Aussie News - 8th July
By Adam Hamilton
EMMA Stewart’s dominance of the rich Vicbred finals night reached new levels last night (Saturday).
Stewart and co-trainer Clayton Tonkin took a thumping 23 pacers to Melton to contest the six Group 1 finals.
Not only did they win five of the six finals (and ran second and third in the other), but they also snared the trifecta in four of the finals and the quinella in five of them.
Their greatest dominance came in the 3YO colts and geldings final where they trained the first four home: Out To Play beating Demon Delight, Fourbigmen and Hurricane Harley.
Although Chris Alford does the bulk of the stable driving, he only landed two of their Group 1 winners last night with drive of the night aboard Tam Major in the 4YO entires and geldings and Kualoa in the 3YO fillies.
Greg Sugars drove Maajida to a powerhouse 2YO fillies win over stablemates Amelia Rose and Jemstone.
David Moran teamed with pint-sized 4YO mare Pistol Abbey to add to her wonderful season.
And Gavin Lang, long-time No.1 driver for the stable, was back in the fold to win on Out To Play.
It took a lovely drive and monster upset for Yejele Hammer to deny Stewart and Tonkin and cleansweep of the final in the 2YO colts and geldings.
Trained and driven by Mick Stanley, Yejele Hammer had the gun run behind Stewart’s leader Pandering with favourite and another Stewart runner, Mirragon, on the outside.
Just when it seemed Mirragon was set to win, Yejele Hammer found daylight and powered home to win at $55 with Mirragon second and Pandering third.
Most of the stars of Vicbred finals night now plot a course towards the Breeders Crown.
X X X
A TRIP to Queensland is still a goer for Majordan despite his surprise defeat at Menangle last night (Saturday).
Kevin Pizzuto’s star speedster found the task of backing-up just six days after his blazing Group 1 Len Smith Mile win beyond him.
It wasn’t helped when he had to run a sizzling 25.9sec lead quarter from the extreme outside draw.
Majordan was under pressure at the top of the home straight and weakened for third to Courtsinsession and Loorim Creek in a 1min50.0sec mile.
X X X
AUSTRALIA is getting a new $1million harness racing and it will be in NSW, but that’s about all we know at the moment.
The exciting news broke last week when the Aussie TAB released a new bet type and it was confirmed revenue from it would fund a string of stakemoney hikes and/or new races in NSW thoroughbreds, harness and greyhounds.
It is understood the new $1mil race will be a final of a series where horses qualify through heats run across NSW.
More details are expected later this month, but it’s clear the race won’t be for open-class horses.
X X X
INSIDERS will tell you Gary Hall Sr thinks Ideal Liner is his next Chicago Bull.
The champion trainer has loved Ideal Liner since he first joined his stable last year, but he’s really starting to show everyone how good he is this campaign.
The son of American Ideal made it seven wins on end, and eight from nine runs this campaign, when he scored at Gloucester Park last Friday night.
“He has all the makings of a really, really nice horse and he’ll get his chance to show that next season. He’s doing everything we ask of him now and doing it well,” Hall Sr said.
X X X
THE more you see of trotter McLovin, the more you think he can win a really big races.
At first the Andy Gath-trained gelding looked fast, but now he’s developed the strength to compliment it.
McLovin had to dig deep, but was to the challenge when he sustained a long three-wide run in a sprint race to beat the classy Save Our Pennys in the Group 3 Noopy Kiosk free-for-all (1720m) at Melton last Friday night.
Since coming to Australia at the start of the year, McLovin has won nine of his 14 starts with another two seconds and two thirds.
X X X
POPULAR husband-and-wife team Gary and Debbie Quinlan were left wondering what might have been after their exciting pacer Professor Tom won the free-for-all at Melton last night.
The Quinlan’s had pushed and hoped for the gelding to get a run in last week’s Len Smith Mile, but were told he didn’t make the cut.
“It was disappointing because he’d gone to another level and this is his window, but we’re thrilled to pick up another win this week,” Debbie Quinlan said.