Breeders Crown Snippets
By Adam Hamilton
IT wouldn’t be the Breeders Crown without Chris Alford being a dominant player.
And last night was no different with the record-smashing reinsman snaring half the eight Group 1 races on the night.
He put his stamp on the night early by winning the first two races – both Group 1’s – on trotters Stress Factor and Sleepee.
Then added the 3YO Pacing fillies’ final with Speak No Evil and a controversial 2YO Trotter’s Colts and Geldings final aboard Kyvalley Clichy.
Let’s start with Stress Factor, who continued his fairytale start to his career with Brent Lilley by leading throughout to comfortably win the 3YO colts and geldings final in a 2mon0.4sec mile rate for 2240m.
He’s unbeaten in three runs for Brent Lilley, including the Victoria Trotters’ Derby and last night’s race at Group 1 level.
Those three wins have earned him $83,450 in stakemoney.
“His Derby win was better than it looked because it was windy and he overraced, but back to the 2240m tonight and he did it easily,” Alford said.
As thrilled as Alford was with Stress Factor, the family connection meant so much with Sleepee’s strong win in the Group 1 2YO fillies’ final.
She’s trained by his wife, Alison, and Alford’s two youngest children Katie and Sam were trackside for the celebrations.
“She’s a lovely filly and it wasn’t the strongest race, but she did a fantastic job to knuckle down late,” Alford said.
The Redwood winner Emerald Stride kicked away on the bend, but Sleepee knuckled down and finished too strongly to win by 3,5m in a 2min1.8sec mile rate for 2240m.
Alford made it a Group 1 winning treble on the night when he teamed with star filly Speak No Evil to absorb extreme pressure in front and win with authority in the 3YO Fillies’ final.
Speak No Evil’s 1min54sec mile rate took 0.4sec off The Orange Agent’s 2015 race record and was also the fastest win of all finals last night.
Alford then teamed with Lilley again to win along the sprint lane with Kyvalley Clichy in a race which will spark many long debates.
Kyvalley Clichy galloped for the last 40-50m of the race and won by a metre over Andy Gath’s Dream Mastar in a scenario where the winner would have been stripped of the race in most other jurisdictions.
There was a lengthy protest, but stewards left the win with Kyvalley Clichy and added fuel to the total confusion around the Aussie rule relating to horses who gallop at the end of races.
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THIS year just keeps getting better for Kima Frenning.
It got serious when she teamed with Im The Boss to win the Mildura Cup in April, but has just kept building since.
The game-changer has been her affinity with emerging star Wrappers Delight since he joined David Aiken’s stable across from a WA stint.
Frenning’s six drives on Wrappers Delight have netted three wins and three seconds, with the wins including the Group 1 Vicbred 4YO final as well as last night’s $50,000 Group 2 Breeders Crown 4YO final.
Last night was a walk in the park with Wrappers Delight working to the front and scorching home in 54.6sec at the end of a 1min54.2sec for 2240m to win by 9.3m.
No question Wrappers Delight will push on to races like the Victoria Cup and Inter Dominion, but so too should runner-up The Storm Inside, who left onlookers stunned by coming from last to finish second.
The Storm Inside was unbeaten in 11 starts across three seasons and two serious injuries before last night’s monstrous run in defeat. Some had him running a low 53sec last half.