Aussie News - April 18th

HISTORIANS heads were sent spinning at Launceston last night.

Trainer Emma Stewart and driver Mark Pitt both did what no other Australian trainer or driver has done before at the Group 1 Easter Cup meeting.

They combined for a staggering nine winners on the 10-race card. They only contested nine races.

In Stewart’s case, she and partner Clayton Tonkin went a step further by landing the quinella in the $100,000 Easter Cup with Longfellow beating Like A Wildfire.

So, it was a perfect result for Stewart with nine wins and a second from the 10 runners she had across nine races.

Stewart bettered the training record she held herself with Shayne Cramp with eight winners at a meeting.

Pitt’s nine driving wins obliterated the previous Australian record of six wins at a meeting.

“It was one of those rare nights where everything fell into place, such a huge thrill,” Stewart said.

“We planned for it, thought we had the right horses and could win them all, but you always need luck and no traffic problems.

“It was really when we got to Von Art (seventh winners) we got anxious. We haven’t had her long and she can do things wrong, but she did it all right.”

Stewart praised Pitt’s cool and composure through the night.

“Especially in that last win with Captain Rival. I thought he’d put the horse into the race earlier, but he knew what he was doing,” she said.

“He was our main stable driver before his stint on the sidelines and we were keen to use him when came back.

“Clayton (Tonkin) loves his commitment, work ethic and how he watches his weight.”

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FRESH from almost snatching the inaugural The Race at Cambridge, trainer Jason Grimson and driver Cam Hart were back home dominating Wagga’s big Group 1 meeting last night (Saturday).

They combined for three winners, including the Group 1 Riverina Championship 4&5YO final with the Danny Zavitsanos-owned Ideal Dan.

The four-year-old led throughout in a blazing 1min52.3sec mile rate for 2270m to win by 3.8m over Send It.

Hart broke the backs of his rivals with a scorching 26.7sec split down the back straight.

Earlier in the night, Hart and Grimson combined to win with exciting three-year-old Sugar Apple and talented mare Chrissy Chic.

“It’s great to have big meetings like this in the regional areas and coming back here and having so much success is really special to me,” Hart said.

Looking back to Majestic Cruiser’s second in The Race, Hart said: “He went absolutely massive.”

Also at Wagga, NSW Oaks winner Just Hope led throughout to easily win the Wagga Oaks for trainer Russell Jack and son, driver Nathan.

The locals were to the fire when the Hewitt clan snared the trifecta in the Group 1 Riverina Championship final for mares.

Brad Hewitt trained and drove the winner Yarraman Bella, while Bernie Hewitt trained second and third with Winona Writer and Iamajoyride.

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FORMER high-class Kiwi pacer Mach Shard grabbed his own piece of history at the Wagga meeting.

The Belinda McCarthy-trained seven-year-old became the first sub-1min50sec winner in regional NSW when he ripped home along the inside to win the Group 3 Wagga Pacing Cup (1740m) in a 1min49.7sec mile rate.

It was a brilliant drive from Jack Callaghan to weave through along the pegs and gun down the leader Balraj with Max Delight a brave third after sitting parked.

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JOHN Justice bought Mufasa Metro with a view to big races.

He snared one straight away when the former Kiwi trotter won last season’s Holmfield, then his form waivered a bit.

Second-up from a break, he looked every bit a feature race horse winning by a huge space at Melton last night.

Mufasa Metro sat parked and roared away to win by 25.5m in a 1min57.8sec mile rate for 2240m.

Even the best open-class trotters rarely run those times, especially when sitting parked.

On the same card, Jess Tubbs and Greg Sugars continued their terrific season when Cherokee Joe brilliantly won the Group 3 Country Clubs Championship final.

The four-year-old son of For A Reason caught the in his heat behind Belmont Royale and turned the tables in the final when he stormed home from last.

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WHILE star trotting mare Im Ready Jet has a break, stablemate Hopeful Beauty is filling the void.

The gifted daughter of Brilliantissime has always shown plenty of potential and put it all together for a dominant win in the Group 3 Trotters’ free-for-all at Melton last night.

Classy veteran McLovin led, but Josh Duggan landed Hopeful Beauty in the one-one trail and she had them covered a long way out.

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INJURY-plagued former Kiwi pacer Speech Is Silver headlined the return of Saturday night racing at Albion Park.

It was Albion Park’s first night meeting since Brisbane’s extreme floods in late February.

Speech Is Silver, trained by Darren Weeks and driven by Mathew Neilson, sat behind the leader snfd used the sprint lane to easily win the free-for-all.

The seven-year-old son of Mach Three has raced just 41 times for 20 wins, nine placings and earned $163,168.

The other class performer of the night was exciting three-year-old Speak The Truth.

The Shannon Price-trained gelding made it four wins from as many runs this campaign and six from 10 lifetime when he cruised to victory.

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TOUGH former Kiwi pacer Ideal Agent gave Team Bond another feature win when he was too strong and classy in the Group 2 Easter Cup at Gloucester Park last Friday night.

The five-year-old son of American Ideal came off 20m and driver Dylan Egerton-Green kept working forward until he got the front and won easily.

The entire has been ultra-consistent since joining Greg and Skye Bond’s stable. He’s raced 12 times in WA for seven wins, three seconds and a third.

It was a big night for Team Bond and Egerton-Green who also combined for an upset win in the free-for-all with another Kiwi import Double Up as a $26 shot.

He just edged-out local legend Vultin Tin, who reached a milestone by topping $1 million in career earnings a week earlier.

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