Major Perry wins Breeders Crown semis

By Adam Hamilton 

Kiwi raider Major Perry did something special at Melton last night.

He was the only pacer NOT trained by Emma Stewart and Clayton Tonkin to win one of the eight Breeders Crown semi-finals.

Barry Purdon’s three-year-old pounced on the front for driver Josh Dickie and always looked in control on his way to a 3.7m win over (you guessed it) an Emma Stewart-trained pacer, Khafaji, in a 1min56.8sec mile rate for 2240m.

Just as it did in the Victoria Derby, life will get harder for Major Perry in the final next week when he has to step-up against Captain Ravishing and Ripp.

The Stewart/Tonkin dominance last night was something to behold.

Captain Ravishing was stunning winning his semi by 22.4m in a 1min53.6sec mile rate and ripping home in 53 flat and 25.9sec.

Earlier in the night, The Lost Storm ran the fastest 2240m lead time by a two-year-old at Melton and kept going for a brave head win in a 1min53.9sec mile rate, while stablemate Techys Watching won the other semi in 1min54.8sec.

The stunning Major Delight stretched her unbeaten streak to eight by easily winning her semi, while Tempress Tiger won the other 2YO fillies’ semi.

Victoria Oaks winner Encipher led, dictated and dashed home in 53.2sec to win her semi, while Soho Historia was just an impressive winning the other semi.

Kiwi-owned filly Amore Vita tried to make ground wide behind Encipher and finished fifth in her semi.

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The Inter Dominion got the boost it needed with the winning return of top-class former Kiwi pacer Spirit Of St Louis.

After a few hiccups saw him miss the Victoria Cup and Len Smith Mile, it was great to see all the speed Spirit Of St Louis is renowned for.

It was his first run since finishing second to Majestic Cruiser in the Group 1 Blacks A Fake at Albion Park on July 23.

In a leader dominated mile, Spirit Of St Louis did enjoy a nice one-one trail but still ran his closing splits in 54 flat and 26.4sec to nab the leader Whereyabinboppin in a 1min51.8sec mile on a “sticky” track.

Spirit Of St Louis is one of three runners Team McCarthy will have in the Inter Dominion, starting at Ballarat on Saturday week.

The others are Expensive Ego and veteran Alta Orlando, who ran a solid fifth behind Spirit Of St Louis last Saturday night.

Expensive Ego, who returned to winning form last Saturday week at Menangle, will cap his preparation in a Menangle trial on Tuesday.

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That's the Magnificent Storm we know and love.

After two slightly below par runs in defeat, WA’s best pacer thrashed his rivals in the $100,000 Group 1 James Brennan Memorial (2536m) at Gloucester Park last Friday night.

Things became much easier when driver Aldo Cortopassi was able to work forward and find the lead and dictate through a cosy 62sec middle half.

Magnificent Storm then blazed home in 55.7 and 28sec flat as he spaced his rivals to win by 13.9m in a 1min56.4sec mile rate for the longer trip.

It reaffirmed his status as a standout for WA’s biggest races, the Fremantle and WA Pacing Cup double, early next year.

It also showed what a disappointment it is that he’s not heading to the Inter Dominion in Victoria.

Last year’s upset WA Cup winner Wildwest showed good signs at just second run back from a spell when he closed well for second, while stablemate Gambit was third.

Later in the night, the rise and rise of trainer Michael Young continued when he teamed with champion driver Gary Hall Jr to win the $100,000 Group Norms Daughter for mares’ with former Kiwi pacer Eighteen Carat.

The margin was small but the win was outstanding after drawing wide and doing plenty of work.

The daughter of Mach Three, raced by Summit Bloodstock, has been a revelation since heading to WA from NZ’s North Island. She’s won seven of her nine WA runs and earned $110,000.

Another winner of note on the night was former Kiwi pacer Prince Of Pleasure, who won the opening race by a huge space in blistering time. He’s unbeaten in six WA runs and looks another topliner in the making for trainer Gary Hall Sr.

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Young guns Cam Hart and Jack Trainor scored Group 1 victories at Menangle last night.

Trainor was first-up when he snared another Group 1 win in the sulky when he teamed with trainer Peter Russo and the exciting Tintin In America gelding Mahomes to win the $100,000 Group 1 NSW Breeders Challenge 3YO colts and geldings Blue final.

Despite trying unsuccessfully to lead, Trainor snared the one-one trail and Mahomes exploded when asked to win running away from the talent leader Tims A Trooper by 8.9m in a 1min51.7sec mile.

Hart drove star 3YO filly Madrid for Jarrod Alchin and she thrashed her rivals by 13.6m in a 1min52.4sec mile.

In between them, Bathurst horseman Nathan Turnbull snared his first Group 1 win with Better Be The Best winning by a staggering 23m in the 2YO) colts and geldings final. Capping the moment, Turnbull landed the quinella with Mister Quirk second.

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There was a slice of “Groundhog Day” to last night’s Group 2 Queensland Cup.

In a replica of last year, former Kiwi pacers Mach Da Vinci and Turn It Up ran the quinella in that order. Both are trained by Shane Graham.

Graham drove Turn Up It, who led with Mach Da Vinci on his back, and copped plenty of midrace pressure, setting up a blazing 1min52.9sec mile rate for 2130m. It was just 0.5sec outside Bling It On’s track record.

Mach Da Vinci’s soft sit proved the difference with Leonard Cain popping off Turn It Up’s back and dashing past him to win by three metres.

Earlier in the night, former Kiwi trotter Majestic Harry worked hard to lead and found plenty to win the Group 2 Trotters’ Sprint (1660m) in a slick 1min55.8sec. It was only 0.7sec outside the track record.

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It was great to see former outstanding Kiwi juvenile trotter Ultimate Stride return to his best form at Shepparton last Friday night.

The five-year-old, now trained and driven by Chris Lang, posted just his third run from 11 runs in the stable when he thrashed a handy field after leading.

Maybe the trotting master Lang is starting to find the key to the son of Love You and could have some exciting times ahead.

 

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