Aussie News - June 11

By Adam Hamilton

Brilliant Kiwi-owned mare Queen Elida just keeps clocking-up the wins.

The Brent Lilley-trained star toyed with her rivals again to win last night’s Carlotta’s Pride free-for-all (1720m) at Melton.

It was her sixth win from 10 starts this season and took her career record to 42 starts for 24 wins, 13 placings and $510,285.

In contrast to her preferred sit-sprint style, driver Chris Alford happily parked outside the leader and Queen Elida was simply too classy and fast in a dash home of 57.1 and 28.3sec at the end of 1min55.3sec mile rate.

There’s no doubt Queen Elida is right alongside Just Believe as Australia’s best trotter and she will be a lot more mature when the big races come around again at the end of the year, including the Brisbane inter Dominion.

Lilley has also expressed interest in an Elitlopp trip next year.

No doubt he’s buoyed by Just Believe’s bold showing when third in a feature Swedish race over the weekend.

On the same card, former Kiwi gelding Serg Blanco continued his rise with an upset win in the Italian Cup.

Trained by Steve Duffy and driven by his son, Ryan, the son of Bettors Delight made the most of a good trail to upstage $1.35 favourite Like A Wildfire in a brisk 1min54.8sec mile rate for 2240m.

“We’ve always had a good opinion of him and it’s no surprise he’s made it to free-for-all class,” Steve Duffy said.

Duffy formerly trained and owned Boncel Benjamin, who won the 2021 Inter Dominion pacing final when trained by Jason Grimson.

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Former Kiwi pacer Magnificent Storm is right on target for his first interstate raid.

WA’s best pacer blazed his way to a 15.5m win with some scorching closing splits at Gloucester Park last Friday night.

The Ray Williams-trained gelding ripped home in 53.8 and 26.7sec for a 1min52.5sec mile rate over 1730m in the Members’ Sprint.

“He’s right where we want him heading towards Queensland,” Williams said.

“We’ve just to keep him in this sort of form. He’ll have one more run here before heading to Brisbane on July 3.

“It’s just a matter of whether that run is in two weeks or three weeks, which would mean him running the week before his first Brisbane race.”

That first Albion Park target is the $50,000 Mr Feelgood on July 8.

“We know it’s going to be a step-up for him against the top horses over there, but he’s the chance to do it,” Williams said.

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Top trainer Jason Grimson has a big team primed for another lengthy Queensland raid.

Grimson, who won last year’s Blacks A Fake with Majestic Cruiser, snared the quinella in the Allied Express free-for-all (2300m) at Menangle last night.

Recent stable addition Nerano, driven by Josh Gallagher, caused a minor upset when he beat favourite and stablemate Major Meister in what was just a dash home with closing splits of 55 and 26.9sec.

The much-travelled six-year-old Nerano, who started his career in the South Island, had stints with Ellen Bartley in the Riverina and then Jimmy Rattray at Menangle before joining Grimson for this campaign.

Grimson also had Majestic Cruiser (ninth) and Sicario (10th) in the race, but both ran below their best.

He also has $1mil Nullarbor winner Betterzippit set for Queensland.

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Brilliant Queensland pacer Blacksadance showed he would be a factor in next month’s home town features with a narrow but impressive Albion Park win last night.

The high-class speedster blasted to the front from an outside draw for driver Pete McMullen and just held-off favourite Cantfindabettorman to win by a nose in a 1min54.9sec mile rate for 2138m. They dashed home in 53.5 and 26.8sec.

Cantfindabettorman’s run was also terrific as he heads towards the $350,000 Group 1 Rising Sun at Albion Park on July 8.

Another Rising Sun hopeful, Grant Dixon’s Tims A Trooper, took advantage of a “headstart” on his key rivals to win a strong handicap race at Albion Park last night.

The four-year-old settled three back on the pegs from a front line start, while L L Cool J (second) and Expensive Ego (fifth) had 20m handicaps to contend with.

Tims A Trooper has long lived in the shadow of his megastar stablemate Leap To Fame, but is a top quality pacer himself with 10 wins, 18 placings and over $300,000 in earnings.

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Trainer-driver Juanita Breen wants to tackle the “big boys” with her stable star Roarforroscoe.

The four-year-old returned with a narrow but impressive 1200m win at Melton last night.

Breen said she hopes to attract one of the remaining slot holders to get a start in the world’s richest harness race, the $2.1mil TAB Eureka at Menangle on September 2.

Roarforroscoe, who was first-up for six months, ran second in the Group 1 Vicbred 3YO final at the end of last year. He’s raced just 19 times for seven wins and eight placings.

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