Aussie News - May 22

by Adam Hamilton 

Former high-class Kiwi pacer Triple Eight looks set for another big campaign.

The Jess Tubbs-trained seven-year-old returned from a break with a dominant win, thanks to a perfect trip and a lovely Greg Sugars drive.

It was Triple Eight’s first start finishing third in the Group 1 Ainsworth FFA on that rain-drenched track on the Miracle Mile night which was postponed straight after that race.

Triple Eight has thrived in the care of Tubbs and Sugars and now boasts 18 wins and 30 placings from his 82 starts. He’s earned $550,551.

Tubbs and Sugars shape as major players at the Queensland Constellations with Triple Eight and their Chariots Of Fire winner, Better Eclipse.

Better Eclipse was the first pacer invited to the Group 1 Rising Sun at Albion Park on July 9. Since then, Ladies In Red and Ripp have also been invited.

Triple Eight’s targets will be the Group 1 double – Sunshine Sprint (July 16) and Blacks A Fake (July 23).

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Another former Kiwi headed to Queensland in coming weeks is Amore Vita.

Despite being underdone, drawing poorly and settling a clear last, Amore Vita still came with a long run around the field to thrash her rivals and win, running away by 8.3m in a 1min56.3sec mile rate for 2240m.

“She will improve plenty on that,” trainer Nathan Purdon said. “She absolutely thrived during the break, which is everything we hoped for, but it meant she’d be a bit vulnerable in her first couple of runs back.

“It was fantastic to see her come out and win like that, knowing how she’ll just keep getting better.”

Amore Vita’s win took her record with Purdon to 11 starts for eight wins, two seconds and a third.

“There are two lead-up races for her at Albion Park before the Queensland Oaks,” Purdon said.

The Kiwi flavour continued at Melton when former top young NZ trotter Ultimate Stride continued his exciting form for trainer-driver Chris Lang.

The five-year-old overcame a back row draw to sustain a big finish and rundown leader McLovin and Travel Bug, who sat behind the leader, to win in terrific style.

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Epic scenes of celebration followed Rocknroll Runa’s $100,000 Group 1 NSW Regional Championships final at Wagga last Friday.

One of the best and most popular local drivers Jack Painting snared his first Group 1 win aboard Rocknroll Runa and teamed with his biggest supporter, trainer David Kennedy.

“That’s one of the best feelings in the world,” Painting said. “Even better doing it at Wagga in front of so many friends and family.”

Rocknroll Runa looked a standout and Painting took luck out of the equation, burning to the front and blitzing his rivals.

Painting broke their hearts with a staggering 26.3sec split down the back straight and finished-off in a sharp 1min54.2sec mile rate for 2270m trip to win by 6.7m over main danger Defiant, who followed the leader throughout.

The NSW Regional Championships, which have been a huge success, then moved to Newcastle for the $100,000 Hunter final last Friday night.

It was another popular “local” win with young gun Jack Callaghan and trainer Adam Ruggari combining to win by a huge space with Mach Three entire Far Out Bro.

Callaghan did some early work to find the front in quick splits, but in a hotly-contested race, Far Our Bro roared right away to win by 17m in a 1min55.7sec mile rate for 2030m.

It was Ruggari’s first Group 1 and Callaghan continued his terrific record in the race. Kayne Crusader’s win two years ago was Callaghan’s first at Group 1 level.

Callaghan repeated the dose at Menangle last night when he teamed with trainer Michael Doltoff and emerging gelding Lets Get Rockin to win the Group 1 Metro final in dominance style by 7.6m.

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She is the hottest thing in WA pacing and she’s got a strong Kiwi connection.

Brilliant three-year-old filly Wonderful To Fly is by former superstar Kiwi juvenile pacer Fly Like An Eagle.

Trained and driven by Shane Young, Wonderful To Fly made it five wins on end when she overcame a tricky draw to win the $50,000 3YO Diamond Classic at Gloucester Park last Friday night.

She’s been very busy with 27 starts through the 15 months she’s been racing for 17 wins and six placings.

There’ no doubt Wonderful To Fly is panels above her WA rivals, but many think she could be the best three-year-old filly in Australia.

Young took luck out of the equation last Friday by snagging right back from an inside back row draw to be a clear last, then quickly circling the field to take the lead and score in a 1min56.8sec mile rate for 2130m.

Another Gloucester Park highlight was the impressive winning return from a break by exciting former Kiwi pacer Jumpingjackmac for Team Hall.

Driver Gary Hall Jr sat behind the headstrong comeback pacer While They Pray and quickly put the race beyond doubt to win running away by 7.2m in a slick 1min56.3sec mile rate for the long 2536m trip.

It was the son of Mach Three’s first run for almost five months and took his record to 12 wins (and five seconds) from just 20 starts.

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Just days after snaring one of the coveted spots in Queensland’s innovative Trot Rods “finals” night, top young driver Angus Garrard snared an important double at Albion Park last night.

Garrard, 19, who has driven “about 420 winners”, will drive in the 10 races on Trots Rods “finals” night on Wednesday at Redcliffe.

His first win last night came on Shane Fraser’s talented four-year-old Manilla Playboy, who scored a dominant victory in race two at Albion Park.

More significanly, Garrard also teamed with one of his most supportive trainers Darren Weeks, to win the Qbred Breeders Classic 2YO Fillies’ final with Mullum Ruby.

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Driver Mark Pitt thinks Treachery has bridged the gap on her glamour stablemates.

So far through her career, Treachery has sat a few lengths behind the likes of Ladies In Red, Tough Tilly and even Joanna.

But two fantastic wins this campaign have Pitt very bullish.

“No doubt she’s come back and gone to another level,” he said. “You have to be really, really good to do what she did tonight, especially after that early burn and then sitting parked.”

Treachery tried to cross her main danger, Momentslikethese, but that mare held the front, leaving Treachery to sit parked.

It was clear coming to the final bend Treachery had the leader beaten, but the classy Dougs Babe was poised dangerously in the sprint lane and hit the front before Treachery fought-back to snatch a nose win.

Treachery, who clocked a 1min54.7sec mile rate for 1720m, has now won nine of her 22 starts with another eight placings and more than $200,000 in earnings.

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