Aussie News : May 24

By Adam Hamilton 

The rise and rise of Jack Trainor continues.

The young former Kiwi horseman, who put his name up in lights through the deeds of Stylish Memphis and Anntonia during the Carnival of Miracles earlier this year, has grown his own stable and built a stunning strike rate since.

Stable newcomer Pocket Of Terror, formerly trained by Team McCarthy, resumed from a six-month break and could not have been more impressive winning his first start for Trainor in a strong 2300m free-for-all at Menangle last night.

In a solidly run affair, the classy Alta Orlando worked to the lead from stablemate Balraj, but Ellmers Image poured on the pressure outside the leader, setting it up for the swoopers.

Pocket Of Terror unleashed around the last bend and roared away to win as he liked by 6.7m in a slick 1min53.1sec mile rate for the longer trip.

Trainor completed a driving double on the night when he teamed with friend, Jason Grimson, and the emerging The Stunning Nun for an easy win in race seven.

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Kate and Andy Gath continued their fantastic form with a treble at Melton last night.

They won the first two races with former Kiwi pair Arden Voyager and Justamollyarcher then snared one of the features with improving and speedy trotting mare Monaro Maro.

It was the Group 3 Derby Royale Trotters’ free-for-all where Monaro Maro speared to the front from gate six, pulled hard at times, but kept finding to stave-off the classy Sparkling Success to win in a 1min58.2sec mile rate for 2240m.

Justamollyarcher has been quite a find with four wins from his five Aussie runs so far.

On the same card, former classy Kiwi mare Spellbound suffered her first defeat in four Aussie runs, but it was arguably her best run so far.

Now with Nathan Purdon, Spellbound drew inside the back row and had to come five and six-wide around the last bend before storming home to miss by a nose to run down the leader and talented Iolanta in a 1min53.1sec mile rate for 1720m.

One of the shocks of the night was the unplaced run of NSW Derby winner Patsbeachstorm first-up from a break.

Seemingly suited by a strong tempo, the three-year-old had no “ping” when trainer-driver David Moran hooked him three-wide and he just battled into fourth spot.

“He just felt really flat. I’ll pull a blood and check him out,” Moran said. “He did leave the blocks off him and maybe he needs them on. Hopefully he’s a different horse in the final next week.”

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Chicago Bull created yet another “first” at Gloucester Park last Friday night, but it’s one punters didn’t enjoy.

Incredibly, across five-and-a-half years and 85 starts, the $2 million-plus earner has never finished as far back as sixth since moving from NZ to WA.

But don’t panic if you’re one of his many fans as the run was actually fantastic when you consider how it played out.

Sensing a strong chance he could cross the field and lead from a wide draw (gate eight), driver Gary Hall Jr blazed Chicago Bull out at the start and, although he got close, he couldn’t get around Vultan Tin and eventually had to snag right back to near last.

He still loomed as at least a place hope on the final bend, but the early effort took its toll and he ran sixth, beaten 7.8m, at his first start since January 15.

Chicago Bull has also twice finished fourth in WA, otherwise he’s been top three in EVERY run he’s had for Gary Hall Sr.

The was won by his stablemate, Whozideawasthis, who held-out Vultan Tin and kept the lead from the pole and kept finding late to beat another Hall Sr-trained runner, Eloquent Mach.

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Normality was restored when WA’s best three-year-old Lavra Joe returned to winning form in the Group 2 $50,000 Pearl Classic final at Gloucester Park last Friday night.

The colt was far from disgraced, but seemed to be a shade below his best when fourth in last month’s WA Derby, but he’s looked sharp winning both starts since.

Lavra Joe looked unbeatable from the pole and that’s how it turned out as he cruised to a 6.7m victory and post the 20th win from his 33 starts career.

The emerging Otis followed him everywhere and ran a sound second, while WA Derby winner Mighty Ronaldo running on well for third.

