Aussie News - September 24

By Adam Hamilton

Trainer Brent Lilley warned the small field could make it tricky and that’s just how it turned out for star trotting mare Queen Elida at Melton last night.

But, as she has so often, the five-year-old daughter of Love You found a way to win, albeit in the very last stride and by a whisker in the Chris Howe Trotters’ free-for-all (2240m).

Another classy former Kiwi Mufasa Metro led and dictated terms, while Queen Elida had to sit parked until some luck came driver Chris Alford’s way and he could grab “a breather” and drop in behind the leader rounding the home bend.

Queen Elida peeled around Mufasa Metro, but the leader found plenty in a slick 27.9sec last quarter and it was only with a desperate late lunge when Queen Elida snatched a nose win in a flying 55.8sec last
half.

The other class runner, Im Ready Jet, was a close-up third.

“When she drew the outside, I thought it would be harder than most expected and that’s how it played out,” Lilley said.

“She’ll take plenty from the run and we’ll send her around again in two weeks to top her right off for the (Group 1) Bill Collins (Sprint) on Victoria Cup night (October 14).”

It was Queen Elida’s 27th win from just 45 starts and took her earnings to almost $570,000.

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The Real Sherlock’s Victoria Derby campaign is back on target after a sparkling Melton win last night.

The Mark and Nathan Purdon-trained gelding was scratched from the Vicbred final a week earlier with a hoof abscess, but brilliantly won at Melton last night with a scorching 25.6sec closing quarter.

There’s no doubt he’s got the speed to be a danger in the upcoming Derby series, but beating the cream of Emma Stewart and Clayton Tonkin’s youngsters will be the challenge.

The heats of the Derby are at Melton on October 7.

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It was a Kiwi win of sorts in the time-honoured $50,000 Carousel final (2300m) at Menangle last night.

Four-year-old Our Cosmic Major got clear of a pocket behind the leader and main danger, another Kiwi-bred Janarty, and grabbed him in the last stride to win by a half-head.

The son of Art Major, out of NSW Oaks heat winner Rozelski, is unbeaten in three runs since joining Team McCarthy.

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New Zealand Cup entrant Loyalist, now back with trainer Joe Conolly, looked sharp winning a Menangle trial last week.

The six-year-old, who won the Redcliffe Cup in June for Jason Grimson, hasn’t started since a third at Albion Park on July 22 in a consolation of the Blacks A Fake.

Loyalist, with Seaton Grima aboard, cruised to an eight metre win over classy speedster Fire Fox in a 1min52.7sec mile.

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You can certainly add Act Now to the Victoria Cup mix.

Last year’s Inter Dominion final favourite and placegetter showed signs of his very best second-up from a long spell with a Melton free-for-all win last night.

The Emma Stewart-trained five-year-old was driven with daring and aggression to push through from the back row and do plenty of three-wide work around the field to eventually find the lead in a slick 43.4sec lead time.

Main rival and fellow Victoria Cup hopeful Better Eclipse was quickly around to sit parked and loomed as a big danger on the final bend, but Act Now found plenty to win by 2.1m in a slick 1min53.5sec mile rate
for 2240m.

Arna Donnelly’s Kiwi raider Kango improved on his lacklustre Maryborough Cup run six days earlier to run a solid fifth after sustaining a long and wide run from the rear of the field.

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A big drop in class saw classy former Kiwi pacer Hot And Treacherous make light work of a 20m handicap to return to winning form at Albion Park last night.

The five-year-old, who ran ninth to Rock N Roll Doo in the Len Smith Mile on September 2, posted his 14th career win and continued his fantastic form for Queensland trainer Jack Butler.

Hot And Treacherous’ 11 starts for Butler have netted three wins, four placings and almost $110,000 in earnings.

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Hot And Treacherous’ win gave rampaging Queensland driver Nathan Dawson his 300th win of the season.

It’s a staggering achievement with more than three months of the season remaining.

Could we see Dawson challenge Chris Alford’s monstrous Aussie record of 456 wins in season 2017/18?

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Has Jason Grimson found yet another right stable star at the right time?

His latest exciting stable addition Hi Manameisjeff burst into contention for next month’s Group 1 Victoria Cup with another stunning Menangle win last night.

It was the gelding’s third win from as many starts since being transferred to Grimson’s stable in late July.

Hi Manameisjeff created a stir with a blazing 1min48.9sec mile win on debut for Grimson and did it again with an almost unthinkable 52.9sec (26.6 and 26.3) closing half at Menangle last night.

The son of Art Major has always shown talent, but his three wins for Grimson have been mesmerizing. He mile-rated 1min53.1sec for the 2300m last night.

Getting a start in this Victoria Cup won’t be easy with such depth of talent around and it will be interesting to see what Grimson does next with Hi Manameisjeff.

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THE depth of quality amongst Emma Stewart and Clayton Tonkin’s mares is stunning.

Encipher won the TAB Eureka, Amore Vita is a superstar, Ladies In Red is a champion and then you’ve got Treachery and Tough Tilly, who fought-out the Tailamade Lombo at Melton last night.

Treachery has lived in the shadows of stablemates for so long, but her blazing gate speed helped her lead, landed a huge plunge and upstage Tough Tilly last night. She was backed from $4 into $2.60.

Driver Kerryn Manning ripped Treachery out from the outside draw (six) to cross Tough Tilly and that was the difference as she went on to win by 4.4m in a slick 1min52.9sec mile rate for 1730m, capped by closing splits of 54.6 and 26.4sec.

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Just days after posting her 500th career wins, young gun Deni Roberts literally stole the show at Gloucester Park last Friday night.

In a race changing twist, Robert blasted former Kiwi pacer and $34 outsider Steel The Show across from gate five to lead the free-for-all and caused a huge upset.

After dawdling through a 61.3sec middle half, Roberts ripped home in 56 flat and 27.5sec aboard the son of Bettors Delight to win by 3.1m and upstage some of WA’s top open-class pacers.

Plunge runner Diego ($1.75 into $1.25) couldn’t hold the lead from the pole and was then shuffled back in the running line, but failed to beat a runner home.

Classy pacers Jumpingjackmac (fourth) and Mighty Ronaldo (fifth) were both solid late.

Just 30 minutes later, Roberts again combined with her “bosses” – Team Bond – to sit parked and win the $50,000 Group 3 Daintys Daughter Classic with exciting filly Turn The Page.

The daughter of Vincent ran second and fourth in two NZ runs before joining Team Bond where she had raced six times for five wins and a second.

It was a big effort to sit parked with main dangers Castella Dellacqua in front and August Moon sitting one-one.

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Emma Stewart and Clayton Tonkin skipped across the border to Wagga to win all four heats of the NSW Breeders Challenge last Friday.

The headline act was the winning return of last season’s champion juvenile filly Major Delight, who made it 11 wins (and a second) from just 12 starts in her heat in a 1min52.6sec mile rate for 1740m.

They also snared effortless wins with two-year-old colt War Dan Buddy, Renewal (two-year-old filly) and Oliver Dan (three-year-old colt).

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