Aussie News - March 17

By Adam Hamilton

Champion Aussie trotter Just Believe capped his preparation for next month’s NZ raid with an easy Melton win last night.

The globetrotting eight-year-old made it 10 wins (and a second) from just 11 starts since returning from his Swedish campaign in the middle of last year.

It was an ideal warm-up with co-trainer and driver Greg Sugars barely moving a muscle as Just Believe led throughout and ripped home in 56.1 and 27.1sec to win by 5.3m in a cosy 1min59sec mile rate for 2240m.

“It’s just what we wanted. A nice easy run just to keep fitness up to the mark so we don’t have to do too much in between runs with him,” Sugars said.

“Obviously he’s a well-travelled horse now and if he gets over there in good order, he’s going to be a force to be reckoned with.”

Just Believe spearheads a strong Australian challenge in the TAB Trot as part of the Night of Champions at  Cambridge on April 12.  


NZ Cup hero Swayzee won’t be seen at the races for another few months.

Owner Mick Boots confirmed trainer Jason Grimson was sticking with his plan to give the powerhouse stayer a “long spell” after last December’s Inter Dominion in Brisbane.

Swayzee, a half-brother to Leap To Fame, beat that pacer in last July’s Group 1 Blacks A Fake and finished third to him in the Inter Dominion final.

Boots confirmed the Blacks A Fake was Swayzee’s next major target, meaning he will renew his rivalry with his younger sibling.


Kiwi-bred millionaire pacer Magnificent Storm is recovering well from a life-threatening health scare.

Westrn Australia's best pacer was ruled out of the upcoming $1.25mil Group 1 Nullarbor with a nasty knee infection.

“It was touch-and-go for a while and he had the knee flushed twice to get on top of the infection, thankfully it didn’t get into the knee and he finally started to recover,” owner Rob Tomlinson said.

“He’s back home at Ray’s (Williams’, trainer) farm and will have a couple of weeks there and then come to my place for a spell. We’ll see how he is in seven or eight weeks and decide if he’s ready to start jogging again.

“We’re all gutted he’s missing the Nullarbor and Fremantle Cup, but we’ve more concerned about his health and that’s what really matters.”

Magnificent Storm boasts 36 wins from just 56 starts and over $1.1 million in prize money.


Former classy Kiwi pacer Bach is making his mark in Victoria.

And his ex-Kiwi trainer Kyle Marshall could have the “breakthrough” pacer he’s been hoping since making Victoria home.

The five-year-old rocketed home from a tricky three pegs pocket to win by a half-neck in a terrific performance.

Back was down the track in the Cranbourne Cup at his first Aussie run behind Leap To Fame, but has since impressively won twice.


Top Western Australian trainer Justin Prentice looks set to have at least two runners in the upcoming $1.25mil Group 1 Nullarbor.

His stable star Never Ending will surely be snapped-up, while multiple Group 1 winner Mighty Ronaldo staked his claim with an impressive free-for-all win at Gloucester Park last Friday night.

Never Ending, who boasts 12 wins from just 14 starts, is due to return in a $50,000 4YO race at Gloucester Park on Friday night.

Also last Friday, Michael Brennan’s classy speedster Pinny Tiger pushed his case for a Nullarbor slot with a dominant win in the other fast-class race.


The Lost Storm looks every bit a feature race player on the strength of his sparkling return to racing last night.

After a couple of false starts to launch his 2024 campaign, the four-year-old toyed with a handy field to win the $50,000 Group 3 Melton Plate (2240m).

It was his 12th win from just 17 starts and his first run since finishing sixth in the Victoria Derby final way back on October 14, last year.

Driver Mark Pitt took The Lost Storm across from gate six to lead, dawdled through a 61.7sec middle half and then roared home in 54.7 and 26sec flat to beat classy former Kiwi mare Rakero Rebel by 8.1m in a 1min56.3sec mile rate for 2240m.

“He felt like we were getting home fast. He’s had those couple of trials and was up to the mark,” Pitt said.

“He’s a great animal and it’s good for the industry to have him back and firing.

“He’s got the TAB Regional final at Wagga in three weeks and his main aim this season is the TAB Eureka (in September).”


Tiger Tara's former trainer Kevin Pizzuto could have his next feature race player.

The NSW-based Pizzuto recently took over training talented four-year-old Dougs Platter when he was bought from Victoria by US owners Marc Hanover and Gordon Banks.

Dougs Platter had no luck from poor draws but smashed the clock in two Chariots Of Fire qualifiers and has since won twice in good style, including a 1min50.4sec mile at Menangle last night.


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