Aussie News : July 12
King Of Swing looks primed for Blacks A Fake title defence.
Driver Luke McCarthy couldn’t hide his grin after yet another cosy win aboard the champion sixc-year-old in the Mr Feelgood Open Pace (2138m) at Albion Park last Saturday night.
He now heads to the $100,000 Group 1 Sunshine Sprint next Saturday night and the $250,000 Group 1 Blacks A Fake a week later.
“He’s such a beautiful horse to drive,” McCarthy said. “He usually prefers a horse racing with him to keep his mind on the job, but he kicked away and went to the line really well tonight.
“He wouldn’t have blown a candle out after the race, he’s right where he needs to be for the next two weeks.
“Racing him three weeks in a row really suits him, he’ll thrive on it. It’s something we deliberately planned.”
King Of Swing cruised home by 8.1m in a 1min54.2sec with local hero Colt Thirty One a brave second after doing all the work and local up-and-comer L L Cool J showing he was a genuine force with a terrific third from an awful draw.
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Amazing Dream was only part of the big night at Albion Park for leviathan North American owners Marc Hanover and Gordon Banks.
They also had success with classy Kiwi three-year-old American Dealer, who returned to his absolute best to beat a strong field in the consolation of The Rising Sun.
Despite working hard early, American Dealer even surprised driver Anthony Butt when he was able to pop out of the good trail and beat Captain Crusader and Ilikemebettor in a 1min54.4sec mile rate for 2138m, which was actually 0.5sec faster than Amazing Dream clocked winning the main event.
“He’s shown how good he is back in NZ, but I wasn’t quite sure where he was at. That was a big, big win and a real credit to Ray (Green) to get him to peak like that
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While the stars are locking horns in Queensland, Australia’s best pacer may be on the other side of the country in Perth.
Shockwave has returned in monster-mode this campaign and underlined it with a phenomenal Gloucester Park free-for-all win last night (Sunday).
Facing arguably the biggest challenge possible in his home state, Shockwave had to sit outside Mighty Conqueror and was still able to beat him.
It was an epic clash with Mighty Conqueror’s driver Dylan Egerton-Green really planting the foot in front as soon as Aiden De Campo came out of the one-one to sit parked on Shockwave.
They went a 28.4sec split from the 1200-800m, then ripped home in 27.5 and 27.6sec for a 1min53.9sec mile rate over 2130m.
Shockwave just kept coming and snatched a neck win over a brave Mighty Conqueror with another 4.5m away to To Fast To Serious in third spot.
Let’s hope Shockwave makes the trip to Victoria as connections are planning for a lead-up race or two ahead of the Group 1 Victoria Cup in early October.
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The trotting races have proven a delicious side dish during this Queensland Carnival so far.
Both darling Victorian mare Pink Galahs and Team McCarthy’s talented former Kiwi gelding Humble Ladd have both their heats of a fascinating Darrell Alexander Trotting Championship.
Pink Galahs’ margin wasn’t great, but the time was slick and she did plenty of work winning the first of the heats last Saturday night.
Humble Ladd sat back and thrashed his rivals without being extended in his heat.
Talented Kiwi mare Gold Chain didn’t have the best of luck again for Bob Butt. She would need to improve to turn the tables on Humble Ladd on what we saw.
Pink Galahs and Humble Ladd look the big guns for next Saturday’s final.
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Tasty Delight’s Queensland Derby plans are off.
Trainer Brian Portelli conceded NSW’s growing COVID-19 problems will prevent him from heading north.
“The idea was to race him at Menangle (last Saturday night), where I thought he went terrific, and head to Brisbane, but it’s all too hard now so he’ll stay home,” he said.
Portelli’s only option would’ve been to send the star to another Queensland-based trainer for the race as he wouldn’t have been able to avoid a 14-day quarantine had he gone himself.
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Sidelined superstar Lochinvar Art is about to start his rehab program.
At the same time he will commence stud duties. He’s doing both at Team McCarthy’s Cobbity Equine Farms in NSW.
And there is still some chance he will be back to tackle the NSW Inter Dominion in late November.
“We’re keeping the Inter Dominion option open. We’ll see where he’s at in September and make the call then whether we try and have him ready,” trainer-driver David Moran said.
“I’ve pulled him out of the paddock here, had some shoes put on him and now he’s headed-up to Cobbity to start the process.”
Team McCarthy has successfully mixed breeding and racing previously with two of its stars Bling It On and For A Reason.
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Top WA horseman Justin Prentice prefers training to driving these days.
But his peach of a drive on Tricky Miki to win WA’s biggest juvenile race, the Group 1 Golden Nugget at Gloucester Park yesterday (Sunday) reminded everyone what a tremendous all-round talent he is.
Prentice speared to the front from gate three then took a sit on one of his main rivals, Whataretheodds, before getting clear on the home bend and zooming clear to win by 7.5m in a 1min57.7sec mile rate for 2130m.
Whataretheodds fought on well for second, while hot favourite and recent Kiwi import Youre So Fine ran an even race without ever really threatening into third spot from the one-one trail.
Prentice only took the drive because Gary Hall Jr partnered Your So Fine for his father, Gary Hall Sr.
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Dominant training force Emma Stewart and Clayton Tonkin don’t train many trotters, but they’ve got another promising one in recent Kiwi import Missucci.
The four-year-old daughter of Majestic Son made it two wins from as many runs since coming to Australia when scored at Melton last Friday night.
Missucci, who sat parked, looked set to win easily when she zoomed to front rounding the last bend, but seemed to “switch-off” in front and held-on to score by a neck for driver Kate Gath.
Stewart and Tonkin’s best trotter is the promising Cover Of Darkness, while the injury-plagued Alpha Male is also nearing a racetrack return.
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Young Kiwi horseman Jack Trainor must be tempted to take the underrated Pocket Of Terror north for a tilt at Saturday week’s $250,000 Group 1 Blacks A Fake.
Pocket Of Terror continued his good form in his first campaign with Trainor when he won a strong 2300m free-for-all, beating the likes of Ignatius, Max Delight and Loorim Lake, last Saturday night,
The six-year-old, formerly with Team McCarthy, has won three of his six runs for Trainor and loves the 2300m at Menangle, further pointing to him being worth a crack at the Blacks A Fake.
Trainor had a driving treble on the night, including teaming with trainer Russell Jack to win the $30,000 HRNSW 2YO Trotters’ final with the pacing-bred Lettuce Trot (by Tintin In America out og Lettucegrin) in a 1min57.8sec mile.
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Age doesn’t appear to be catching-up with top class trotter Tough Monarch.
The rising 10-year-old sparkled again at Menangle last Saturday night, thrashing his rivals by 11.2m and trotting a slick 1min55.6sec mile rate for the longer 2300m trip.
On what we’ve seen this campaign, the former Gp1 NZ Trotting Free-For-All winner, is back as good as ever.
Trainer Rickie Alchin will take him north for the feature trot of the Queensland Constellations Carnival on Saturday week (July 24).