The fillies’ version, the $50,000 Group 2 Diamond Classic final, produced a stirring finish with Team Bond’s Newsy leading and just holding-off a very gallant Always An Angel in a 1min56.7sec mile rate for 2130m.

WA’s other glamour three-year-old, Jumpingjackmac, who ran second in the WA Derby, made it seven wins from just 10 starts for Gary Hall Sr when he toyed with older rivals in a support race last Friday night.

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It is only year two of the rich NSW Regional Championships series, but the impressive wins and great stories keep coming.

Remember Wolf Stride won last year’s Metro final before going to become one of Australia’s best and most promising Grand Circuit stars.

This year’s $100,000 Metro final produced a huge upset when Eye Can Run upstaged a strong field as a $34 shot and rundown a very brave Send It, who sat parked.

What a moment it was for trainer-driver KerryAnn Morris, who snared the win just three weeks after having her daughter Stella.

To keep it in the family, KerryAnn’s husband, Robbie, drove favourite The Choreographer to win the $100,000 Hunter final at Newcastle the night before.

Trained by Geoff Harding, The Choreographer did plenty of work early to find the front and dug deep late in a 1min58.2sec mile rate for 2030m.

At Bathurst last Wednesday night, trainer Gemma Hewitt snared her first Group 1 win when former Victorian pacer Keayang Kreuzer won the $100,000 Western Regional final, courtesy of a great pole draw and superbly-judged Luke McCarthy drive.

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She might have come back even better Tough Tilly.

The Vicbred champion and pin-up filly through the great awareness she’s created around the condition EB was simply breathtaking winning her Australian Gold 3YO fillies’ heat at Kilmore last Friday night.

In contrast to a workmanlike first-up win, Tough Tilly blasted off a wide draw to lead and roared away from her rivals to win by 14.5m in a 1min54sec mile rate for 1690m, just 0.5sec outside the track record.

The daughter of Captaintreacherous took her record to eight wins and six second from 16 starts and earnings passed $200,000 for the Emma Stewart/Clayton Tonkin team.

The other two Gold heats at Kilmore last Friday were for the colts and geldings with the improving and tough Sebs Choice sitting without cover for trainer John Nicholson and driver Michelle Phillips and finding plenty to win in a 1min54.9sec mile rate over a gallant Act Now.

Stewart and Tonkin won the other heat and it’s rare you see on of their team pay $17.30, but that’s exactly what Ideal Dan when he ripped home along the inside to run past favourite Narutac Prince, a baby brother of Turn It Up.

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The powerhouse Emma Stewart/Clayton Tonkin team won all four Australian Gold 2YO heats at Ballarat last Thursday, but it didn’t quite play-out the way punters expected.

Lightning Dan was crunched from $2 into $1.30 in the first colts and geldings heat, but had to sit parked in solid times and tired late for third behind his debutante stablemate, Khafaji (Somebeachsomewhere-Trebla Trebla).

The winner drifted alarmingly in betting ($1.80 to $5), but stormed home from midfield in the running line for driver Chris Alford to win as he liked by 8.5m in a 1min56sec mile rate for 1710m.

Poster Boy’s baby-brother, Beach Villa, made it two wins from as many starts when he led and cruised to a 17.4m win for driver Kate Gath in the second heat, clocking a 1min55.4sec mile rate and 55.4sec last half.

Somebeachsomewhere continued his stellar night when Petillante (Somebachsomewhere-Art De Triomphe) led home a Stewart/Tonkin trifecta in the first of the fillies’ heats.

Petillante led throughout for Chris Alford to defy a betting drift and stave-off the eye-catching Irish Black Label (Bettors Delight-Rosie OReilly) with $1.80 favourite Fiamma (Bettors Delight-Twice As Hot) third after not having much racing room from behind the leader.

Captaintreacherous filly Playing Up stamped herself as the one to beat in the Gold final with an arrogantly easy heat win, coasting home by 5.4m over stablemate Our Little Jet and clocking an equal fastest of the night, 1min55.4sec mile rate.

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