Day At The Track
Jackie Barker, trainer Owen Martin and owner Steve West,Harness racing

The best is yet to come for 'Marjorie'

Experienced Wimmera harness racing trainer Owen Martin has high hopes that the best is just around the corner for his much-improved stable star, bay mare Marjorie Jean. That's despite the pacer having a standout 2018-19 season with six impressive victories - and along the way collecting the Horse of the Year award at Horsham Harness Racing Club. "I really think the horse has turned the corner. She was a bit slow early, but now she's got the idea and I'm sure that next year will be her best year," Martin, who is based at Concongella, near Stawell, in the Northern Grampians area. Prior to the most recent season, Marjorie Jean (Blissful Hall-Longtan Ebony (Village Jasper) had just one win and five placings from 30 starts. However last season she turned things around dramatically for six wins and five placings from 29 outings. "She recorded some nice wins at Horsham. It's a lovely big track and she certainly enjoys the long straights," Martin said. Marjorie Jean faced the starter at Horsham on seven occasions last season. She was victorious on four occasions and had one placing, so thoroughly deserved her award. "Our son-in-law Murray Sullivan does most of the driving and he won for us in February and March. But he's been away travelling a fair bit, so we've had to turn to a few others," Martin said. "Ballarat youngster James Herbertson got the money at Swan Hill, and then we've stuck with Jackie Barker at Horsham meetings and she won in June and August," he said. Martin said it was a big thrill to compete at Melton during the season with Marjorie Jean. "We raced in the Vicbred 4yo Mares series. I think Jackie enjoyed it down there. We ran fifth in a heat and then eighth, beaten 20m, in the Group One Final," he said. Marjorie Jean is owned by Steve West, who went to school with Martin. "That was a long time ago and now we are neighbors, probably living 500 or 600 metres from each other," Martin said. "I think I may have got Steve initially interested when I invited him to come on board in a syndicate, and he's had a terrific run since with a few handy ones," he said. "Farmersntradies, a Blissful Hall-sired chestnut gelding, was outstanding for seven seasons from 2009 with 18 wins and 27 placings for over $134,000. "There was also Across The Way that won a few before being sold to WA, and another called Usage that we sold to SA and then it ended up in Mildura." Martin said a trip to the South Australian yearling sales resulted in Steve purchasing Marjorie Jean. "Steve had his eye on one, but I talked him into bidding for Marjorie Jean. I had her full sister in Longtan Bliss who won 12 races for $60,000 and if she hadn't had a few problems she could have been anything," he said. Martin has been training for over 30 years after being taught the ropes by his late father Ray. "Dad was born and bred in the area. He worked hard from an early age, mainly on the silos at Rupanyup and Minyip. He was also a very good footballer and was paid massive amounts to play back before the war," he said. Marjorie Jean was sent to the paddock after her latest success at Horsham in late August. "We took off on a short holiday. She's back jogging now, but with the Barry and Aaron Dunn team, because I'm booked for an ankle operation, which will have me sidelined for two months. "I had the other one operated on about five years ago - just some wear and tear from my football days - but I'll be back at the horses as soon as possible." Other Horsham awards were won by: Kerryn Manning (leading driver); Matt Craven (leading trainer); Janet Excell (local trainer award); and James Herbertson (leading concession driver).   Terry Gange NewsAlert PR Mildura

