Aussie News - 25 Jan
By Adam Hamilton
THE trotting features are going to real highlights of Victoria’s Summer of Glory.
We had a taste at Ballarat on Saturday night when the rejuvenated Magicool upstaged classy mare Red Hot Tooth and then had to survive a protest to keep the Group 2 Cochran Trotters’ Cup.
It was alleged Magicool gained an unfair advantage by clipping and-or going inside two marker pegs when looking for an inside run at the top of the home straight.
Stewards dismissed the protest, insisting there was enough room for the run.
It was high drama given Kerryn Manning was going for her 4000th career win aboard Red Hot Tooth.
It was a leader-dominated affair so the effort of former Great Southern Star winner Dance Craze to fly home late from last for fifth was encouraging. She was clocked to run a 55.8sec last half.
The mile rate was 1min59.7sec, but earlier in the night Dance Craze’s exciting young stablemate Im Ready Jet sat parked and won brilliantly in a much quicker 1min58.4sec mile rate for the same distance.
The four-year-old mare earned a crack at the Great Southern Star on February 5 and will bring an exciting new factor.
Driver Jason Lee, who is also Dance Craze’s regular driver, said Im Ready Jet was potentially the best trotter he had driven.
And trainer Anton Golino said Im Ready Jet was better than Dance Craze at the same age.
Things hot-up this week with the $50,000 Group 1 Dullard Trotters’ Cup at Melton as the last lead-up for the Great Southern Star.
Classy Kiwi speedster Majestic Man and Andy Gath’s emerging star Majestuoso are expected headline he Dullard Cup field.
Gath also McLovin primed for the Great Southern Star.
In Sydney, evergreen trotting veteran Tough Monarch capped his preparation for Melbourne with a sparkling all-the-way mile win at Menangle.
Rickie Alchin’s Group 1-winning nine-year-old worked to the front and won strongly over the emerging Arnold by 5.6m in a slick 1min53.3sec mile, dashing home in 56.8 and 28.7sec.
X X X
WHAT a stunning move it’s been for Anthony Butt to move to Victoria.
Butt and partner Sonya Smith, backed by he might of Emilio and Mary Rosati, continued their blazing recent strike rate with a treble on Ballarat Cup night.
Arguably it was one of their beaten runners, the emerging open-class player Wolf Stride, who pleased them most. He charged home late for third in the Ballarat Cup and was clocked to run low 52sec for his last half.
Whether he can beat the likes of Lochinvar Art and King Of Swing in the Hunter Cup, but he’s certainly as good as anything else going for the big one on February 6.
Butt and Smith’s treble came with Perfect Stride, Prestige Stride and Boots Electric.
Perfect Stride and Boots Electric are set to tackle the Group 1 4YO Bonanza at Melton on Hunter Cup night with a view to the Chariots Of Fire.
Prestige Stride is on a NSW Oaks path.
“Perfect Stride looks right back to his best and Boots Electric’s work at home is right up there with him, so they both deserved a crack at the Bonanza,” Butt said.
“Prestige Stride is a nice filly who has really improved over the past three months or so and she’s on an Oaks path.”
X X X
FORMER star Kiwi pair Turn It Up and One Change look right on target for Sydney raids next month.
The Vicki Rasmussen-trained pair both returned from short breaks with Albion Park wins on Saturday night.Turn It Up showed his explosive gate speed to lead from an outside draw and win as he liked by 4.4m in the free-for-all, rating 1min54sec for 1660m and ripping home in 54.8 and 26.9sec.
One Change had to do it harder in a support race, coming from outside the back row to sit parked and win strongly in a 1min57.7sec mile rate for 2138m.
Turn It Up’s will shoot for a Miracle Mile start via the qualifying sprints at Menangle on February 27.
One Change’s target is the Chariots Of Fire at Menangle on February 20.
X X X
EXCITING young former Kiwi pacer Patronus Star showed his Golden Nugget campaign was back on target with an easy free-for-all win at Gloucester Park last Friday night.
Team Bond’s WA Derby winner from last season copped a flat tyre and was retired from the race in the early stages of the Group 4YO Championship the previous week.
This time driver Ryan Warwick led easily on Patronus Star from the pole, dictated terms and won as he liked in slick closing splits of 55.7 and 26.8sec.
He backs-up next week against WA’s buzz pacer Magnificent Storm in the Group 1 4YO Classic and the Nugget is the main aim on February 12.
The disappointment for Team Bond came when their other major Nugget player Howard Hughes sat outside Patronus Star and galloped, seemingly for no reason, when he looked set to run second coming to the final bend.
The feature of the night, the $50,000 Nights Of Thunder final, was fittingly won by trainer Ross Olivieri after he won all heats the previous week.
But it was a minor upset with Merv Butterworth’s former Kiwi mare Queen Shenandoah scoring for driver Shannon Suvaljko while stablemate and hot favourite Thats Perfect was back in sixth spot.