Aussie News : May 1

By Adam Hamilton 

The rise of former Kiwi trotter Musafa Metro continued when he dominated the Group 3 Vulcan Trotters’ free-for-all (1720m) at Melton last night.

Trainer-driver John Justice picked the race as an ideal “test” for his stable star and Mufasa Metro delivered.

The four-year-old led easily from the pole, steadied the pace with a 30.2sec second split and then zipped home in 57.3 and 28.1sec to pull clear and win by 5.6m in a 1min56sec mile rate.

“It just looked the right race to try him against the free-for-allers and he did it well,” Justice said.

“He felt really sharp, led easily and always felt in control.”

Justice has longer term sights on the Victorian Inter Dominion at the end of the year and the Great Southern Star early next year.

The other eye-catching run of the race came from Brent Lilley’s star three-year-old filly of last season Queen Elida, who flew home late to grab second at her first run back from a spell.

In contrast, former high-class young Kiwi trotter Ultimate Stride was most disappointing after facing the breeze and tiring badly to finish second-last and 33m from Musafa Metro.

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A record held by the great Im Themightyquinn was broken at Albion Park last night.

Bold front-runner Blacksadance led throughout in the opening race to win easily in a scorching 1min50sec flat mile rate for 1660m.

Im Themightyquinn jointly held the previous record of 1min50.4sec with Cruz.

Blacksadance is trained by Chantal Turpin and driven by Pete McMullen, who also had Adam Crocker blaze a 1min51.3sec mile rate for the same trip later in the night.

On the same card, brilliant three-year-old filly Cat King Cole made it seven wins from just 11 starts when she led throughout in the $52,000 APG Gold Bullion final in a 1min56.4sec mile rate for trainer Darren Weeks and driver Angus Garrard.

And Grant Dixon’s NSW Derby heat winner Tims A Trooper won his APG final enroute to the Queensland Derby and maybe even The Rising Sun along the way.

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An investment in a couple of former Ian Dobson-owned pacers paid big dividends for Paul and Lisa Cavallaro when they snared the quinella in last night’s SA Pacing Cup.

It was the first Cup run for local horses only and the Cavallaro’s identified Wrangler and Cullenburn a couple of months back as suitable types to buy and target the series.

Wrangler’s driver Dean Girardi sat behind the leader and stablemate Cullenburn (Angela Chapman) and nabbed him late to win by a half neck in the $30,000 feature.

Earlier, Art Major colt Jawsoflincoln thrashed his rivals to win the SA Derby by 13.2m for trainer Greg Scholefield and driver Gaita Pullincino.

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Not even a daunting 50m back mark was enough to stop former Kiwi trotter C K Spur from clean-sweeping the SA Trotters’ Cup series at Globe Derby last night.

Remarkably, CK Spur has won seven of his eight starts in South Australia since being sold to clients of trainer Ryan Hryhorec.

He won lead-up races to Trotters’ Cup off 30m at Gawler, 40m at Port Pirie and 50m at Victor Harbor and then made light work of a 50m handicap in the final to win running away by 6.7m.

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It took a few runs to fire him up again, but classy former Kiwi pacer Mach Shard is humming again for Team McCarthy.

Firstly, he smashed the clock with a record-breaking 1min49.7sec mile rate for 1740m to win the Wagga Cup on April 16, then came last night’s impressive Menangle win in a 1min55.1sec mile rate for the 2300m.

Mach Shard’s now 12 races and almost $480,000.

The Menangle meeting also featured APG Gold Bullion finals for two and three-year-olds.

Trainer Bernie Hewitt and his leviathan owner Wayne Loader had a night out winning two finals, the first with exciting three-year-old Ripp in the colts and geldings final in a 1min51.8sec mile.

Ripp won his only start at two at Bathurst before 14 months on the sidelines and he’s now stretched his record to six wins (and a third) from seven runs.

Later, Hewitt’s exciting juvenile filly Jewel Melody stunningly added the Gold Bullion final to her Bathurst Gold Tiara title from last month.

Young gun driver Jack Callaghan snared yet another Group 1 when he teamed with trainer Cameron Ross and emerging filly Steno to win the 3YO Fillies’ Gold Bullion final.

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It is refreshingly exciting to see a star Western Australian pacing chases some Aussie eastern states riches.

While the impact of COVID-19 has severely limited how many Kiwis have campaigned in Australia, it has been much the same for WA horses competing outside of their own state.

Top young trainer Justin Prentice has been itching to take Mighty Ronaldo “on the road” for almost a year and now it’s happening.

The multiple Group 1 winner is in Sydney preparing for Saturday night’s $210,000 Group 1 Australian Gold 4YO entires and geldings final where the likes of Emma Stewart’s star pair Beyond Delight and Act Now will be amongst his major rivals.

Prentice, who is stabled with Team McCarthy, gave Mighty Ronaldo a look at Menangle last Wednesday where he blazed a mile trial in 1min51.7sec.

“He’s settled in really well. It’s great to give him his shot at this race,” Prentice said.

Mighty Ronaldo is also being talked about as a possible contender for the rich Rising Sun – a feature for three and four-year-olds – during the upcoming Queensland Constellations Carnival.

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It was another night of dominance at Gloucester Park for Team Bond.

Greg and Skye Bond won four races on the night, including the two fast-class pacing events.

They caused a minor upset in the $30,000 free-for-all when former Kiwi gelding Double Up was able to sit parked for driver Deni Roberts and nose-out the leader and favourite Texas Tiger right on the wire.

Earlier, Roberts also drove Ima Rockabilly Rebel to a barnstorming and impressive win in a Team Bone trifecta with Booraa second and Dont Bother Me None third in the “junior” free-for-all.

Team Bond’s other wins came with tough former Kiwi Ideal Agent and three-year-old Infinite Sign,

That pair was driven by Dylan Egerton-Green, who also had a real night out.

Egerton-Green trained and drove former Kiwi mare Purest Silk to win race six and teamed with Murray Lindau’s promising four-year-old Talk Up The Storm to win race eight.

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