Aussie News : April 9

By Adam Hamilton

Former star Kiwi-bred mare Nike Franco could be as good as a mum as she was on the racetrack.

Her first foal, a Somebeachsomewhere colt called Bay Of Biscay, oozed class and potential winning his first start in the Shakamaker Classic at Melton on Saturday night.

More importantly, co-trainer Emma Stewart declared him the stable’s best two-year-old.

“He’s big and raw and will take time to get everything together, but he’s got terrific talent,” she said. “As the season goes on you’ll see how good he really is.”

Bay Of Biscay was crossed at the start, but stand-in driver James Herbertson didn’t panic, eased away from the inside and landed the one-one trail.

The colt cruised to a 3.9m win in a 1min56.5sec mile rate for 1720m and a closing split of 28.3sec.

Bay Of Biscay was $150,000 yearling at the Nutrien Sydney sales.

Nike Franco raced 83 times for 32 wins, 19 placings and banked $913,870.


Former Kiwi pacer Betterzippit became an even more vital part of the inaugural $1mil Nullarbor without even racing at Gloucester Park last Friday night.

Jason Grimson’s emerging star, a sparkling 1min48.6sec mile winner at Menangle a week ago, has settled well in Perth and will go straight into Friday night’s Nullarbor.

Many of his key rivals locked horns in a 2536m free-for-all at Gloucester Park last Friday night and nothing outstanding unfolded.

Lavra Joe made it three terrific runs in a run when he used gate two to lead, dictate and rip home in 55.8 and 27.3sec to win.

The $41 outsider Valentines Brook trailed him and closed to within 1.7m on the line, while Gary Hall Jr cut all the corners from near last to finishing an eye-catching third on Jumpingjackmac.

Jumpingjackmac’s stablemate Diego returned from a freshen-up, but settled back and made no impact to finish 19.3m away in seventh spot.

Much interest was on dual Miracle Mile runner-up Spirit Of St Louis at his first WA run, but he just battled into fifth spot, beaten 7.9m, after having the one-one trail. He’s sure to improve on the run, but will need to.

Betterzippit and WA’s best pacer, Magnificent Storm, were the two notable absentees in last Friday’s race and loom as the key players, pending a vital barrier draw.


Much-travelled former Kiwi pacer Hector scored his biggest win in the $50,000 Group 3 Easter Cup at Gloucester Park last Friday.

It came at his 27th start and for his fifth trainer, who is now Kim Prentice.

Driver Mitchell Miller stepped Hector away well quickly from a 10m handicap and worked around to take the lead inside the first 600m.

The son of Bettors Delight dashed home in 56.3sec to beat tough former Kiwi Street Hawk by 5m.

Hector started his career with Nathan Williamson in NZ, moved to Ben Battle and then Colin Knox in Queensland before a stint with Emma Stewart in Victoria.


Emma Stewart and David Moran have enjoyed plenty of success together with champion mare Ladies In Red.

But it was another mare, the exciting Soho Historia, who camped off a frantic speed and won as she liked in the $100,000 Riverina Championships Mares’ final (2270m).

Moran picked-up the drive when Mark Pitt was required for a string of Stewart and Tonkin drives at Melton.

Soho Historia, a winner of 12 of her 26 starts, is one of the best performers Aaron Bain Racing and Summit Bloodstock has raced.

The entires and geldings final was won in fantastic and brave fashion by the Jarrod Alchin-trained My Ultimate Ronnie.

Driver Cam Hart dared to unleash with an early move to burn around and take the lead and just kept finding in a slick 1min54.3sec mile rate.


Former superstar pacer Lennytheshark has one of his biggest win as a sire when Little Miss Lily upstaged her rivals in the Group 3 Vicbred Home Grown Classic final (1720m) at Melton last night.

The Patrick Ryan-trained filly came from behind the leader to win by a half-neck in a 1min57.3sec mile rate.

The colts and geldings equivalent was more dramatic with hot favourite Gawn’s driver Mark Pitt being dislodged and the race was stopped.

It was re-run 30 minutes later with Kate Gath aboard Gawn, but he had to be content with a well-held second behind Emma Stewart-trained stablemate Compete, driven by Kerryn Manning.

They blazed a 1min53.9sec mile rate for 1720m.


Veteran local Sunny Sanz upstaged the Victorian raiders to score an upset win in Tasmania’s Group 2 Easter Cup at Launceston last night.

The Kent Rattray-trained gelding was driven superbly by Gareth Rattray and pounced on the lead coming to the final bend.

He easily held-off the Emma Stewart and Clayton Tonkin-trained favourite Like A Wildfire to post his 18th win from just 48 starts and take his career earnings past $220,000.

The hot streak of Stewart’s former Kiwi pacer Wheres The Gold came to an end when he was unplaced after his first eight Aussie runs netted seven wins and a second.


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