Aussie News - July 10
By Adam Hamilton
Fresh from a two-week break from driving and running a marathon, Kate Gath dominated the weekend's Bendigo meeting.
Gath drove four winners (half the card), three for husband Andy and one for Emma Stewart and Clayton Tonkin.
The first win was on former Kiwi mare Dannemora for Stewart and Tonkin, who made it six wins from as many starts since coming across from NZ.
Gath then won on a trio of former Kiwi pacers for her own stable, firstly Tango Tara in the Koala King free-for-all (2150m) in a 1min55.1sec mile rate.
Then came Terry, who led throughout in a race seven and talented but raw former Kiwi trotter Chinese Whisper in the final event.
All three winners for her own stable were raced by major client, Norm Jenkin.
Just last Sunday, Gath broke the clock at just her third marathon with a 3:07.44 time, smashing her own PB at the Gold Coast.
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High class former Kiwi pacer South Coast Arden surely earned a Queensland raid with his best Aussie win yet at Menangle on Saturday night.
The Paul Fitzpatrick-trained six-year-old was forced to do plenty of early work, sit parked and still dug deep to win the Vic Frost free-for-all impressively in a slick 1min51.3sec mile.
South Coast Arden has won four of five starts since being transferred to Fitzpatrick and has shown enough to say he will be very competitive in the Sunshine Sprint next Saturday night and Blacks A Fake a week later at Albion Park.
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The explosive The Lost Storm kick-started what should be a huge three-year-old season with an easy first-up Bendigo win.
First-up since winning the Group 1 Vicbred final by almost 40m on New Years Eve, the son of Captaintreacherous waltzed to the front and won as he liked.
He will now head straight to Brisbane for the Group 1 Queensland Derby on July 22 where he will be a commanding favourite.
Then it’s into the big league for the world’s richest harness race,the $2.1mil TAB Eureka at Menangle on September 2.
“It’s great to have him back and Clayton (Tonkin) thinks he’s a live Eureka chance,” owner-breeder Justin Baker said.
Standing in his way are glamour four-year-olds, headed by Leap To Fame, Catch A Wave and Captain Ravishing.
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Fresh back from his amazing Swedish trip with Just Believe, more travel looms for top Victorian driver Greg Sugars.
Connections of buzz pacer Captain Ravishing confirmed late last week that Sugars would be the new driver of their star when he returns to racing next month.
It renews the association with many of Captain Ravishing’s connections, who also raced former top pacer Sushi Sushi.
Owner Hass Taiba said Captain Ravishing was “about two weeks away” from a trial.
There is a plan for he and Miracle Mile winner Catch A Wave to work together at Geelong on Friday, August 4 as they both prepare for the world’s richest harness race, the $2.1mil TAB Eureka at Menangle on September 2.
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That man Jason Grimson has done it again.
Grimson continues to pluck pacers from other stables and take them to the next level and five-year-old gelding Swayzee is the latest.
Swayzee is unbeaten in five runs for the stable, broke the Albion Park 2138m track record with a 1min52sec flat mile rate two starts back and crushed his rivals in the Group 3 Mr Feelgood at Albion Park on Saturday night.
Suited by a slick lead time where buzz WA pacer Magnificent Storm eventually found the front, driver Cam Hart brought Swayzee with a sustained three-wide run and he was far too good in a 1min52.9sec mile.
Clearly, he will be a key runner in next Saturday night’s Group 1 Sunshine Sprint at Albion Park.
Magnificent Storm was crunched into favourite from an inside back row draw and driver Aiden De Campo weaved his way through and surged for the front.
Sure the lead time was very slick, but he was under pressure before the home bend and just battled into fifth spot, almost nine metres from the winner.
The other disappointment was one-time topliner Expensive Ego, who sat parked and tired to finish 11.8m away in eighth spot.
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Young former Kiwi horseman Kyle Marshall keeps making his mark since moving to Victoria.
The 29-year-old, who now trains a select team at Cranbourne, made it two wins from as many starts with his stable star, Son Of Mac, at Melton last Friday night.
The Northern Derby runner-up is aiming towards the Victoria Derby in October.
Son Of Mac from the back row with a midrace move to take the lead and zoomed clear to win by 19.4m in a 1min56.7sec mile rate for 2240m, capped by closing splits of 56.4 and 28sec flat.
Marshall is shooting at a 50 per cent winning strike rate in Victoria with 10 drives netting five wins, two thirds and a fourth.
Another potential Derby horse, Ride High’s half-brother High Above, scored an extraordinary win on the same card.
The Emma Stewart-trained son of Captaintreacherous copped a nasty check, galloped and lost 50m early, but recovered to win running away by 12.3m in a 1min56.6sec mile rate for 1720m.
Insiders say the stable has a monstrous opinion of High Above.
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Champion driver Gary Hall Jr dominated last Friday night’s Gloucester Park meeting with five wins.
Two came for the emerging training force Michael Young, while Hall Jr also teamed with friend Michael George for his first metro training double.
The other winner of note was former NSW horseman Cam Ross, who teamed with partner Jocelyn Young to win with classy young mare Steno in race five.
Young made it a driving double later in the night when Fly Like An Eagle colt Skylord easily won the Westsired 3YO colts and geldings pace.
The fillies’ version went to Kat Warwick’s Fly To Fame, who is a daughter of another former Kiwi juvenile star, Follow The Stars.
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NSW raiders dominated the three-year-old features at Albion Park.
Classy filly Jewel Melody led throughout to narrowly won the South-East Oaks for trainer-driver Bernie Hewitt, while the Nathan Turnbull trained and driven On Deadline spurted through the sprint lane to snatch victory from Jack Trainor’s favourite Naturally Gifted in the South-East Derby.
There was some Kiwi flavour in the Group 2 Darrell Alexander Trotting Championship final with Shane Graham’s Jaccka Watch, a five-year-old son of Muscle Mass, winning.
But high-class former Kiwi mare Braeview Kelly had to be content with a brave second to local star Uptown Beachgirl, who had the advantage of leading, in the Group 3 Fleur De Lil Stakes for mares.
While dual Inter Dominion-winning trainer-driver Jimmy Rattray snared the inaugural $150,000 Group 1 Great Square with London To A Brick flashing home to beat a brave favourite, Arcee Phoenix, who sat parked.
Kiwi raider Hot To Trot didn’t fire back in eighth spot.