Aussie News : April 11

By Adam Hamilton

Anthony Butt and fiancé Sonya Smith are going to have some fun with new stable addition Lady In The Sky.

The four-year-old Muscle Mass trotting mare thrashed her rivals first-up from a spell and in Butt and Smith’s stable for the first time at Melton on Saturday night. 

Butt used the pole to lead, pinched a 31.6sec second split then dashed home in 57.2 and 28.1sec to win as Lady In The Sky liked by 6.4m in a 1min58sec mile rate for 1720m.

“We like her. We thought she’d be very hard to beat on what she’s been showing at home and it’s great to see her come out and do it at the races,” Butt said.

Lady In The Sky had already shown good potential with three wins and 10 placings from her 17 starts at two and three. She also ran fifth in the Group 1 Victoria Trotters’ Oaks.

Butt added to the night by landing the 2YO Fillies’ Classic on pick-up drive Soho Seraphine for trainer Mick Stanley and owner Rob Watson.

The daughter of Betting Line led throughout from gate three to cause a minor upset at just her second start.

Stanley drove stablemate Soho Lumina, who ran fifth, while Geoff Webster’s heavily backed favourite Snow Hunter was erratic at the start, did things wrong and didn’t run up to his impressive debut win.


The rise and rise of top young WA driver Emily Suvaljko continued when she scored an upset win on former Kiwi pacer Doc Holliday in the $50,000 Group 2 4&5YO Championship at Gloucester Park last Friday night.

Suvaljko has captured national attention by mixing it with the likes of Gary Hall Jr, Chris Voak, Chris Lewis and others at Gloucester Park.

Good judges insist she deserves to be in the same conversation as Jack Callaghan and Cam Hart as the top young drivers in Australia.

Doc Holliday, trained by Michael Young, was the first leg of a winning treble for Suvaljko last Friday night.

The win also continued the huge impact of Summit Bloodstock in Australia as they part-own Doc Holliday.


Australia's champion juvenile of last season, Catch A Wave, is close to a racetrack return.

The Breeders Crown winner was scratched from a trial at Melton last week, but will trial at the same track on Monday.

“We just decided to wait another week,” trainer Andy Gath said.

Catch A Wave raced just seven times for six wins last season and hasn’t started since his stunning Breeders Crown victory on November 20.

The son of Captaintreacherous is back for Victoria’s Australian Gold 3YO series, which starts with heats at Bendigo on May 5 into a $125,000 final at Melton on May 14.


What a wonderful mare Maajida has been across four seasons for Emma Stewart and Clayton Tonkin.

The five-year-old daughter of Somebeachsomewhere returned from a freshen-up to do all the work and win strongly in the Group 3 Blossom Lady (2240m) at Melton last night.

It was Maajida’s 23rd win from just 41 starts. She’s also been placed eight times and banked an impressive $663,830.

Comeback driver Mark Pitt, who is now doing a lot of the stable driving for Stewart and Tonkin, took the reins on Maajida last night.


Victoria Cup winner Max Delight is heading interstate for Easter.

Trainer David Aiken said the classy six-year-old would target the Group 3 Wagga Cup next Saturday after his Melton win last night.

“He’s freshened-up well and finding suitable races for him isn’t easy,” Aiken said. “Wagga suits because it’s 1740m and a random draw, so he at least gets the chance to draw well and use his gate speed.”

Max Delight used his gate speed last night with Chris Alford bustling out of gate six to lead, dictate terms and dash home in 54.3 and 26.7sec to win emphatically.

Max Delight, who won a NSW Derby at three before some injury setbacks, has not won almost $750,000 in stakemoney.

He’s raced 59 times for 22 wins and 15 placings.



Related Category News

29 May 2024

News Briefs - May 29

A clerking clinic is going to be held at Cambridge Raceway on July 17 and 18 and anyone interested in becoming a clerk in the North Island is invited.

28 May 2024

HRNZ Update : The Chair's report for May

Every month the HRNZ Board provides an update on where it's at, and the key areas it's working on.