Aussie update - August 19
By Adam Hamilton
TWO of the brightest stars in Australia headline a ripper Bendigo meeting on Saturday night.
Australasia’s champion trotter Tornado Valley returns from a spell, while Chariots Of Fire winner Lochinvar Art is back from a minor health scare and shock defeat at the Ballarat two weeks ago.
Tornado Valley, a winner of 35 races and $767,617, steps out for the first since winning a Melton free-for-all on March 21.
“He’s been ready to go for a couple of weeks, but with the regional racing we can’t race at Melton so we waited for something closer to home because he doesn’t like travel to the races,” trainer Andy Gath said.
“It’s worked well because he’s back and ready and McLovin can enjoy a bit of a break now.”
Tornado Valley is drawn gate nine, while the emerging Wobelee in gate 10 after his early mistake last time saw he placed out of the draw.
It’s a cracking race with former Great Southern Star winning mare Dance Craze also resuming from gate six.
Multiple Group 1 winner Big Jack Hammer is there as well from inside the back row (gate eight), as is high-class and speedy mare Red Hot Tooth (seven).
Lochinvar Art will need to be back on song after his viral infection to overcome an outside back row draw (gate 12) and some handy rivals.
Sure he’s a league above them when right, but horses like Sirletic (gate three), Auckland Inter Dominion finalists Sicario (nine) and My Kiwi Mate (eight) as well as Major Times (11), who upset Lochinvar Art last time.
“He had a couple of easy days after Ballarat and picked-up again really well,” Lochinvar Art’s trainer-driver David Moran said.
“I’ll get a blood done again Friday just to make sure, but if it’s good we are all go and he’ll raring to go.”
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GLAMOUR Kiwi filly Amazing Dream’s Albion Park debut has only been delayed one week.
New trainers Darren Weeks and Kylie Rasmussen felt the darling from the All Stars’ barn “wasn’t quite ready” to have her first run for them last week and scratched her.
Amazing Dream will start from outside the back row (gate 10) over 1660m, but needless to say she’s got a monstrous class edge over her older rivals, remembering she’s still a three-year-old in Aussie.
Another of her All Stars stablemates, Ashley Locaz, looked very sharp winning an Albion Park trial yesterday (Tuesday).
Ashley Locaz, now with Vicki Rasmussen, was allowed to stride in the last lap by driver Shane Graham and roared away to win by 33.3m in a 1min52.4sec mile rate for 1660m. He closed in 54.8 and 27.5sec.
Everything looks set for the five-year-old to open his Queensland stint on Saturday week at Albion Park.
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BUZZ former Kiwi pacer Patronus Star faces his first serious test this campaign at Gloucester Park on Friday night.
The Team Bond three-year-old, who won the WA Derby at just his second run across from NZ, has stretched his unbeaten WA record to six wins after winning all four outings this campaign.
He takes on older rivals from a wide draw (gate seven) in a very strong $50,000 Group 2 The Binshaw (2130m).
Key rivals include classy four-year-old Sangue Reale (gate five), Forgotten Highway (two) and Mandy Joan (three).
The race will tell us a lot more about how well Patronus Star, who can look lazy at times, has come back this campaign.