Aussie News : December 13

By Adam Hamilton 

Former young Kiwi driver Jack Trainor scored one the most special wins of his blossoming career when Pocket Of Terror outstayed his rivals to win the $50,000 Group 2 Inter Dominion Pacing Consolation.

In a stirring finish, Pocket of Terror lifted after looking beaten to snatch a nose win over the favourite Mach Dan with only another half-head away to Alpine Stride in third spot.

“That’s really special,” Trainor said. “He’s such a great, brave stayer this horse. I knew the long trip would really suit him.

“It was a big effort to start his run when he did, do so much work, and keep fighting back right to the line.”

Pocket Of Terror went a 1min57.4sec mile rate for the marathon trip, capped by closing splits of 54.5 and 27.8sec.

Trainor has done a superb job with Pocket Of Terror who had success with Team McCarthy before switching to his stable in May this year.

“He’s been racing so much better through the heats than his form showed,” Trainor said.

Menangle, where Trainor now trains, has been such a happy hunting ground for him.

Back on February 27 he won his first Group 1 race on Kiwi mare Stylish Memphis in the Ladyship Mile. Just 30 minutes later he did it again, winning the Group 1 NSW Oaks on Anntonia.

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Sidelined superstar Lochinvar Art will be back racing next month.

And a defence of his Hunter Cup crown looks very likely.

Trainer-driver David Moran was reunited with “Arty” when he got to Sydney over the weekend and gave him a track work spin around Luke and Belinda McCarthy’s Cobbitty Equine farm on Saturday.

Lochinvar Art has been there for the past few months serving mares and undergoing rehab for a hoof injury when turned into a broader leg issue.

The rising six-year-old hasn’t raced since winning the Hunter Cup on February 6.

“He’s only about three weeks away from a trial,” Moran said. “He’s done a lot of work.

“I’m not sure when he’ll race, but if things stay on track and we don’t have any hiccups, he should be right for the Hunter Cup. I’d like to get a couple of runs into him before it.”

Races like the Bendigo and Ballarat Cups in January look logical targets.

“It’s great to have him so close. I must admit I’ve stopped, paused and wished I had him in that Inter Dominion final (at Menangle), but hopefully there are still some big races to come for him.”

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Rising Western Australian star Magnificent Storm will strip a lot fitter for his first-up defeat at Gloucester Park last Friday night

That’s the take from trainer Ray Williams after the rising five-year-old finished 5.9m from the leader and winner, classy mare Balcatherine, in a 1min55.3sec mile rate for 2130m of the $50,000 City Of Perth Cup.

“He had to make a couple of runs and then do he work outside the leader, who got away with a 32.1sec first quarter of the last mile,” he said.

“It’s always a bit disappointing when you get beaten, but we had nowhere to hide first-up this week and he’ll improve from the run, for sure.

“He’s not a great track worker, so it’s a bit hard to get a line on him at home.

“He won’t race again for a fortnight now.”

The former Kiwi Balcatherine was superbly rated in front by Gary Hall Jr and ripped home in 55.5sec (27.4 and 28.1) to beat another former Kiwi, Motu Premier.

It was Balcatherine’s first win in nine stars through an interrupted season, but she’s won 11 of 28 starts with another 10 placings and banked over $250,000 for trainer Gary Hall Sr.

Hall Sr also quinellaed a strong three-year-old race on the card with former Kiwi gelding Jumpingjackmac working to the front and beating a gallant stablemate, Finvarra, who sat parked much of the race.

Hall Sr and Ross Olivieri shared honours on the night with three training wins each.

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The rise and rise of young Victorian trotting star Plymouth Chubb continues.

The son of Majestic Son made it 12 wins on end when he again toyed with his rivals in the Group 3 Gavin Lang 2YO Trotting Mile at Bendigo last Friday night. He trotted a 1min56.6sec mile.

The Peter Manning-trained gelding has only tasted defeat once when he galloped on debut.

Already a winner of the Redwood Classic and Breeders Crown final, Plymouth Chubb is one of the best juvenile trotters Australia has seen for many years, possibly even since the mighty Noopy Kiosk in the late 1990s.

Yabby Dams’ talented daughter of Quaker Jet, Revelstoke, led throughout to win the fillies’ version, the Group 3 Graeme Lang Mile, in a cosy 1min59.7sec. Favourite and Breeders Crown winner Just A Bit Touchy galloped.

The exciting Parisian Artiste sat parked to win the 3YO colts and geldings version in a slick 1min55.5sec mile, while Emma Stewart and Kate Gath combined to win the 3YO fillies’ race with the promising Banglez.

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A brilliant Greg Sugars drive helped Better Eclipse win the time-honoured Group 2 Carousel Final (2300m) at Menangle.

Favourite Bettor Call Me was left a sitting shot and went for home on the final bend, bur Sugars emerged the pack and gunned him down on Better Eclipse in a blistering 1min52.5sec mile rate for the long trip.

It was Better Eclipse’s sixth win from 18 starts and by far the three-year-old’s biggest victory. He ran sixth in the Victoria Derby earlier this season.

Another support race highlight on the night was Pacman Hammer’s all-the-way win in the Kari JC Caffyn Plate for indigenous drivers.

McKayler Barnes took Pacman Hammer straight to the front from gate five, pinched a 29.7sec second quarter and then dashed home in 56.5 and 28.1sec to win by 2.7m.

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