Aussie News - Feb 7
Mighty former Kiwi mare Our Princess Tiffany burst through the $1 million in career earnings with another Group 1 triumph at Melton on Saturday night.
And her all-the-way win in the $100,000 Group 1 Ladyship Cup also earned her automatic entry into the $200,000 Group 1 Ladyship Mile – Australia’s top mares’ race – at Menangle on February 27.
Driver Chris Alford took full advantage of a pole draw to easily lead on Our Princess Tiffany the dictated the terms through the middle stages before just staving-off a monstrous run from NSW raider Bettor Enforce to win by a half-neck.
The $57,000 first prize took Our Princess Tiffany’s career bank to $1,000,262 with 23 wins and 11 placings from just 40 starts.
It was a terrific training performance by Dean Braun with the mare first-up since her Group 1 Vicbred 4YO final win on New Year’s Eve.
Although beaten, Bettor Enforce underlined she’s the one to beat in the Ladyship Mile by sitting parked throughout and getting so close to victory in a mighty performance.
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The Chariots Of Fire picture is not a whole clearer after the first two qualifiers over the weekend.
Anthony Butt’s emerging Boots Electric landed some bets at huge odds ($101 into $31) when Greg Sugars drove him superbly to storm home and win the $100,000 Group 1 4YO Bonanza at Melton on Saturday night.
He’s got history on his side with the past four Bonanza winners – Lazarus, Jilliby Kung Fu, Poster Boy and Lochinvar Art – all going on to win the Chariots.
Only the winner of the Bonanza gets through to the Chariots so key beaten runners like Pacifico Dream, Expensive Ego, Kowalski Analysis and Perfect Stride will all need to zip up to Sydney for next Saturday night’s final qualifier, the Paleface Adios.
At Menangle, former Kiwi pacer Zeuss Bromac booked his Chariots berth when he took the lead in the middle stages and dug-deep to win the $50,000 Group 2 Hondo Grattan in a brisk 1min50.6sec mile.
Star Kiwi mare Stylish Memphis, now with Jack Trainor, ran second and along with third and fourth placegetters Jay Ok and Crunch Time, is safely into the Chariots field.
The Chariots Of Fire is at Menangle on February 20.
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Lochinvar Art will have at least one serious rival in Friday week’s Group 1 Newcastle Mile.
Former buzz Kiwi pacer Turn It Up looks back to something his best form and trainer Vicki Rasmussen has chosen the Newcastle Mile as his next pathway towards the Miracle Mile.
Turn It Up smashed the clock late when he came out of the one-one trail to blas past leader and star local Colt Thirty One in a 54sec last half to win the free-for-all at Albion Park last Saturday night.
The former All Stars pacer has continue to build since being sent to Rasmussen and Shane Graham as a last gasp attempt to resurrect his career from injury.
Turn It Up’s raced six times for Rasmussen for three wins and three thirds, but it was the latest win which really excited most.
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Popular filly Tough Tilly looks to have the NSW Oaks at her mercy.
With star stablemate Ladies In Red sidelined, Tough Tilly again asserted her class an authority by sitting parked to win the Group 3 Gold Chalice at Melton on Saturday night.
It was her first run since the Group 1 Vicbred 2YO win on New Year’s Eve at Melton.
Stablemate Rogue Wave was heavily backed to beat Tough Tilly this time and led easily from the pole, while Tough Tilly had to worked outside her.
Rather than make it a staying test, driver Kate Gath backed Tough Tilly’s speed and she delivered with scorching closing splits of 54 and 26.9sec to win by 3.2m.
Tough Tilly will likely need a new driver in the NSW Oaks heats and final with Gath having commitments on her star trotters like Tornado Valley, Majestuoso and others a Melton in coming weeks.
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Master trainer David Aiken is happy to play the long game with comeback star Max Delight.
The former NSW Derby and Breeders Crown winners made it two wins from as many starts on the comeback trail when he blasted home to win the Group 3 Pure Steel ay Melton on Saturday night.
While he’d be very competitive in the Miracle Mile qualifiers at Menangle on February 27, Aiken is set stay home and target races like the Terang Cup.
“It’s been a long haul getting him back and he’s got the potential to go into big races, but I’d prefer to get this grounding of a good preparation at home into him before we take that step,” Aiken said.
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Chris Svanosio just hopes he can keep President Roydon sound.
The former top young Kiwi trotter is back winning and exciting after almost two-and-a-half years sidelined by injury.
The faith and huge financial support of passionate owners Merv and Meg Butte rworth and some training patience and genius from Svanosio has seen the former NZ Jewels runner-up and Victoria Derby placegetter return with two wins and a third from just three starts.
“There’s plenty of improvement to come yet, now I’ve just got hope we can keep him sound,” Svanosio said.
President Roydon, who spent time with the All Stars barn and Kerryn Manning, showed all his speed was back when he dashed up the sprint lane in to win at Melton last Friday night. He ran his own closing splits in 56.5 and 27.9sec.
The popular Svanosio, who is fast becoming a serious training force especially with trotters, completed a training and driving double in the following race with the emerging Dels Destiny rocketed home from an impossible spot to win.
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Some thought Andy Gath might have chanced his arm with recent Kiwi import Havehorsewilltravel and run him in the Great Southern Star.
But Gath said he never considered it seriously with McLovin’s baby half-brother, who instead brilliantly won a support race last Friday night to take his unbeaten streak in Australia to six races.
“He’s exciting. He works like a good horse at home,” driver Kate Gath said. “He’s yet to run any really quick overall times, but his sectionals are good and the gate speed he showed tonight was fantastic.”
Havehorsewilltravel’s six wins have netted $65,550 and he’s now passed the $100,000 in career earnings.
Now comes the decision whether to throw the gelding into Group 1 company for races like next week’s Knight Pistol, the Grand Prix on February 27 or even a Sydney trip for the NSW Trotters’ Mile on Miracle Mile night (March 6).
Team Gath already has Tornado Valley, McLovin and Majestuoso headed towards some or all of those features.
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Kima Frenning is making Victoria’s innovative “Mercury80” series her own.
Frenning drove Emma Stewart’s Always Fast to win the inaugural Group 2 Mercury80 final last year and this year she trained recent Kiwi import Yorkshire to win it with Chris Alford aboard.
Frenning very publicly stepped aside from driving a few months back and it’s great to see her mixing training with some media work.