Gun Kiwis downed at Albion Park
Local pin-up pacer Colt Thirty One has hit career-best form just in time for Queensland’s biggest race.
And he gave a couple of outstanding former Kiwi pacers in Turn It Up and One Change a reminder of just how good he is when he upset them both in the Group 3 Be Good Johnny Sprint (1660m) at Albion Park.
It was a race he had no right to win and it gave him a staggering 41st win around his home track at Albion Park.
Colt Thirty One drew outside the glamour Kiwi pair and the race was just how most expected with Turn It Up blasting to the front from gate two, One Change following him from the pole and Colt Thirty One sitting parked.
Turn It Up dictated the terms through a cosy 57.7sec first half, saving for a blast home.
But Colt Thirty One was too fast and too strong and snatched a neck win over One Change along the sprint lane with Turn It Up seemingly a tad disappointing in third spot, albeit only 1.5m from the winner. Turn It Up may also have needed the run, not having races since winning on October 24.
They dashed home in 54.4 and 26.7sec at the end of a 1min51.9sec mile rate for 1660m.
“I didn’t give him much chance from the draw,” a blunt Dixon said. “It looked a really big ask from the draw.
“He’s come back really well this time, he’s very sharp and that speed really helped him tonight.”
The win took Colt Thirty One’s career record to 46 wins and 20 placings from 77 starts. He’s creeping close to the magical $1 million in stakemoney at $948,751.
The win makes Colt Thirty One the top local seed for the $175,000 Group 1 Blacks A Fake at Albion Park on December 12.
But Dixon is very wary of the Craig Cross/Luke McCarthy raiders, most notably King Of Swing.
“He’s the one we all have to beat, no doubt about that,” he said. “I couldn’t be happier with my guy and he’s a fantastic horse, but it’s a different level to take on a horse like King Of Swing.”
Cross and McCarthy plan to take King Of Swing and Bling It On north, along with a batch of other horses for support races.
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Most expected Chicago Bull would dominate WA’s biggest race after his powerhouse Fremantle Cup win and the subsequent ban to arch-rival Shockwave for bleeding.
But Chicago Bull was beaten – far from disgrace – but beaten all the same in the $50,000 Group 2 RWWA Cup (2130m) at Gloucester Park last Friday night.
Former Victorian four-year-old Perfect Major continued his rapid rise through the WA ranks for trainer Ross Olivieri when he led throughout to upstage Chicago Bull.
And exciting up-and-comer To Fast To Serious grabbed the eye with a late closing third at his first try in the big league.
Chicago Bull was the best run in the race by a long way, but the result showed even he is beatable when draws and luck in running go against him.
Driver Chris Voak rated Perfect Major superbly in front after getting a surprisingly soft lead and cosy 30.1sec first quarter of the last mile before Chicago Bull moved around to sit outside him.
Chicago Bull kept coming strongly, but missed by a half a head in closing splits of 55.6 and 28.1sec.
Owner-breeder Bruce Cameron, thrilled with Perfect Major’s emergence, took to twitter to post: “We beat the Bull.”
Gary Hall Sr and Jr bounced straight back from Chicago Bull’s defeat to win the $125,000 Group 1 Westral Mares’ Classic (2536m) with star former Kiwi mare Balcatherine.
The daughter of American Ideal showed promise in her first Aussie campaign, but missed a year with an injury and seems to returned stronger and more mature for it.
Suited by a hot early tempo, Hall Jr sat back then made a midrace move to sit parked and always looked in control.
Balcatherine blazed a 1min56.8sec for the staying trip in a performance which should see her grab a spot against the boys in Friday’s WA Pacing Cup.
“Gee she’s come back well,” Hall Jr said. “You don’t do what she did the week before and when they went hard early, she was always going to take beating.”
The Gloucester Park meeting ended early and in dramatic circumstances when a power outage – thankfully after the features had been run – forced the last three races to be abandoned.
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That's a Group 1 win Kate Gath won’t forget in a long while.
Not only was the first open-class major for Majestuoso, the emerging trotter Gath loves, but it came after one of the more challenging feature race drives she’s had.
Majestuoso did everything right from the standing start, stepping well and allowing Gath to push forward and take the lead.
But, instead of relaxing through the middle stages of the 2760m trip, he became more and more fired-up and Gath was horizontal trying to hold him back to her.
He went a middle half of 58.5 and then 28.5sec between the 800-400m, but somehow still kicked away with a big lead coming to the final bend,
Majestuoso tired a little late, but still scored by 6.7m in a brisk 2min1sec from the stand-start.
The blazing midrace tempo made it too hard for recent Dominion placegetter Tough Monarch, who made a move around to sit parked and weakened late finish fifth.
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The much-travelled Governor Jujon added to his stellar season he again downed local Queensland arch-rival Blacksadance to win the Group 3 3YO Qbred final at Albion Park last night.
It’s the third successive feature Albion Park race where Governor Jujon has beaten Blacksadance, but you could argue the latter has gone at least as well as the winner.
Blacksadance did all the early work out deep and in quick splits to find the lead from the back row, but Governor Jujon was quick to move around and park outside him midrace.
Trained and driven by Grant Dixon, Governor Jujon pulled clear late to win by 4.2m in a scorching 1min53.1sec mile rate for 2138m.
Governor Jujon ran second in the Victoria Derby back in February, also tackled the NSW Derby series and has bagged 11 wins from his 16 runs for the season.
The latest win his record to 22 runs for 16 wins, three seconds and almost $320,000 in earnings.
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Mighty mare Bettor Enforce equalled her personal best with a monster win in the Group 3 Sue Kelly Ladyship at Menangle.
It continued a staggering season for the former Kiwi mare, who has won 13 races from her 25 starts with another nine placings and almost $360,000 this term.
Bettor Enforce drew the outside and did plenty of early work in a blistering 52.7sec first half before eventually finding the lead.
Just when you thought she’d have been under pressure, the daughter of Bettors Delight switched into another gear and zoomed clear to win easily in a 1min48.9sec mile.
It matched the career-best time she set winning at Menangle back in January.
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Miracle Mile placegetter Alta Orlando has become a nightmare horse for punters.
Once again his manners let him down and he cost punters dearly when beaten into third spot as a $1.60 favourite in the free-for-all at Menangle last night
He galloped soon after the start and, although Alta Orlando didn’t lost a lot of ground and recovered to whiz around and take the lead, it still contributed to his defeat.
Paul Fitzpatrick’s in-form Pay Me Sam flashed home to beat Maraeati with Alta Orlando just battling into third spot in what was a fairly cosy open-class 1min51.3sec mile.
Alta Orlando has managed just one win from nine starts since his slashing third in the Miracle Mile back on March 7.
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Former Kiwi trotter Majestic Simon gave the Chantal Turpin/Pete McMullen combination the first leg of a feature double at the strong Albion Park meeting.
Majestic Simon’s began so well off a 10m handicap he quickly found his way around to lead and, despite getting a bit tired late, he won well in the Group 2 Darrell Alexander Trotting Championship final.
Later in the night, Turpin and McMullen teamed with the very exciting Kiwi-bred juvenile filly Dance In The Sun to thrash her rivals in The Creek 2YO Feature.
Dance In The Sun led throughout to win as she liked, taking her record to three wins and a close second from just four outings.