NZ Cup-bound Majestic Cruiser finishes fifth

By Adam Hamilton

New Zealand Cup hopeful Majestic Cruiser remains on target for the race despite only finishing fifth at his first-up run at Menangle last night.

Stepping out for the first time since winning the Group 1 Blacks A Fake in July, Jason Grimson’s multiple Group 1 winner settled last from an outside draw and made good late ground off a slow midrace tempo.

Majestic Cruiser finished just 3.8m from the leader and winner, evergreen veteran Alta Orlando in a 1min54.1sec mile rate for 2300m.

Majestic Cruiser was clocked to run his own last half in 54.4sec.

Grimson will back him up as planned in next Saturday night’s Group 1 Len Smith Mile at Menangle.

Majestic Cruiser is booked on a flight from Sydney to Auckland on October 31.


Australia's pacing “Queen” Ladies In Red has reclaimed her crown.

Champion mare Ladies In Red showed all the class and strength that has ranked with the best mares we have seen for a powerhouse win in the Group 3 Angelique Club Pace (2240m) at Melton last Friday night.

It was her 20th win from just 25 starts (she’s run second in the other five) and took her earnings to $811,020.

As expected, the race turned into an absolute war with emerging stablemate Treachery eventually finding the lead and Ladies In Red having to sit outside her for the last half of the race.

Every time driver David Moran asked for more, Ladies In Red found it to get past Treachery and then stave-off $100 outsider Dougs Babe, who sat behind the leader and ran the race of her life for a close second.

Treachery ran third with the other star mare Tough Tilly back in fourth spot.

It was Moran’s 16th win aboard Ladies In Red and once again he was in awe.

“She’s just the complete package. She’s the most perfect racehorse you could ever ask for,” he said.

“I had to really ask her tonight and she just kept giving. It was a mighty win.”

It atoned for Ladies In Red’s brave second to Tough Tilly at her previous run in the Make Mine Cullen on Victoria Cup night in the first leg of Victoria’s Mares’ Triple Crown.

The last leg is the big one, the $100,000 Group 1 Queen Of The Pacific (2760m), at Melton next Saturday night.

Ladies In Red headlined a monstrous night for co-trainers Emma Stewart and Clayton Tonkin with six wins, including both juvenile features – Tatlow Stakes - with Petracca and Tempting Tigress

Petracca made it five wins from seven starts when he led, dictated and ripped home in 26sec flat to win easily.

Bettors Delight filly Tempting Tigress gave punters a scare with an early mistake but produced a huge performance to thrash her rivals.


There is no stopping the marvel that is Gary Hall Jr.

Just a week after a five-win haul at Gloucester Park, Hall Jr raised the bar again with a staggering, career-best haul of seven wins at Perth's home of harness racing last Friday night.

The wins included a glorious drive to escape a pocket and win the feature of the night, the $50,000 Group 2 Western Gateway 3YO on Tricky Miki for trainer Justin Prentice.

Hall Jr also teamed with his father, Gary Sr, to win the free-for-all with Jumpingjackmac.


Brent Lilley’s two young guns look right on target for the upcoming Inter Dominion trotting series.

Brilliant four-year-old mare Queen Elida won in stunning fashion at Melton a week ago and his other four-year-old, Aldebaran Zeus, scored one of his most significant wins with an all-the-way victory in the True Roman Trotters’ free-for-all at Melton last Friday night.

Driver Chris Alford took the son of Muscle Hill to the front, steadied the pace through the middle stages, and dashed home in 56.2 and 28sec to win easily.

While Aldebaran Zeus has lived in Queen Elida’s shadow, he’s raced 30 times for 13 wins, 12 placings and banked $235,500.

Another emerging four-year-old star, Chris Lang’s Ollivici, ran a solid third and clocked a 55.9sec split for his own last half.


Danny Zavitsanos has won bigger races, including an NZ Cup, but they don’t come much more special than Mach Dan at Geelong last night.

Zavitsanos lives in Geelong, is a huge supporter of the club and winning the Geelong Cup was a treasured moment.

His classy speedster Mach Dan made full use of barrier one to lead throughout in the $60,000 Group 2 Geelong Pacing Cup.

Trained by Emma Stewart and Clayton Tonkin and driven by Mark Pitt, Mach Dan ripped home in 55.2 and 27.6sec to beat former Victoria winner Max Delight, who scooted home late along the sprint lane from there pegs.

Mach Dan, who ran ninth in the inaugural The Race at Cambridge back in April, now boasts 18 wins from 49 starts and $600,185 in earnings.

In an almost regular occurrence, Stewart/Tonkin and Pitt dominated the night with four wins.


Trainer Matty Craven said six months ago Bettor Isolate was a potential superstar.

And now the four-year-old son of Bettors Delight is starting to deliver.

Bettor Isolate’s runaway Menangle win in a scorching 1min49.5sec mile was something to behold.

The son of former star race mare Ashlees Babe has raced just 12 times for seven wins.

Judging by last night’s heat win, he looks to have the NSW Breeders Challenge 4YO final at his mercy.

Craven completed a double later in the night when his former Kiwi trotter Lotamuscle thrashed his rivals in the final event.


It was harder work than expected, but superstar three-year-old Leap To Fame snared another win in a semi-final of the NSW Breeders Challenge 3YO series at Menangle last night.

Just two weeks after his stunning Victoria Derby win, the glamour colt had to all the work and just got past the talented leader My Ultimate Ronnie in a 1min50.7sec mile.

Leap To Fame will be a commanding favourite for next Saturday night’s final before going for a lengthy spell.


Young Kiwi horseman Jack Trainor looks to have found his next star.

Former Kiwi mare Braeview Kelly blitzed her rivals to win the Group 3 Frith Stakes by 16m in a scorching 1min49.6sec mile last night at Menangle.

It was her sixth win from just eight starts for Trainor and sliced a full second off her career best time.

Trainor snared the quinella with his Group 1-winning mare Town Echo finishing second.



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