Aussie News - 9 Sep
By Adam Hamilton
THE spotlight is suddenly on superstar pacer Tiger Tara for the wrong reason.
After the most magnificent of seasons last term, the mighty horse’s past two Menangle runs have been well below his best.
You could make some arguments for his second Islandspecialmajor last week, albeit he did have a good run and the whole home straight to run that vastly inferior horse down.
But he looked a shadow of himself beating just one rival home in last night’s Group 3 Vic Frost Cup over a mile at Menangle.
Tiger Tara was ninth, almost 17m behind the impressive winner The Blacks Prince in a 1min51sec mile.
Sure it’s just turned Spring and the big races a long way off, but now Tiger Tara has turned nine years old, every defeat will spark scrutiny.
One thing for sure, trainer Kevin Pizzuto will have issues finding suitable races because just about every Menangle free-for-all is a preferential draw and most are over a mile. Both those factors really hurt Tiger Tara.
You should never write-off a champion, but there will be plenty watching and wondering when he steps out next time.
And he will need to improve enormously to justify a trip to NZ for the Cup and/or Auckland Inter Dominion.
The winner, The Black Prince, certainly deserves a mention after posting some explosive sectional times without winning of late.
And the story around him was even better given his driver, Tom Ison, only posted his first Menangle win 90 minutes earlier aboard The Black Prince’s stablemate, Pitch Perfect.
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TOUGH Monarch has been threatening to this.
And last night he did do it, blow away a good field and smash the clock.
Just a week after a powerhouse win in a 2760m standing-start race, Tough Monarch showed fantastic gate speed to lead and win the Group 3 Maori’s Idol Trotters’ free-for-all at Melton.
He ran splits of the last mile in 28 flat, 29.4, 28.3 and 29.7sec. His 1min54.4sec mile rate was just 0.7sec outside the track record.
The record is held by former great Keystone Del, set back on March 12, 2016.
Reigning Inter Dominion champ Tornado Valley had to do the work outside Tough Monarch in those blazing times and wilted to finish 25m from the winner in sixth spot.
Trainer Rickie Alchin took on last year’s Melbourne Inter Dominion with high hopes for Tough Monarch, but he was still a work in progress. Now he looks close to the complete package.
Given his form this season, especially those past two wins, he will surely tackle the Auckland Inter Dominion and make his presence felt.
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STABLE star Tornado Valley ran well below his best at Melton last night, but Andy and Kate Gath still jagged a feature with Star Of Memphis in The Gammalite.
In a race of cat-and-mouse tactics from back in the field, Kate Gath showed great poise to wait and swoop late with the Norm Jenkin-owned gelding.
He snatched a head win over Franco Tristan in a 1min56sec mile rate for 2240m.
Gath made it a double when she teamed with her father, trainer Peter Thompson, to win the seventh race with big and improving trotter Ymbro Wasted.
“He’s gone to another level this time in work. He won that really well after coming three-wide without cover after the leaders didn’t go very hard,” Gath said.
Another female to star on the night was Kima Frenning, who spoke highly of Kiwi import Raptors Delight after he won yet again.
The gelding won just five of 34 Kiwi runs, but is now unbeaten in six starts since crossing the Tasman to join David Aiken’s stable.
“He’s a lovely horse. He had to burn early and was crossed, but then relaxed well behind the leader and really sprinted quickly again when the sprint lane run came. He did it so well,” Frenning said.
The mile rate was a sharp 1min53.7sec for 1720m.
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IT took a few runs, but the class of former North American mare Blue Moon Stride is starting to shine through.
The Emilio Rosati-owned mare won over $1.2 million in the US before being flown across to join Noel Daley’s barn in Sydney.
She’s been posting some eye-catching sectional times and broke through for her first Down Under win in fine style and a quick 1min52.3sec mile last night (Saturday).
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THE rise and rise of WA’s most-improved pacer Our Corelli continues.
For the second time in as many weeks, the Debbie Lewis-trained gelding toyed with his rivals to win the free-for-all, albeit after using the pole draw to lead and dictate.
Our Corelli has won seven of his 10 starts since switching to Lewis’ stable.
With the future of Chicago Bull in limbo and Soho Tribeca under such a cloud, the door is open for an emerging horse like Our Corelli to be a major player in the Fremantle and WA Cups in January.
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NSW husband-and-wife Robbie and KerryAnn Morris are lethal when they raid Queensland.
And the strike rate continued when they won the first three races at Albion Park last night with Squire, Pembrooks Passion and Prophesy.
Morris made it a quartet of wins with pick-up drive Mister Hart for trainer Melissa Kendall in the last race.
“We usually pop-up here with a team during the Carnivals, but had a batch of horses better suited to this time of year,” Robbie Morris said.