Aussie Update - March 18
By Adam Hamilton
CLASSY Kiwi three-year-old Mach Da Vinci’s Aussie Derby raid has moved to another state.
Paul Court’s Art Major colt ran second in a heat of the Victoria Derby then seventh in the final.
Mach Da Vinci was stiff to miss a NSW Derby berth when fourth in his heat.
Now he’s in Perth, warming-up for the WA Derby on April 3, through Friday night’s $50,000 Group 2 Western Gateway (2130m) at Gloucester Park.
Mach Da Vinci never seems to have much luck and it hasn’t changed in Perth with him drawing gate eight against most of WA’s best three-year-olds.
Buzz former Kiwi Howard Hughes, now in the Greg and Skye Bond stable, drew even worse outside the front (gate nine).
While the lightly-raced but hugely exciting Franco Ecuador is off the second row (gate 12).
Other key players include Justin Prentice’s stablesmates Gardys Legacy (gate one) and Major Martini (two).
Nominal favourite for the WA Derby is Anthony Butt’s Line Up, who already boasts wins in the Victoria and NSW Derbys this season.
Line Up is booked to fly to Perth Sunday or Monday.
X X X
KIWI mare Our Step Up has class on her side at her first run for “Team Caldow” in the Group 3 Jodie’s Babe (1720m) at Melton on Saturday night.
Fresh from two excellent Menangle runs during the Carnival of Miracles, the daughter of Art Major is down in grade, but faces a tricky draw (gate eight, inside back row) over the sprint trip
John Caldow takes the reins for wife, Maree.
X X X
MIRACLE Mile runner Code Bailey represents the class in the $50,000 Group 2 Melton Plate (2240m).
Marg Lee’s budding star is dropping back from a sixth in the Miracle Mile to racing against only four and five-year-olds, but still faces a big test from the back row (gate 12).
Emma Stewart and Clayton Tonkin have five runners, including key players: Demon Delight (gate eight), Our To Play (five), Major Times (nine) and Hurricane Harley (11).
X X X
CHAMPION trotter Tornado Valley is the lone back row runner in an intriguing Group 3 Scotch Notch Memorial (2240m) at Melton.
He’s sure to be favourite, but is always vulnerable when not drawn to lead and he has some handy rivals headed by last-start Menangle Group 1 winner Big Jack Hammer (gate six), comeback star Sparkling Success (seven) and the emerging Magicool (five).
X X X
STAR pacer My Field Marshal drops back big-time in class from the Miracle Mile to a moderate free-for-all at Menangle on Saturday night.
Sure he’s drawn wide (gate 11) over the mile, but most of his rivals are inferior and he is sure to be hard to beat.
On the same card, the rampaging Craig Cross/Luke McCarthy barn has two of the major players in the Group 3 Autumn Gift final (1609m).
Recent Kiwi import Sociable (gate two) and former star juvenile Molly Kelly (six) both looked good winning their heats last week.