Josh Dickie's big win ahead of Breeders Crown heats
Most Aussies thought it was a daring raid, but Kiwi trainer Josh Dickie knew his filly.
This looks one of the best crops of juvenile trotters Australia has seen, but Dickie trumped them all with Mexicana in yesterday’s $50,000 Group 1 Redwood Classic at Maryborough.
While many of her key rivals galloped early from the stand or struck trouble, Mexicana trotted away superbly from inside the back row from driver Greg Sugars and worked around to take the lead after 600m.
Talented local Illawong Barmah, who led then took a sit, came at Mexicana late, but the Kiwi was just being nursed by Sugars as she finished off in a 57.7sec last half to win by 1.4m.
“I never pulled the ear plugs and got too serious on her,” Sugars told Trotvision. “She was actually pretty casual out in front. She felt really strong on the line, so I think there’s plenty more there.
‘I’m extremely thankful to Josh (Dickie) and his team and to Trevor (Casey) and the owners to trust me with this filly. She is a beautiful girl.”
Mexicana gave Dickie by far his biggest win since taking over training the family team from his father John.
And there’s a strong Aussie connection through Dickie’s partner, Sammy Kilgour, who has many friends back in Victoria.
Mexicana now heads to the Breeders Crown where heats will be at Maryborough on November 12.
X X X
There is just no stopping pin-up girl Pink Galahs.
Matty Craven’s pint-sized darling dominantly won her third Group 1 race in less than a month when she stormed to victory in yesterday’s Victoria Trotters’ Derby.
Things looked tricky with a lap to run when the gifted and speedy Elite Stride made a lightning move around the field to take the lead, which buried Pink Galahs three pegs.
But some welcome luck came heading to the last bend when Gimondi galloped behind the leader and helped Pink Galahs get to the sprint lane quicker and that was the end of the race.
Pink Galahs blasted through the opening to win running away by four metres over Elite Stride with a gallant Powderkeg third after sitting parked throughout in a solid 2min1.2sec mile rate for the long 2690m trip.
A jubilant Craven celebrated with a big victory salute over the last 50m when it was clear he had the classic won.
In the space of a month, Pink Galahs has upstaged the best trotters in Australia to win the Bill Collins Sprint then added the Victoria Oaks and Victoria Derby.
“This is just unbelievable,” Craven said. “I thought it was amazing enough when she won the Bill Collins and now she’s gone on and done it again and again … she’s just the most amazing filly.”
X X X
It was fitting Majestuoso returned to Maryborough to land the win that showed he was ready for the big league.
Just over 12 months ago the Andy Gath-trained gelding showcased his abundant potential by unleashing a huge sprint to win the Victoria Trotters’ Derby at Maryborough.
Yesterday it was the speed he showed at the start and his all-round display which showed why driver Kate Gath has been buzzing about his future prospects.
Majestuoso, best known for balancing-up early and sprinting late, blasted off the gate from barrier six to lead and win the free-for-all.
It completed changed a race where glamour mare Red Hot Tooth was backed into $1.60 favourite because most expected her to rip across the field early from gate seven and lead.
But she had to sit parked and never looked likely to get past Majestuoso, who beat the talented Wobelee by 3.5m with Brandlo Prince third and Red Hot Tooth in fourth spot.
“We weren’t surprised he showed that sort of gate speed, but with him it’s always been in the back of your mind to make sure he trots at the start,” Kate Gath told Trotsvision.
“He was keen in the score-up so I gave it a shot and once he found the front he relaxed really well.
“There’s no standout in the open-class trotting ranks now and he’s got the ability to match them, so that’s where we are headed.”