Kahlua Flybye goes two from two in Oz

By Adam Hamilton 

Tim Williams can’t wait for next week’s NSW Oaks.

The gun Kiwi driver described Kahlua Flybye’s win in a heat of the Oaks last night “just about perfect.”

In a surprise, Kahlua Flybye was shuffled to three pegs when buzz local Peaceful led and then took a sit on Sky Blu.

“I didn’t think we’d be there, but it actually turned out great,” Williams said.

“She got into the open in plenty of time and she’s very, very quick coming off the back of a helmet.

“She picked them up really well and hit the line full of running.”

Kahlua Flybye has now won both starts on this NSW trip for Team Telfer/Hayden Cullen.

“That should bring her on again. She should be spot on for the final,” Williams said.

Peaceful ran a solid second after trailing the leader, while Sky Blu fought on fairly for third.

The second heat produced a minor upset when Victorian raider Soho Seraphine worked to the front early and kept going for trainer-driver Mick Stanley.

Hot favourite Jewel Melody didn’t show any early speed and then sat parked, but she tired in the run home and failed to qualify for next Saturday night’s Group 1 final.

Bathurst fillies Windy Hill Tara and Saveeon closed well late for second and third in the second heat.

The mile rate of the first heat was 2.1sec faster than the second.

Judging by the heats, Kahlua Flybye is clearly the one to beat in the final with a decent barrier draw.

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Veteran Kiwi trotting star Majestic Man ran a big second from a daunting 30m backmark at Melton on Saturday night.

Trainer Phil Williamson took the reins himself and Majestic Man tried hard to finish 4.7m from behind Jess Tubbs’ former Kiwi gelding One Over All.

Majestic Man will back-up in the Australian Trotting Grand Prix next Saturday before a likely trip to Sydney for the Group 1 Hammerhead on Miracle Mile night.

The other Kiwi flavour at Melton was yet another win from Andy Gath’s Outlaw Man.

The five-year-old has raced nine times for Gath since crossing the ditch for eight wins.

It was his most impressive so far with junior driver Jordan Leedham taking the reins and leading throughout to win as he liked by 7.8m in a 1min52.5sec mile rate for 1720m.

Another former Kiwi, the classy Triple Eight, made the most of a drop in class and lovely run to win the free-for-all.

Trained by Jess Tubbs and driven by husband Greg Sugars, Triple Eight made the most of a one-one trail to overpower the leaders and win well in a 1min55.4sec mile rate for 2240m.

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Mighty mare Tough Tilly reminded everyone she is the one to beat in next week’s Group 1 Queen Elizabeth II Mile (formerly Ladyship Mile) at Menangle.

The Emma Stewart and Clayton Tonkin-trained star sat parked and crushed favourite and main danger Tay Tay in the Robin Dundee to book her spot in next week’s feature.

Despite working hard from an outside draw in a 26.9sec opening quarter, Tough Tilly had Tay Tay beaten on the home bend and won strongly by 3.8m in a slick 1min51.1sec mile.

It was her 16th win from just 33 starts and edged her close to $600,000 in earnings.

Kate Gath has driven the mare for most of her career, but Stewart and Tonkin’s stable driver Mark Pitt took the reins for the first time last night.

Stewart and Tonkin will have a strong hand next week with former Kiwi mare Amore Vita having already qualifying through her Ladyship Cup win at Melton on Hunter Cup night.

Locally, Jack Trainor’s pair of Braeview Kelly and dual Ladyship winner Stylish Memphis will be the other major players next week.

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Jason Grimson’s exciting Kiwi import Betterzippit pushed for a spot in the Miracle Mile qualifiers with another win at Menangle on Saturday night.

That’s three from three since coming across from NZ, but spots in the two qualifiers next week at a premium with just 16 runners across two races.

In contrast to his previous two wins, Betterzippit came from behind the leader to win last night in a 1min56.3ec mile rate for 2300m.

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The genius of Gary Hall Jr was on full display in the two features at Gloucester Park last Friday night.

First came his race changing drive on in-form mare Nevermindthechaos to beat favourite and key rival The Amber Hare in the fillies and mares feature.

Hall Jr somehow turned a back row barrier draw disadvantage into a plus as he pushed through the field, then hooked wide and whizzed around to take the lead inside the first 600m.

That was effectively race over as The Amber Hare was left parked and had to be content with fighting second as Nevermindthechaos won by 6.7m in 1min55.2sec mile rate for 2130m.

Nevermindthechaos has won four of her past five starts and is clearly one of the best mares in WA.

Just 30 minutes later, Hall Jr again got the best out of quirky but talented gelding Glenledi Chief to win the $50,000 Lord Mayors Cup for Team Bond.

In the rare drive for the stable, Hall Jr made a midrace move to sit parked and just nabbed leader Hampton Banner in the last couple of strides to win.

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THE “babies” are starting to step-out in Australia and an early one to catch the eye was the well-bred Soho Spectre at Newcastle last Friday night.

The Art Major colt is a out of 23-race winning Bettors Delight mare Delightful Jade. Her only foal to race is Soho Rhapsody (six wins, $112,316).

Soho Spectre went straight to the front for trainer-driver Rickie Alchin and won as she liked by 11.7m in a 1min55.3sec mile.

 

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