Aussie News - Sept 19

by Adam Hamilton

The big brute of Aussie open-class Expensive Ego is back winning.

Best known for being first past the post in last year’s Sydney Inter Dominion final but losing on protest, Expensive Ego is back for revenge.

And the early signs are good.

The Team McCarthy-trained five-year-old scorched home in 53sec flat to win first-up at Menangle.

It was his first run since finishing seventh in the Miracle Mile back on March 12.

“The long break is just what he needed,” Luke McCarthy said. “He’s come back really well and it’s great to get that run under his belt.

“Now we’ll weigh-up whether to give him another run or just a trial before he goes to the Victoria Cup (October 8).”

Team McCarthy’s former Kiwi three-year-old Cantfindabettorman showed he was right on target for the Victoria Derby with a sparkling first-up Menangle win.

The son of Sweet Lou worked to the front and left his rivals standing to win by 15.4m in a 1min52.1sec mile, capped by a dazzling 26.2sec final quarter.

On the same night, recent Kiwi import Port Au Prince snared the time-honoured Group 2 Carousel final (2300m) at Menangle for husband and wife, Robbie and Kerry Ann Morris.

The Somebeachsomewhere four-year-old, bred by Croon Bloodstock, took his Aussie record to two wins from just three Aussie starts when he snatched a neck win over talented Victorian raider Tay Tay.

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The young guns of Aussie driving ranks stole the show at the Australian Driver’s Championship in Adelaide.

At the end of the 11-heat series, it was Victorian James Herbertson who prevailed narrowly over NSW star Cam Hart with WA youngster Emily Suvaljko in third spot.

“It’s been such a thrill to be part of the series, let alone win it,” the humble Herbertson said. “Credit to Adelaide and Globe Derby for bringing the series back and giving us the chance to come together for something like this.”

It’s the first time the ADC has been run since 2019 because of Covid.

Todd McCarthy won the 2018 series at Globe Derby before moving to the US where he has become one of the world’s best drivers.

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The powerhouse Emma Stewart and Clayton Tonkin stable is really starting to flex its muscle again.

Just a week after unleashing Victoria Derby hopeful Captain Ravishing, they showcased their Victoria Oaks top seed Soho Historia at Melton.

The Queensland Oaks winner worked to the front, dictated terms and won as she liked in the Argent 3YO Classic with closing splits of 55.1 and 27.1sec for driver Mark Pitt.

The race proved little given the farcical 65.3sec middle half, but the stable has a huge opinion of the daughter of Courage Under Fire, who unbeaten in seven runs since joining the barn from South Australia.

Top-class Kiwi filly Amore Vita also resumed in the race, but settled a mile back and had to be content with fourth spot, nine metres from the winner.

Earlier, four-year-old mare Treachery continued her fantastic season with an easy win in the Group 3 Tailamade Lombo.

Treachery, who has lived in the shadow of stablemates Ladies In Red and Tough Tilly, has clearly gone to another level this season with seven wins from as many starts.

The acid test will come when Ladies In Red and Tough Tilly return, which is likely to be in the Group 3 Make Mine Cullen at Melton on October 8.

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The young stars of WA harness shone brightly at Gloucester Park.

First out was outstanding Sweet Lou filly Zephyra, who made the most of gate three for trainer-driver Dylan Egerton-Green to emphatically win the $215,000 Group 1 Westbred Classic 2YO Fillies’ final (2130m) in a 1min57.8sec mile rate.

The daughter of classy former Kiwi mare Tricky Styx has raced just eight times for six wins and two seconds and may take on the boys in the upcoming Golden Slipper.

The best of those boys is without doubt Justin Prentice’s powerhouse Sweet Lou gelding Never Ending, who led and made a one-act affair of the $215,000 colts and geldings Westbred final.

He went a much quicker 1min55.6sec mile rate, including closing splits of 56.2 and 28sec flat with Gary Hall Jr in the bike.

Never Ending is unbeaten in five runs and looks something a bit special.

The otherer highlight of the night was a stirring tussle in the four-horse free-for-all where Kiwi-bred Hampton Banner turned the tables on pin-up pacer Lavra Joe in a tactical 2130m affair.

Jocelyn Young rated Hampton Banner superbly in front, especially with a 27.7sec split down the back, and kicked-back strongly to beat Lavra Joe by 1.2m in a brisk 1min54.4sec mile rate.

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Kiwi raider Aldebaran Keepa turned plenty of heads even in defeat in the Shepparton Oaks last Friday night.

The Michelle Wallis and Bernie Hackett-trained filly did all the work and got within a half-neck of upsetting local star Egret in a slick 27.4sec last quarter.

Father Patrick filly Egret has been the benchmark this season with seven runs netting four wins and three seconds.

It was great to see the raw and erratic Aldebaran Keepa do things better than her costly gallops at her first two Aussie runs.

The Group 2 Shepparton Trotters’ Cup went to the improving Jess Tubbs’ trained gelding Just Believe, who is emerging as an Inter Dominion smoky.

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The renaissance of veteran former Kiwi pacer Northview Hustler continued at Albion Park.

The Brendan Barnes-trained eight-year-old led and thrashed his free-for-all rivals to win by 12.2m in a brisk 1min54.7sec mile rate for 2138m.

Since returning from a setback, the veteran has posted two wins and a terrific second from his three runs.

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