Aussie News : Nov 29

Nathan Turvey was good enough to play 10 games of AFL football, but it’s harness racing where he’s really excelling.

The widely-respected WA trainer snared one of the biggest of wins of his career when he teamed with young-gun driver Emily Suvaljko and former Kiwi mare Savvy Bromac to win last Friday night’s $125,000 Group 1 Westral Mares’ Classic (2536m) at Gloucester Park.

Savvy Bromac had four runs in the South Island for a win and two placings before joining Turvey’s barn last August.

The four-year-old daughter of Mach Three has just continued to improve in WA and her 25 runs for Turvey have netted 10 wins and nine placings.

The barrier draw was the key last Friday with Suvaljko using the pole to lead and rate Savvy Bromac perfectly for a runaway 6.2m win in a 1min57.5sec mile rate for the long trip. She beat two other former Kiwis, Born To Boogie and Balcatherine.

“That win means a lot,” Turvey said. “This is a race we’d set her for a long while back, so to draw one and then win it is special. She’s a lovely mare who has just kept improving.”

Remarkably, three runners in the Group 1 race were bred at NZ’s Macca Lodge: Born To Boogie, Balcatherine and the sixth-placed Queen Shenandoah.

On the same card, another former Kiwi, Wildwest, continued to build in his comeback with a slick win in the free-for-all in a 1min55.4sec mile rate for 2130m.

It was Gary Hall Jr at his best, snaring the one-one sit and overpowering the much-hyped leader Hampton Banner to win by 2.8m.

Wildwest, who boasts 11 wins from just 20 starts, certainly has the talent to be a Fremantle and WA Pacing Cup contender in January.

The other highlight of the night was the cracking field in the 3YO Pace, but punters were dealt a blow when young trainer Josh Dunn’s colt Star Of Willoughby stormed home to win as a $31 shot.

He gunned down Gary Hall Sr’s highly-rated former Kiwi pacer Jumpingkackmac, who did the work outside the leader, to win by 4.3m.

Another exciting former Kiwi, Mike Reed’s Blitzembye, led in a hot tempo and tired late for fourth.

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Remember the name Interject.

While Emma Stewart and Clayton Tonkin dominated the recent Breeders Crown 2YO Fillies’ final, they had Interject waiting in the wings.

Under the rules, Interject hadn’t officially been in their stable long enough to be eligible for the Crown.

So next month’s Vicbred series is the main aim for the powerfully-built, big-striding daughter of Always B Miki.

Interject made it two easy wins from as many starts when she cruised to an 8.1m win in a 1min56.8sec mile rate for 1710m at Ballarat last Friday night.

She’s bred to be special, being the last foal out of the mighty producing mare Intrude. Her progeny are headed by former champion mare Make Mine Cullen (40 wins, $874,178), Billy Badlands (22 wins, $122,805), Bella Joy (17 wins, $109,849) and Rogers Passion (10 wins, $136,446).

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There is no rest for Breeders Crown-winning two-year-old filly Encipher.

She and a few other Emma Stewart and Clayton Tonkin-trained stablemates were on the quick back-up from last week’s Breeders Crown 2&3YO finals in heats of South Australia’s Southern Cross series.

Encipher, bred and owned in SA by Tyson Linke, was first to step-out and she worked to the front for driver Darren Billinger before cruising to a 9.4m win in a 1min57.7sec mile rate for 1800m.

Runaway Celebrity, a three-year-old filly stablemate of Encipher, had a much harder battle in her heat, lifting after looking gone to snatch a nose win in a 1min58.9sec mile rate for 2230m.

Then it was three-year-old filly Treachery’s turn as she speared to the front and waltzed to a 31.5m win in a 1min58.1sec mile rate.

Victorian raiders dominated the night with Geoff Webster also snaring three heat wins with Elegant, Cobber and Tuppence.

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As well as the Inter Dominion heats, Menangle also held three heats of the time-honoured Carousel Series.

The first heat was won in barnstorming fashion from off the speed by Amanda Turnbull’s Viva Las Vegas in a 1min55.5sec mile rate for 2300m.

Kiwi-bred Ardens Ace delivered a minor upset when he overpowered them late for trainer Tony Bertwistle and driver Darren Binskin in a 1mint55.3sec mile rate.

Arguably the best drive and win of the heats came from trainer-driver Matty Craven with his Kiwi-bred Bettor Call Me in heat three, in a 1min54.9sec mile rate.

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What a warhorse Torrid Saint has become.

With more than a month of the season still remaining, the Julie Douglas-trained open-class pacer lined-up for his 33rd start this season and posted his seventh win (with another 10 placings).

In a hotly contested race, Torrid Saint stormed home for young driver Jack Laugher to snatch a last-stride win over Bettor Be The Bomb in a sizzling 1min54.1sec mile rate for 2240m in the Westburn Grant free-for-all.

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