Menangle wrap up with Adam Hamilton
By Adam Hamilton
THE past 12 months has been quite something for Kevin Pizzuto.
It’s hard to believe it was a year ago when Pizzuto trained Cruz Bromac to a huge upset win in the Group 1 Len Smith Mile.
He went back-to-back in the feature yesterday (Sunday) when the North American-owned Majordan snared the biggest win of his career.
But in between wins, Pizzuto has enjoyed the most magnificent ride with Tiger Tara through wins in the Inter Dominion final as well as Hunter and Victoria Cups.
There was something about Majordan’s 1min49.6sec Len Smith Mile win which made it rank right up there for the colourful horseman.
“They all wanted to knock him and say he’d gallop away, but he didn’t get along with the driver when he used to gallop. Todd McCarthy is the key to him as today showed. And he’ll keep getting better as Todd understands him more,” Pizzuto said.
“Driver and horse were on song today. He’s a beast this horse and he’s still getting better.”
Majordan, who scorched a 26.4sec split from the 800-400m, still ran home in 26.6sec to stave-off a gallant Our Uncle Sam, who had the cold sit on the leader, to win by a head.
Pizzuto confirmed the focus now moves to Queensland for the $100,000 Group 1 Sunshine Sprint at Albion Park on July 13.
“Tiger Tara won’t run in that, just Majordan. It’s looking more and more likely Tiger will go first-up into the Blacks A Fake the week after,” Pizzuto said.
Todd McCarthy capped his big day by adding the last Group 1 of Sunday’s card when he arrived just in time aboard Black Silhouette to nab a very brave favourite Goodtime Heaven in a 1min51sec mile.
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IT was the win Ignatius deserved and needed.
Winless in four runs this campaign, the horse touted by many as a future Grand Circuit star, peaked at the right time, did all the work and just did enough for a head win over the much-improved Bright Energy to win his Breeders Challenge final.
It completed a cleansweep after Ignatius had won the 2YO and 3YO finals as well.
Trainer-driver Jimmy Rattray confirmed Queensland was next on the agenda.
“He had a tough run in the semi, but came through it well and did a really good job today. We’re looking forward to getting to Queensland now,” he said.
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LOCHINVAR Art’s heartbreak season continued when he was a certainty beaten in the NSW Breeders Challenge 3YO colts and geldings final.
The outstanding young pacer finally drew well (gate one), but was crossed by main danger Max Delight in a scorching 25.8sec first 400m burn.
Despite spending so much early petrol, Lochinvar Art was bolting with nowhere to go at the top of the straight when Max Delight started to tire.
Co-trainer and driver David Moran spent almost the entire home straight angling wider and wider to find clear air, but when id did finally come, it was too late and he flew home for a close second to David Hewitt’s outsider Rockin Marty.
The other ripper run of the race came from Emma Stewart’s third-placed Hardhitter, who was part of the early speed burn and the sat parked throughout in a blistering 1min50.9sec mile.
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WHO is Australia’s best juvenile boy?
That question may not be answered until the Breeders Crown final after Be Happy Mach staked his claim by ending Jilliby Nitro’s feature race splurge at Menangle.
Jilliby Nitro certainly has the best CV through his wins at Bathurst and the Australian Gold final, but Be Happy Mach ran a mighty third after doing all the work in the Gold final and beat Jilliby Nitro in their NSW Breeders Challenge final despite having to sit parked most of the trip.
Emma Stewart’s Be Happy Mach was confidently driven by Luke McCarthy to drill Jilliby Nitro in a 27sec from the 800-400m and then overpowered him to win by a neck from the fast-finishing Rockin With Elvis with Jilliby Nitro third in a 1min52.7sec mile.
The other player in the best juvenile boy equation is Be Happy Mach’s stablemate Mirragon, who lacks the ringcraft of the other two, but looks to be right there on sheer talent.
Mirragon’s run after striking trouble and losing a huge amount of early then only being beaten a whisker in his Vicbred semi at Melton last Saturday night was phenomenal.
McCarthy added to his already stellar Breeders Challenge record with Be Happy Mach and the win of improving filly No Win No Feed, who he helps train with Craig Cross, in the 3YO Fillies’ final in a 1min52.4sec mile.
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THERE is no such doubt around Australia’s best juvenile filly after the regally-bred Pelosi added the NSW Breeders Challenge final to her Australian Gold victory.
Trained by Anna Woodmansey and driven by John Cremin, Pelosi atoned for a brave defeat in semi-final to find the lead and win powerfully by 4.4m in a slick 1min52.6sec mile – just 0.5sec outside Heavens Trend’s Australasian record.
Pelosi is from the fantastic Honan family breed, being out of From Dear Life, a daughter of Express Post and granddaughter of Irish Mail.
Wayne Honan bred and owns Pelosi and is Woodmansey’s partner.