Aussie News - October 9

By Adam Hamilton 

Leap To Fame bludgeoned his way to champion status with his third major Derby win of the season with an epic victory in last night’s Group 1 Victoria Derby.

Dixon’s training genius was matched only by his daring and brilliant drive.

Knowing he couldn’t beat favourite Captain Ravishing for speed after last week’s heat clash, Dixon turned it into a staying war.

“I had the barrier draw advantage and had to use it,” he said. “We absolutely love him. He’s the best horse we’ve had and we hope to go all the way with him.”

Leap To Fame became the first pacer since Captain Joy back in 2009 to win the big three Derbys – NSW, Queensland and Victoria.

“He just ticks all the boxes … great manners, great speed and great strength,” Dixon said.

Leap To Fame has raced 21 times for 15 wins and five placings and has the Breeders Crown to come next month.

Captain Ravishing, who sat outside and beat Leap To Fame in the heat, couldn’t reproduce the effort in a much stronger staying test and tired late for fifth after sitting parked.

NSW raider Ripp ran a slashing second from a mile back, while Kiwi raiders Major Perry and Simply Sam were sixth and eighth respectively.

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Tough Tilly did what no other pacer has done, beat megastar stablemate Ladies In Red for the third time in her career last night.

Kate Gath speared the four-year-old mare to the front from outside the front row and then just put the foot down when Ladies In Red worked around to sit outside Tough Tilly.

As hard as Ladies In Red tried, Tough Tilly kept giving in a blistering 54.1sec last half and 1min51.4sec mile rate for 1730m to win.

“She’s as special as any horse I’ve had anything to do with because the whole EB fundraising thing and all the great people involved with her,” Gath said.

“I can’t believe the time they went because she felt great and did it so easily.

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The rise and rise of husband-and-wife Greg Sugars and Jess Tubbs continued with Just Believe’s Group 1 Bill Collins Trotters’ Sprint win last night.

Despite sitting parked, Just Believe held-off Chris Lang’s emerging star Ollivici from the one-one trail to win.

Gun mare Queen Elida ran home from a mile for third.

“He’s only new to our stable when Mick Hughes retired from training and we’re so proud of him and how far he’s come in a short period of time,” Just Believe’s trainer Jess Tubbs said.

Greg Sugars added: “I didn’t want to sit parked, but when I did I had to try ad rate the race to suit me, especially with Ollivici on my back.

“It continues the fantastic past 12 to 18 months our stable has had.”

Trainer Emma Stewart, who got the trifecta with Treachery running a huge third, said it was mixed emotions.

“It’s bittersweet, but we love Tough Tilly and she earned that tonight.”

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Emotions ran high when comeback trotter Plymouth Chubb won the Group 1 Holmfield last night.

Manners proved crucial with Plymouth Chubb leading and dictating while his two main dangers Harry Stamper and Cravache Dor galloped in the home straight.

The win was a magical moment for father-daughter Peter and Kerryn Manning given Plymouth Chubb had a year off the track with a fractured pastern.

“The owners are talking about a trip to NZ, so we’ve got some thinking to do,” Peter Manning said.

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