Aussie News - June 7

By Adam Hamilton

Former buzz Kiwi pacer Spirit Of St Louis is headed to the top.

That’s the word from co-trainer and driver Luke McCarthy after former buzz Kiwi pacer sparkled on debut for Team McCarthy at Goulburn last Friday.

Kiwis won’t be surprised to hear Spirit Of St Louis showed a stunning turn of speed with his own split from the 800-400m in 26.2sec before cruising to victory in a 1min55.2sec mile rate for 1710m.

“He’s a lovely horse, very, very fast,” McCarthy said. “We’ve been really excited about his work and it’s great to get that first run out of the way.

“The plans are for him to go to Queensland with some of our other big guns. We’re keen for him to run in The Rising Sun.

“We’re actually going to send him up early to try and impress the selectors. His next run will be at Albion Park on June 19.”

Spirit Of St Louis, bred by Trevor Casey who is still a part-owner, looked a budding star winning eight of 12 runs at three, but was winless in seven runs this term, albeit in hot company.

It’s a hot time for Team McCarthy with King Of Swing and Bettor Enforce to resume next Saturday night at Menangle and Mach Shard and Expensive Ego almost ready to go as well.

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Spankem's much-anticipated Albion Park debut was a horror show.

In another dreadful advertisement for standing-starts, stablemate Lilac Stride galloped away in between horses and cannoned back into Spankem, dislodging driver Kylie Rasmussen after just a couple of strides.

Thankfully both horses escaped without injury but it was such a disappointing first outing for new trainers Darren Weeks and Kylie Rasmussen.

The race, The Flashing Red Handicap, was won along the sprint lane by the Lola Weidemann trained-and-driven Kid Montana.

Remarkably, it was Kid Montana’s first win in almost 11 months and since he caused an upset in the Lucky Creed Pace at Albion Park on July 25, last year.

Another top flight former Kiwi, Turn It Up, found a 20m handicap beyond him and finished a well-beaten ninth.

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Former classy Kiwi pacer Tango Tara made headlines for the wrong reasons at Melton.

Sent out a $1.80 favourite at his first run for Andy and Kate Gath, the five-year-old held the lead from the pole, set some solid splits in front and was nabbed late along the sprint lane by Torrid Saint.

But controversy erupted because Torrid Saint galloped in the last couple of strides across the line and the margin was only a head.

Stewards dismissed a protest, but confusion then reigned over what the rules state – automatic relegation for galloping before the line or stewards have discretion?

It’s clearly an issue HRV will need to address.

There cannot be any grey area.

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Trainer Gary Hall Sr insists there are still big wins left in Chicago Bull.

The pint-sized superstar was beaten for the third time in as many runs this campaign – this time after leading – at Gloucester Park last Friday night.

It sparked speculation he could be retired.

“He’s definitely racing on. He’ll be fine, just give him another couple of runs. He’s taking longer to get fully fit now he’s older,” Hall Sr said from Cambridge where he attended the Harness Jewels.

“Don’t judge him too harshly on the other night. He had the ‘Dollys’ on to make sure he got out of the gate quickly from the pole, but he got fired-up and starting kicking the footrest in the home straight with a lap to go.

“He ran his last mile in 1min54sec over the longer trip and Major Times came out of a great run to beat him.

“He’ll never be the horse he was going to be before that back injury in NZ, but I’m sure he can get back to being one of the best horses over here.”

Major Times’ still deserves plenty of credit for his win and his move from Victoria to Ross Olivieri’s stable in WA has been a winner, with the promise of more to come.

The six-year-old loves a dog fight and that’s what the raced turned into when Chicago Bull kicked away down the back straight and Major Times set out after him.

Just when it seemed Chicago Bull was doing enough, Major Times lifted again, savaged the line and won by 2.5m in a 1min56sec mile rate for the long 2536m trip.

Major Times, who won 17 of his 47 starts for Emma Stewart and Clayton Tonkin in Victoria, has raced seven times for Olivieri for three wins and his strength and versatility will make him a serious player in big races going ahead.

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Trainer Kevin Pizzuto may never find another Tiger Tara, but it’s great seeing him back with a few nice horses.

The best of them is the much-travelled and stable newbie Loorim Lake, who sparkled in a 1min51.5sec mile free-for-all win at Menangle.

The four-year-old started his career in NSW Riverina, had some success at Mildura, looked promising in a brief stint with Emma Stewart and Clayton Tonkin and moved to Pizzuto’s barn at the start of the year.

After galloping out at Newcastle at his first run for Pizzuto, he’s raced five times since for three wins and two seconds.

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Aother Menangle meeting, another big night for Jack Trainor.

The gifted young Kiwi horseman drove four of the eight winners, Jimmy Locke and Beau Cisholm for trainer Peter Russo, trotter Caligula for Blake Fitzpatrick and The Stunning Nun for his mate, Jason Grimson.

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It was fitting former classy Kiwi trotter Enhance Your Calm returned to winning form on Harness Jewels weekend.

Albeit in another country, the trotter who gave leviathan owner Danny Zavitsanos his first Group 1 success in a Jewels final, won for new trainer Nathan Purdon and driver Stewie McDonald at Ballarat last Friday night.

It was Enhance Your Calm’s first win since scoring at Addington off a 10m handicap back on July 31, last year.

The five-year-old showed a nice turn of speed to come out of a lovely trail and rundown another former Kiwi, Zigzagzoo, and won by 2.6m in a moderate race.

On the same card, Copy That’s owners Merv and Meg Butterworth teamed with Kerryn Manning for a double with a pair of former Kiwi pacers, Revitalise and Our Classic Reactor.

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