Aussie News - 7 October
By Adam Hamilton
PAUL Diebert is fast-becoming the giant-killer of Queensland harness.
It was only a few months back he partnered veteran Ohoka Punter to a huge upset win over stablemate Colt Thirty One in the Group 1 Sunshine Sprint at Albion Park.
And he did the same, albeit on a different horse, at Albion Park last night (Saturday).
This time it was Leos Best who jumped to the front, where Diebert dictated the terms, and scored as a $61 shot to beat Colt Thirty One, who was a $1.15 favourite at his first run from a spell.
Leos Best did it easily, zipping home in 55.5 and 27.3sec to win by 4.8m in a 1min53.1sec mile rate for 1660m.
“It was good to get on the front end tonight with this horse, he did it well,” Diebert said.
There was nothing wrong with Colt Thirty One’s run on the clock and being first-up since winning that Blacks A Fake in late July.
Despite the shock of Colt Thirty One’s defeat, it was still a stable trifecta for Grant Dixon, who trains Leos Best and third-placed Fame Assured.
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IT wasn’t just Melton where the Craig Cross team stole the show over the weekend.
Cross was also the dominant force at Menangle last night (Saturday) where the major win came with the improving Benicio in the Group 3 Kevin Newman Cup (1609m).
Benicio didn’t win, he blew away a handy field, leading throughout to put 14.5m on his nearest rival in a slick 1min50.6sec mile.
The seven-year-old former All Stars pacer has always shown promise, but gone to another level with his two impressive wins this campaign.
With Luke McCarthy down at Melton, his brother Todd took the reins on Benicio, who ripped home in 53.8 and 26.7sec.
Cross also won the mares’ feature, the McMillan Ladyship Stakes, with another former Kiwi and Queensland pacer in Our Millwood Maizie.
The seven-year-old daughter of Bettors Delight did enough in a stirring three-way finish and post a 1min53.2sec mile.
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WE now officially know Tornado Valley won’t go to Auckland to defend his Inter Dominion crown.
But Andy Gath’s superstar trotter looks set to have plenty of fun at home.
Tornado Valley returned to winning form in the softest of fashion, leading throughout to win the free-for-all at Melton by 7.2m in a cosy 1min59.5sec mile rate for 2240m last night.
It was a dawdle early before Kate Gath dashed home in 56 flat and 27.9sec to easily beat stablemate Everybody Knows with three-time Group 1 winner Big Jack Hammer closing well from the rear to grab third.
The Gaths have set their other top trotter, McLovin, for the Auckland series.
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ANY remote hope of the gifted but injury-plagued The Storm Inside sneaking into the Victoria Cup field was dashed when he was beaten for just the second time at Melton last night.
The former superstar juvenile, who’s had two long injury setbacks, ran a big race, but couldn’t overhaul leader Maestro Bellini in a restricted-class race, going down by a neck after sitting parked.
It was just the second time in 14 starts The Storm Inside has been beaten.
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THINGS are conspiring against former buzz young pacer King Of Swing.
Now known solely as a leader, Gary Hall Sr’s pacer finally drew to take that role from the pole in last Friday night’s $50,000 Group 2 JP Stratton Cup at Gloucester Park.
He was a commanding favourite.
And then came the rain. So much rain, combined with very strong winds, the meeting was scrapped.
The good news is the race will be rescheduled, but the bad news is the barriers may not be the same for King Of Swing.
King Of Swing has managed just one win from his past 14 starts.