Aussie News - February 5

by Adam Hamilton 

It was a big night for the Kiwis at Menangle last night.

Republican Party secured his Chariots Of Fire spot with an easy win in the Group 3 Hondo Grattan Stakes, while B D Joe made a move towards the Miracle Mile by winning the free-for-all.

With Blair Orange at Melton, Carter Dalgety took the reins and coasted to a 4.2m win on Republican Party to win by 4.2m in a 1min52.4sec mile. It was really a dash home with a 26 sec flat last quarter.

B D Joe’s margin wasn’t great but the win was outstanding in a slick 1min50.6sec mile as he scored by a half-head for driver Tim Williams over Reactor Now.

Team Telfer’s other runner, Alta Wiseguy, drew wide and was only 6.2m from the winner in eighth spot.


Former classy Kiwi pacer Cranbourne will be given his chance to make the Miracle Mile after an impressive Melton win last night.

It was his second win from just three Aussie runs for trainer David Aiken as he prepares to move to the US to continue his career in mid-March.

“He beat the Inter Dominion winner at Shepparton and just over raced at Ballarat then won well tonight, so if you forget Ballarat he’d be two-from-two and we’d all be talking about him,” driver Nathan Jack.

“It’s never easy sitting parked and winning, but he won well tonight and I was quite confident he had them at the 300m.”

Cranbourne looks set to tackle one of the Miracle Mile qualifying sprints at Menangle on February 28.


It is also next stop Sydney for star former Kiwi mare Amore Vita.

The four-year-old stepped into open-class mares’ racing and did all the work before winning last night’s $100,000 Ladyship Cup (1720m) at Melton.

“She’s going up to Menangle now for the Ladyship Mile,” co-trainer Emma Stewart said. “She’s getting better and better and is developing into a really serious mare.”

Driver Chris Alford praised Stewart and co-trainer Clayton Tonkin for settling Amore Vita back down after a phase of over-racing badly.

“She lost her way for a while and got a bit crazy, but Emma and Clayton have got her settled again and we’re seeing the best of her,” he said.

“To sit parked and kick back after Tay Tay got a metre in front of her was a big win.”

The race changed complexion when stablemate and $1.50 favourite Tough Tilly galloped at the start and settled a clear last, effectively losing all chance.

Tay Tay ran a slashing second and will also head to Sydney to join Jason Grimson’s stable for a tilt at the Ladyship Mile.


Australia's buzz pacer Captain Ravishing has the Chariots Of Fire at his mercy.

Even co-trainer Clayton Tonkin and driver Mark Pitt were in awe of the four-year-old’s first-up win in the $100,000 4YO Bonanza at Melton last night.

Captain Ravishing sat parked and powered away to win 21.8m in a slick 1min50.9sec mile rate for 1720m.

It was basically a last 800m blitz in 56.4sec.

Next start is the Group 1 Chariots Of Fire at Menangle on Saturday week and then, most probably, the $1 million Miracle Mile on March 4.

“He’s just a complete excitement machine, this horse. People come to see horses like this,” Tonkin said.

“I wouldn’t say I’ve trained a better horse than him. He (driver Mark Pitt) didn’t even pull the (ear) plugs.

“To see him come out and go 1min50sec first-up is something else.”

Pitt said only the injury-plagued megastar Ride High had given him a similar feel.

“I haven’t had a horse feel like that for a long while, not since Ride High. He’s just phenomenal,” he said.

“He started to switch-off a bit at the finish, but if ‘d flicked him up and pull the plugs, I’m sure there was a lot more there.”

Captain Ravishing has won seven of his eight starts since joining Tonkin and Emma Stewart’s stable by an average margin of almost 20m each time.


Another excitement machine, Catch A Wave, will also chase the Chariots Of Fire after his sparkling 1200m Mercury80 final win at Melton last night.

Trainer Andy Gath confirmed his stable star would head to Menangle next Saturday night for the last of the Chariots Of Fire qualifiers, the Paleface Adios.

“We’ll take him and hopefully go onto the Chariots of Fire the week after,” he said.

“He’s as good as any pacer I’ve ever trained and what a great half an hour it’s been for the sport with Captain Ravishing winning as well.

“To come from where he was, as far back as he was, and win easily was something else.

“We’re just so lucky to have these great young horses coming through and let’s just enjoy them rather than compare them all.

Driver Kate Gath knows the bar will be raised again in Sydney.

“It won’t be easy, but he’s maturing and he’s in the zone. It’ll be exciting to have a go at it,” she said.


Classy NSW pacer Zeuss Bromac snared some sort of consolation after being overlooked for a Hunter Cup berth when he stormed home to win last Friday night’s Newcastle Cup.

The Paul Fitzpatrick-trained former Kiwi entire has been a consistent player at the top level and produced a dazzling finish from near last to gun down young comeback pacer Tasty Delight in a stirring finish to win by a nose.

Inter Dominion finalist Petes Said So ran third and all three look right on target for the upcoming Miracle Mile qualifying races.

Tasty Delight’s effort at just his third run back from a year out with injury was tremendous and it’s clear he’s going to measure up in strong open-class for trainer-driver Brian Portelli.

But Zeuss Bromac’s effort to come from so far back and out very wide in a 55.6sec last half and snatch victory was outstanding in a track record-breaking 1min55.1sec mile rate for the long 2550m trip.


It was a night to treasure for talented young horseman Aiden De Campo at Gloucester Park last Friday.

Fittingly, he snared the 1000th driving win of career aboard one of his favourite and most special horses, the injury-plagued Handsandwheels in race three.

The now nine-year-old pacer was one of WA’s best in 2020, but injuries sidelined him for almost two years and De Campo has nursed him back.

It was Handsandwheels’ first win 13 starts on the comeback trail and his first victory since landing the Group 2 Governors Cup at Gloucester Park way back on February 7, 2020.

Just two races later, De Campo produced a patient, gem of a drive to win the feature of the night, the $50,000 Group 2 Trotters’ Cup aboard the David Young-trained former Victorian gelding Patched.

On the same card, high-class former Kiwi pacer Patronus Star made the most of a lovely Deni Roberts drive in the one-one trail to win the free-for-all for Team Bond, who landed the quinella with Glenledi Chief running a huge second after sitting parked.



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