Aussie News - 3rd February
By Adam Hamilton
MY Field Marshal’s Miracle Mile tilt is back on song.
Tim Butt opted to stay in Sydney instead of chasing the Hunter Cup after a planned WA raid fell through because of a lack of flights.
My Field Marshal did tackle the Ballarat Cup in Victoria, but sat back and was never a factor. He didn’t look himself.
Back at his favoured Menangle track, stand-in driver Jack Trainor blasted My Field Marshal to the front from the outside (gate 10) then dictate terms with a 61.7sec middle half over 2300m.
My Field Marshal then ripped home in 54.1 and 26.2sec to fend-off Cruz, who sat behind him to win by a half neck in a 1min54.2sec mile rate.
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MIGHTY mare Belle Of Montana snared another Group 1, but it was much closer than most expected at Melton on Saturday night.
Much-improved NSW mare Better Enforce always loomed as he main threat given she followed out Belle Of Montana and would get last crack at her along the sprint lane.
“I thought I was holding her quite easily halfway down the straight, but she came strongly at me in the last bit,” Belle Of Montana’s driver Zachary Butcher said.
Despite the 26.6sec last quarter on a rain-sodden track, Better Enforce made ground to get within a half-head in a 1min54.6sec mile rate for 1720m.
No doubt was an element of Belle Of Montana “loafing” in front with Butcher having to really push her at he start to hold he front then often tapping her up in the run to keep her focused.
Now it’s off to Sydney for a probable rematch with arch-rival Princess Tiffany, who can qualify for the Group 1 Ladyship Mile by winning her run in NZ.
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THE way Sicario performed during the Auckland Inter Dominion, most would have expected him to be in the Hunter Cup not a support race on the same night.
But a few so-so runs back from NZ saw him go to the Group 3 Pure Steel instead and even then he was somewhat of an outsider.
But the Brent Lilley-trained former Kiwi juvenile was back to his best, peeling off the back of buzz leader Bright Energy and zapping him in closing splits of 54.9 and 27.2sec.
The biggest talking point of the race was another below par showing by the All Stars’ former NZ Cup winner Thefixer, who just laboured into seventh spot.
The way he’s going, it’ll take quite some work to turn him around to be a real player for the Miracle Mile qualifiers, if the stable still heads that way.
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STAR Queensland pacer Colt Thirty One was beaten but smashed the clock when he returned from a freshen-up a Albion Park on Saturday night.
Grant Dixon’s Miracle Mile hopeful sat parked and went down fighting in a scorching 1min51.1sec mile rate for 1660m.
Other than winning, it was an ideal pipe-opener for his trip to Sydney to tackle a Miracle Mile qualifier in coming weeks.
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QUEENSLAND’S blossoming Winter Carnival was a fascinating new feature race.
The $250,000 Rising Sun, to be run at Albion Park on July 18, is effectively a four-year-old feature, but with two “wildcard” spots for three-year-olds.
Significantly, any three-year-old starters will get a preferential draw and be eligible for a $100,000 bonus if they win.
There’s a touch of the Cox Plate around the race, where there is so much talk and hype around what/if any three-year-olds will tackle the older horses in the Cox Plate each year.
“The Rising Sun is more than just a new race … it’s a Group 1 blockbuster designed to entice Australasia’s best age-restricted horses to our shores and to create an event that becomes iconic to Queensland,” said Queensland racing minister Stirling Hinchcliffe at last week’s launch of the event.
Last year’s Queensland Winter Carnival gained huge coverage with the emergence of Self Assured through the three-year-old features and local hero Colt Thirty One’s Group 1 Blacks A Fake triumph.
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SADLY former Chariots Of Fire winner and Miracle Mile placegetter Jilliby Kung Fu’s comeback didn’t last long.
After just one run back from 18 months out, Marg Lee’s star pacer has re-injured the same tendon that sidelined him in mid-2018.
“It’s a minor injury to the same tendon and at this stage no decision has been made on a return to racing,” Lee said.
Jilliby Kung Fu has raced just 34 times for 16 wins, 12 placings and earnings of $529,710.
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FORMER WA Derby winner Handsandwheels continued his fantastic season with an easy win in Gloucester Park’s feature last Friday night.
The Aiden De Campo trained-and-driven entire bounced-back from luckless runs through the recent WA features to make the most of gate one and lead throughout in the $50,000 City Of Perth Cup (2130m).
De Campo was able to dictate terms and rip home in 55.4 and 27.7sec to beat El Jacko, who trailed him throughout by 5.4m with Rock Me Over third and Galactic Star fourth, after sitting parked.
Handsandwheels’ 10 runs this season have netted $105,098 in earnings, including three wins, a second and a fourth in the Group 1 WA Pacing Cup.
On the same card, WA’s best mare Our Alfie Romeo warmed-up for a probably NSW raid with an easy win back against her sex after finishing sixth in the WA Pacing Cup.