Aussie News : September 4
by Adam Hamilton
There is something super exciting about young Kiwi-bred trotter Ollivici.
And his master trainer-driver Chris Lang is doing nothing to douse the hype.
Lang started talking about possible Elitlopp trips to Sweden after Ollivici thrashed his rivals to win the Group 2 Tornado Valley final at Melton last Friday night.
The son of Orlando Vici is a half-brother to former superstar Stent, being out of Belle Galleon.
Ollivici has looked arrogant at times in his unbeaten five runs this campaign.
“He’s potentially as good as I’ve trained,” Lang said.
Think about that. He’s trained Sundons Gift, Skyvalley, National Interest and others.
Lang said months ago he felt Ollivici was an Inter Dominion horse and he is rapidly emerging as one of, if not the best Australian hope in the series, which starts on November 26.
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While Ollivici stole the show, the dominance of Yabby Dams and trainer Anton Golino across last Friday night’s feature trotting meeting at Melton was something to behold.
They started by winning a stirring battle with Cravache Dor beating comeback star Plymouth Chubb by a half-head in the Group 1 Need For Speed Prince final.
Golino and Yabba Dams then landed in the trifecta in the Group 1 fillies’ equivalent, the Need For Speed Princess final when Amandine beat Egret narrowly and La Perriere was third.
They also won the Need For Speed Consolation by a huge space with the exciting Revelstoke.
Earlier, Brent Lilley’s emerging star Aldebaran Zeus toyed with his rivals to win the Group 2 Delvin Dancer 4YO Trotters’ Classic.
And, just to add to the star power on the night, reigning Inter Dominion trotting champion Maori Law returned to winning form in the free-for-all for Team Brosnan and driver Greg Sugars.
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Potential really has become performance for buzz Victorian pacer Honolua Bay.
The freakishly fast five-year-old made it eight wins from as many starts for Emma Stewart and Clayton Tonkin when he strolled home to win the Minuteman free-for-all in a blistering 1min53.8sec mile rate for 2240m at Melton last night.
It booked his spot in the Inter Dominion, but before that he shapes as a major player for the Group 1 Victoria Cup on October 8.
It will be interesting whether he backs up against Kiwi star Copy That in next week’s $100,000 Group 1 Caduceus Classic at Melton.
“I never thought I’d see this day. Since I’ve been a kid I’ve always wanted to have this opportunity,” said Honolua Bay’s driver Mark Pitt to TrotsVision of the guaranteed Inter Dominion berth.
Honolua Bay beat gallant pair Torrid Saint and Tango Tara with Supreme Dominator fourth.
The other talking point of the race was below par second-up run from Lochinvar Art, who did plenty of work, but tired uncharacteristically to be beaten 18.4m in eighth spot.
His next run will be crucial.
Pitt and Stewart/Tonkin combined for a treble on the night, winning another feature with emerging four-year-old mare Runaway Celebrity in the Group 3 Matriarch final.
They also won the 3YO fillies race with major Victorian Oaks contender Petillante in a slick 1min53.4sec mile rate for 1720m.
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The rise and rise of WA young gun Emily Suvaljko continued when she snared the main race at Gloucester Park last Friday night.
She teamed with the very much in-form trainer Michael Young and former Kiwi pacer Plutonium for a minor upset in the $50,000 Group 2 Binshaw.
It was a big effort to sit parked and beat the leader and equal favourite Talks Up A Storm in a slugging finish.
Later this month, Suvaljko will join champion Gary Hall Jr to fly the WA flag at Globe Derby in the Australian Drivers’ Championship.
It was a big night for the ladies in Gloucester Park with Maddison Brown, Hall Jr’s partner, upstaging him aboard the leader and improving Diego to win the free-for-all.
Diego ran a scorching 1min53.5sec mile rate for 2130m and held-off Jumpingjackmac, who sat behind the leader, to win by a head.
Favourite Lavra Joe had to sit parked and really tired late to finish last, almost 20m from the winner.
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The NSW Riverina region has a proud harness history and looks to have unearthed another exciting juvenile in American Ideal colt El Camino.
Trained and driven by James McPherson, the colt made it three wins from just five starts when he thrashed his rivals in the Woodlands Stud 2YO at Melton last night, running home in 27.2sec at the end of 1min55.3sec mile rate for 1720m.