Aussie News - August 20

By Adam Hamilton

Reigning Victoria Cup winner Rock N Roll Doo has put behind him a career-derailing NZ campaign and looks right back on song.

Winless in seven runs since winning last year’s Victoria Cup, trainer-driver Mick Stanley gave the brilliant pacer a long spell and, judging by his stunning return, it certainly worked.

Rock N Roll Doo’s barnstorming third to star mare Encipher in last Saturday night’s Westburn Grant free-for-all (2240m) at Melton was off the charts. He was clocked to go a low 53sec last half, much of it from three-wide without cover from way back near last.

And he was beaten just a head and a head.

Stanley was so impressed he has changed plans and will now head to Sydney for Saturday week’s Group 1 Len Smith Mile on the same night as the TAB Eureka.

“We could not have been more pleased with his run and he’ll now go to Sydney,” he said.

Encipher, the only mare in the TAB Eureka, underlined her class by beating the boys in the Westburn Grant, while stablemate Hurricane Harley ran home well for second and will also tackle the Len Smith.

Mach Dan and Better Eclipse will also go to the Len Smith after pleasing connections in the Westburn Grant.

Encipher’s win was part of another big Melton meeting for Emma Stewart and Clayton Tonkin.

Their classy three-year-old filly Joyful, part-owned by Cran Dalgety, won well, as did brilliant juvenile Stormryder, who returned from a spell to make it three wins (and a second) from just four starts.

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South Coast Arden showed he was right on song for the Len Smith Mile with a narrow but impressive 1min50.9sec mile win at Menangle last Saturday night.

Trainer Paul Fitzpatrick resisted the temptation to tackle last month’s Queensland riches to build South Coast Arden’s form and confidence ahead of the Len Smith.

The strongly built former Kiwi has raced seven times for Fitzpatrick for five wins, a second and a fourth.

He’s already paced a 1min49.1sec winning mile at Menangle and looms a major player in a strong and fascinating Len Smith.

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TAB Eureka favourite Leap To Fame won’t be seen publicly again until the $2.1mil race on Saturday week.

Trainer-driver Grant Dixon has ruled-out another race or even a trial after a scheduled race was scrapped at Albion Park last Friday night.

“I’m not too fussed,” he said. “Having that run over 2138m would’ve been perfect, but he’s pretty close and I can top him off at home now. There’s no point having a trial if it’s just spinning around over a mile.”

Leap To Fame, the most exciting pacer in this part of the world, will head down to Menangle on Sunday.

Another major TAB Eureka player, Queensland Derby winner The Lost Storm, may cap his preparation at Melton on Saturday night.

Co-trainer Emma Stewart said she and Clayton Tonkin were leaning towards another hit out just a week ahead of the TAB Eureka.

Interestingly, The Lost Storm was racing for the third successive week when he won the Queensland Derby by a huge space on July 22.

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What a ripper former Kiwi mare One Over All has been for Jess Tubbs and Greg Sugars.

The regally bred five-year-old brilliantly won the Coulter Crown for trotting mares at Melton last night.

One Over All, who beat another former Kiwi Aldebaran Keepa, has now won $209,375 with 16 wins and 11 placings from 52 starts.

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WA’S standout juvenile filly Water Lou stretched her unbeaten record to seven races with a dominant win in the $100,000 Diamond Classic (2130m) at Gloucester Park last night.

Driver Shannon Suvaljko blasted her out from gate nine to lead and always looked in control.

“It’s the first time we’ve really asked her for that sort of gate speed, but she did well and I think she’s still improving with each start,” veteran trainer Kevin Keys said.

In the free-for-all, Team Bond’s former Kiwi gelding Himself made the most of the pole to lead throughout and win for driver Denis Roberts.

While Gary Hall Sr’s emerging star Your So Fine, another former Kiwi, made it six wins from as many starts this season when he sat parked to win the standing-start feature last night.

 

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