Aussie News : May 19

By Adam Hamilton

Champion mare Ladies In Red will seek revenge at Albion Park.

The millionaire was beaten on her merits by star Kiwi mare Aardies Express in the recent Group 1 Queen Elizabeth II Mile at Menangle.

Connections quickly dismissed any talk of immediate retirement, declaring a rematch with Aardies Express was on for in the Group 1 Golden Girl at Albion Park on July 20.

And getting runs into the six-year-old Ladies In Red is now crucial for trainers Emma Stewart and Clayton Tonkin.

“As she’s got older, she’s needed more racing to get to her absolute top. We think she might have been a run short in Sydney,” Stewart said.

That’s why Ladies In Red stepped-out and won a standard mares’ free-for-all at Melton last night.

She did some early work, but found the lead from main danger Rakero Rebel and won as she liked by 3.4m in a slick 1min52.3sec mile rate for 1720m, closing off in 55.2 and 27.1sec.

Earlier in the night, Ewa Justice snared her first Melton metropolitan class win aboard talented former Kiwi pacer Helluva.

Justice is third generation harness racing being the daughter of highly-decorated John Justice and granddaughter of trainer Josie Justice.

The quirk of the win is that Justice had already won a Group 1 race, the $150,000 Tasmania Cup, in March.

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Australia has a new buzz horse.

The lightly raced Extreme Sea is doing things only special horses do and he’s only raced nine times.

The four-year-old son of Well Said first grabbed attention winning the Riverina Championship final at Wagga during Easter.

He’s since won a heat of the NSW Regional Metropolitan series by 25.1m and now last night’s $100,000 final of that series by 26.1m.

Last night he won without being extended by driver Brad Hewitt and paced a stunning 1min52.8sec mile rate for 2300m at Menangle, just 1.4sec outside the track record.

He looks to have next Saturday night’s overall NSW Regional final, also worth $100,000, at Menangle.

The winners of the other regional finals at Wagga, Bathurst and Newcastle are simply nowhere near Extreme Sea’s league.

Trainer David Hewitt, father of driver Brad, said quirks and being slow to mature were the reason for Extreme Sea being so lightly raced, not injury.

“He broke one day when he came off another horse’s back and it scared him. It got in his head and it took time to get him through it,” he said.

“We’ve always thought he had loads of ability and speed and it’s great he’s getting the chance to show it now.”

Hewitt said a Queensland winter raid was “a strong chance” if Extreme Sea continued his dominance next week.

“The Eureka (September 7) is the big target and he’s already got a slot thanks to Wayne Loader, but he’ll need to be racing when the good races are on in Queensland, so it would make sense to have a crack at them if we’re happy with him at the time,” he said.

Hewitt will have a big decision to make soon with Brad Hewitt having his own star four-year-old Captains Knock.

“I’ll worry about a (new) driver when we have to. I know him as well as anyone, so I could drive him myself,” he said.

On the same Menangle card last night, Brad Hewitt trained and drove former Kiwi pacer Taipo to a fighting win in the free-for-all.

The gelding, who ran fifth in the Hunter Cup on February 3, has run three good placings this campaign before sitting parked and finding plenty to win.

He’s sure to join Hewitt’s raiders for the upcoming features in Brisbane.

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Classy former Kiwi pacer Jumpingjackmac is closing-in on $1 million in earnings.

The Gary Hall Sr-trained gelding ran a fantastic second to Catch A Wave in the Group 1 Fremantle Cup on April 26 and has won two Gloucester Park free-for-alls since.

The latest was last Friday night when former Kiwi driver Stewie McDonald had an armchair drive in front and coasted to a 6.3m. The win took him to $886,592.

“There’s some nice features for him through winter to target,” Hall Sr said.

The other Gloucester Park highlight was Water Lou’s win in the 3YO Diamond Classic.

The daughter of Sweet Lou has won 16 of 20 starts with two seconds.

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As Jess Tubbs and Greg Sugars prepare for another major race with Just Believe, one of their favourite trotters returned to winning form at Melton last night.

Just Believe will be a commanding favourite in Friday night’s Group 1 Rowe Cup given his dominance in three NZ runs so far this campaign.

Kiwi bred-and-owned stablemate One Over All returned his best form in the I Didn’t Do It free-for-all (2240m).

Just when it seemed favourite and classy Ollivici was going to win despite sitting parked, the big and rangy One Over All overpowered him to score by 1.8m in a 1min57.7sec mile rate.

It was One Over All’s first run in five starts this season and the 20th of his 66-start career with over $275,000 in earnings.

 

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