Aussie News - April 30
By Adam Hamilton
It was fitting that a former Kiwi star gave Greg Sugars a “welcome home” present at Melton last night.
Sugars has spent much of the past month in NZ with Better Eclipse and Triple Eight.
Rejuvenated veteran A Gs White Socks was driven with confidence by Sugars and thrashed his rivals in the Golden Reign free-for-all.
It was the nine-year-old’s 17th career win and his fourth victory from his past five starts for Jess Tubbs.
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Australia's top trotter Just Believe will have his final lead-up before heading to Sweden when he tackles Saturday night’s Vulcan Trotters’ free-for-all at Melton.
The Jess Tubbs-trained Inter Dominion and Great Southern Star hero looked sharp when second in a trial against the pacers at Melton last Wednesday.
“He’s just been ticking along at home until we wound him up again,” Tubbs said. “He went well in the trial and has come through it well. Everything is on target.”
Just Believe is booked to fly out of Melbourne on May 16 for what will be 60 hours of travel by plane, boat and road to get to Stockholm.
The iconic Elitloppet on May 28 at Solvalla is his target and connections are keen to look at a couple of races elsewhere in Scandinavia after that, including the Copenhagen Cup.
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Former star trotting mare One Over Kenny is the gift that keeps giving.
Long after her racing days, she continues to excel as a mum as the result of last Friday night’s epic $30,000 Bendigo Trotters’ Cup.
Two of her talented progeny, Ultimate Stride and One Over All, fought out a stirring finish.
Ultimate Stride, a former high-priced yearling and star juvenile in NZ, scored one of his best open-class wins in the Cup.
It may not have been the biggest race, but the win was massive and a pointer to a big year ahead if trainer-driver Chris Lang can keep Ultimate Stride in that sort of form.
The six-year-old son of Love You spent petrol in an unsuccessful early challenge for the lead, but still had the class and strength to finish the race off strongly and run down One Over All and win by a head.
It thwarted One Over All’s quest for a fourth successive country cup win, after victories at Horsham, Charlton and Ararat.
Ultimate Stride’s form has been mixed since joining Lang’s stable just over a year ago, but he’s now won 15 of his 35 career starts and $250,173.
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It was third time lucky for former classy Kiwi pacer Hot And Treacherous in his new Queensland home.
The Captaintreacherous five-year-old, now trained by Jack Butler, made the most of gate one to lead throughout at his third Albion Park start.
Leading driver Nathan Dawson nursed him to the line to win by 2.4m in a 1min53.7sec mile rate for 1660m.
The signs are promising, but he will need to keep improving to be a player in the winter features like the Sunshine Sprint and Blacks A Fake.
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Training powerhouse Emma Stewart and Clayton Tonkin dominated the big APG Gold Bullion 2YO colts and geldings final at Menangle last night.
They snared the quinella in the $400,000 feature, but just not in the order punters hoped and expected.
Hot favourite and unbeaten Stormryder did all the work outside the leader and looked the winner as he zoomed past the leader rounding the home bend, but stablemate War Dan Buddy emerged as the only challenger.
As hard as Stormryder kept trying War Dan Buddy lunged and snatched a last-stride win by a nose in a 1min53.7sec mile on a very wet track.
War Dan Buddy gave Stewart and Tonkin their third win in that specific APG final, the others coming with Centenario (2018) and The Storm Inside (2016).
Young gun Cam Hart snared the pick-up drive on War Dan Buddy, continuing his stunning rise to the very top of Australia’s driving ranks.
Just two weeks earlier he won the $1mil Nullarbor in Perth aboard former Kiwi pacer Betterzippit for Jason Grimson.
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Star WA pacer Magnificent Storm will campaign away from home for the first time in Queensland during winter.
The former Kiwi pacer will tackle three races at Albion Park during the rich Queensland Constellations.
They are the $50,000 Mr Feelgood on July 8, the $200,000 Sunshine Sprint on July 15 and the $400,000 Blacks A Fake a week later.
“He’s definitely going,” trainer Ray Williams said. “It’s time to try him against the best over there to see how he handles it.
“The owners have been keen to try it for the past year or so, but there’s not much on here and he’s only had a few runs back from a break.”
Magnificent Storm boasts 29 wins and seven placings from just 46 starts.
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Sweet Lou sired both APG Gold Bullion three-year-old winners at Menangle last night.
Regally-bred filly Peaceful, a daughter of former mighty mare Frith, turned the tables on Jewel Melody from her shock heat defeat last Monday when she led throughout win the fillies’ final in a 1min52.2sec mile.
Belinda McCarthy trained Peaceful and colts and geldings winner Sweetheart Bart. Both were driven by Jack Callaghan.
Sweetheart Bart “stole” his final with dawdling middle splits in front and a slow 1min55.1sec mile.
It was a Team McCarthy quinella with Don Hugo running second with Luke McCarthy aboard.
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Captaintreacherous filly Eye Believe hardly raised a sweat winning the $400,000 APG Gold Bullions 2YO final at Menangle last night.
The Nathan Jack-trained filly was taken straight to the front by Amanda Turnbull, who then slowed to a staggering 31.7sec second split, which basically made it race over.
Eye Believe barely sped-up for a 29.7sec third split before dashing home in 27.3sec to win in second gear by 7.3m.