Aussie News - June 18
By Adam Hamilton
The resurgence of former Kiwi star South Coast Arden continued with another impressive Menangle win on Saturday night.
The six-year-old went forward from a wide draw for driver Gavin Fitzpatrick, took the lead from amazing veteran Alta Orlando and never looked in danger.
In a fairly comfortable 1min51.9sec mile. South Coast Arden held-off Alta Orlando to win by 1.3m in closing splits of 54.9 and 26.8sec.
High-class former Kiwi mare Braeview Kelly turned plenty of heads with a slashing third.
Feature races in Queensland’s huge Constellations Carnival next month now beckon for both South Coast Arden and Braeview Kelly.
Also at Menangle, Kiwi trainer Mark Jones’ four-year-old trotter Hot To Trot led throughout to win and he too is Queensland bound.
Hot To Trot’s target is the inaugural $150,000 Great Square for three and four-year-old trotters at Albion Park.
One of his main dangers in that feature will be Chris Svanosio’s brilliant Victorian trotter Arcee Phoenix.
The son of Trixton has brilliantly won all four starts this season, the latest in sparkling style by 9.7m at Melton last night.
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While Leap To Fame deservedly stole the limelight, former Kiwi pacer Hot And Treacherous ran a slashing second in the Patron’s Purse last Friday night.
Although no match for the winner, he was driven superbly by Nathan Dawson in the one-one trail and beat the rest easily.
It followed two good wins and clearly the classy pacer has thrived in the care of trainer Jack Butler.
In contrast, the flop of the race was inaugural $1mil Nullarbor winner and former Kiwi Betterzippit, who made a midrace to sit parked, but tired badly to finish 26.6m from the winner in second-last spot.
Trainer Jason Grimson has some magic to weave after two disappointing runs back from a break.
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Former Kiwi pacer Cantfindabettorman has returned in great style but has the daunting task of being second favourite to the freakish Leap To Fame in the $350,000 Group 1 Rising Sun at Albion Park on July 8.
Team McCarthy’s four-year-old won narrowly but impressively at Albion Park against older rivals last night.
Cantfindabettorman has already shown his class at the top level with a massive third in the Chariots Of Fire in February.
On the same card, emerging local Big Wheels used the sprint lane to upstage some classy rivals in the Lucky Creed Open Pace.
Trained and driven by Chantal Turpin, Big Wheels zipped through the inside to beat millionaire pacer Colt Thirty One with Team McCarthy’s Kingmaker third.
Inter Dominion winner I Cast No Shadow ran a solid fourth after making a midrace move from a bad draw to sit parked, while enigmatic pacer Bondi Lockdown only ran ninth and disappointed for the third consecutive run.
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The huge success of Perth’s inaugural harness slot race has prompted a major but sensible reshuffle of the Wwestern Australia’s biggest harness races.
The $1mil Nullarbor attracted a strong field, and most importantly, plenty of eastern states Aussie interest.
It was run on April 14 and, even at the time, many bemoaned the fact there wasn’t a second major race run around the same time to make it even more attractive for horses and owners to take their horses all the way to Perth from Melbourne, Sydney or Brisbane.
Now that’s happening.
The $300,000 Group 1 Fremantle Cup will move from January to be run the week after the Nullarbor in late April.
It’s sure to help attract more eastern states horses across given they can race for $1.3mil in the space of eight days.
Even the $450,000 Group 1 WA Pacing Cup is moving from January, too.
“It will now be run on November 10,” RWWA chief racing officer David Hunter said.
The changes are not just a win for WA, but also for the Australian open-class feature race calendar.
There is now no clash for WA’s best pacers around eastern states features like the Hunter Cup and Miracle Mile.
The WA officials should be applauded for seizing the opportunity and acting on it so quickly.
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Former Kiwi horseman Kyle Marshall continues to make an impact since moving to Victoria.
Marshall trained and drove two-year-old Smoken Ace to an upset win at Shepparton last Friday night.
Smoken Ace led, took a sit on $1.22 favourite The Bigboss, and sprint laned to beat him easily in a brisk 1min56.4sec mile rate for 1690m.
It was Smoken Ace’s first start and there’s plenty more to come on the strength of that effort.
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Brilliant young WA mare Wonderful To Fly keeps pushing her case for an interstate raid.
The daughter of former star Kiwi juvenile Fly Like An Eagle thrashed her rivals after working to the front at Gloucester Park last Friday night.
And the four-year-old stormed clear to beat buzz former NSW pacer Steno by 8.4m in a sparkling 1min54.3sec mile rate for 2130m.
The Shane Young-trained mare boasts a remarkable 26 wins (and nine placings) from just 42 starts.
On the same card, ill-fated former Kiwi star Alta Christiano’s siring impact continued with a feature double.
His two-year-old filly Nase Vira, out of former Kiwi mare Sovereign Faith, led throughout to win the Western Crown 2YO fillies pace for trainer-driver Dylan Egerton-Green.
Egerton-Green also trained and drove Cork Can Run, a son of Sportswriter, to easily win the colts and geldings version of the Western Crown.
Earlier, Acharne Girl (Alta Christiano-Slick Bird) continued her great return to racing for Gary Hall Sr and Hall Jr with a terrific win in race five. She’s looked great in five wins from as many starts this season.
WA comeback star Shockwave made it three wins from as many starts since almost two years sidelined with injury.
The margin wasn’t great and Shockwave had to survive a protest from the leader, Mighty Conqueror, but there was still plenty to like about the win.