crown winner Cover Of Darkness stretched his unbeaten record to seven wins courtesy of a glorious Jodi Quinlan drive in the Wagon Apollo 3YO Trot, posting a slick 1min55.1sec mile.
Cover Of Darkness is one of just three trotters Emma Stewart and Clayton Tonkin have in work and another of them, the raw and untapped Utopia, also won at Bendigo.
Utopia, a two-year-old colt by US stallion Trixton, made it four wins from eight
Starts when he beat Breeders Crown winner Watts Up Majestic in a 1min58.1sec mile in the Group 3 Gavin Lang Aldebaran Park Trotting Mile for colts and geldings.
The fillies equivalent, named in honour of the late Graeme Lang, was won in stunning all-the-way style by Andy and Kate Gath’s Aldebaran Ursula in a blazing 1min55.7sec mile.