Tiger Tara, Harness racing

Aussie news

ON the weekend Tiger Tara was crowned NSW Horse of the Year for the second successive year, his career looked at the crossroads. But there was two ways of looking at Tiger Tara’s latest defeat – his third from as many runs this campaign -  which came at Menangle last Friday night. On face value, the superstar found the front without much fuss over a suitable 2300m trip and could only labour into a well-held fourth placing behind former Kiwi pacer Alta Orlando. But, on the other hand, trainer Kevin Pizzuto was remarkably frank before the race, declaring Tiger Tara “way underdone” and very vulnerable. “Knowing where he’s at, I was happy with the run. He’s well short of peak fitness and I wasn’t able to fast work him during the week because of all the rain (in Sydney),” Pizzuto said. “I considered scratching him, but he needs racing. He needs to get fitter. He blew up badly over the back after it. He’s still got a way to go.” Pizzuto said he would “use the next few days” to plot Tiger Tara’s pathway towards the NZ Cup, which could include a Victoria Cup start on October 12. While Tiger Tara was the talking point, Alta Orlando built on some good placings since crossing the Tasman to post his first win in the Craig Cross stable. Luke McCarthy buzzed him out from a wide draw, took a sit on Tiger Tara and zipped through along the inside to win in a slick 1min54.3sec mile rate for 2300m. It was Alta Orlando’s first win since scoring at Addington on May 18, last year. _____________________________________________________________________________________ THE much-travelled Cruz Bromac is close to a racetrack return. Now back being trained in Victoria by Amanda Grieve, the high-class pacer popped-up at the Melton trials last week. He won a solo trial in slow time, but zipped home in 55.9 and 26.6sec. A winner of 20 of his 44 starts, Cruz Bromac hasn’t raced since finishing third in the Canadian Club Sprint, a Miracle Mile qualifier, at Menangle on February 23. It was his last run in a very fruitful stint where he earned almost $300,000 with Mark Purdon and Natalie Rasmussen. ____________________________________________________________________________________ FORMER Kiwi trotter Miss Blissful looks like continuing a winning formula for Andy and Kate Gath. She’s their latest trotter bought out of NZ for major owner Norm Jenkin, who also races Tornado Valley and McLovin. And Miss Blissful made quite the statement winning on debut for the Gaths at Melton last night. Despite drawing the back row and then making an early move to sit parked, the daughter of Pegasus Spur had the race won on the home turn and cruised away with a 12.4m victory in a 1min58.2sec mile rate for 1720m. She won just three of her 27 runs in NZ and was sold after a second at Alexandra Park on June 14. _____________________________________________________________________________________ WESTERN Australia’s most-improved pacer Our Corelli is no one-trick pony. Most of his wins since switching to Debbie Lewis’ stable sand roaring through the grades have come in front or right on the speed. Last Friday night he drew wide, sat midfield and snatch a nose win over many of WA’s best open-class pacers, including favourite El Jacko. Our Corelli, a five-year-old son of Bettors Delight, has won eight of his 12 runs since being sold and switching stables. Father and son, Mike and Mark Reed teamed for a couple of wins of note on the same Gloucester Park card. The exciting Bletchley Park, a four-year-old brother to Bling It On, thrashed a handy field and looks a serious horse in the making. He made it nine wins from just 17 starts, winning by almost 12m in a 1min56.4sec mile rate for the long 2536m trip. He’s sure to be a major player in the Golden Nugget late this year. And stablemate Arma Indie,a former Kiwi four-year-old mare led throughout to stretch her winning streak to four wins from as many starts this campaign in the ninth race. _____________________________________________________________________________________ FILLING the void left by the retirement of a megastar like Lennytheshark is a tough ask. But David Aiken’s stable, including his open ranks, are still ticking along nicely. Not only did Aiken quinella the fast-class race at Melton last night with Audi Hare leading and holding-off stablemate Higherthananeagle along the sprint lane, but he also won again with the very exciting Raptors Flight. Kima Frenning drove both Audi Hare and Raptors Flight. Raptors Flight has been a revelation since coming to Australia. He’s now unbeaten seven runs. Last night he drew wide and jumped in grade, but blasted to the front and, despite pulling very hard at times, ripped home in 56 and 28.3sec to win very impressively again. He looks every bit a serious country cups horse and maybe more. _____________________________________________________________________________________ UNHERALDED Victorian horseman Chris Svanosio snared a well deserved feature win of his own last night. It was just a couple of weeks ago where Svanosio played caretaker trainer with star NSW trotter Tough Monarch for Rickie Alchin and won two features at Melton. This time it was all in Svanosio’s name as he trained and drove Magicool to lead throughout and cause an upset in the Group 3 True Roman trot (2240m) at Melton. In a tactical affair, Svanosio pinched a 62.2sec middle half and sprinted home in 57.6 and 28.7sec to easily beat My Skypocket with multiple Group 1 winner Big Jack Hammer flying home from last to third. On the same card, it was fantastic to see former pin-up juvenile trotter Wobelee win so impressively. The five-year-old was outstanding, sustaining a long run around the field and surging clear to win in a brisk 1min56.2sec mile rate for 1720m.   by Adam Hamilton

Million Dollar Cam

Million Dollar Cam NSW Sire of the Year

Yirribee Pacing Stud’s resident stallion Million Dollar Cam was named as the 2018/19 NSW Sire of the Year at the industry Awards Night last Saturday. He left 44 individual winners and progeny earnings of $687,000. Million Dollar Cam was represented by four winners last week including Alimonie, who streeted his rivals in the Reward Series Final at Newcastle in a career-best 1:56.8. Our Millionaire (1:59.2, Ballarat), who was bred and raised by Yirribee, Whatta Conk (1:57.9, Penrith) and Summer Money (1:59.9, Tamworth) were other recent winners sired by Million Dollar Cam. The Yirribee Stud stallions Tintin In America, Caribbean Blaster and Lombo Pocket Watch all led in winners during the week. The Tintin In America mare Lady Sharnae NZ won at her Australian debut at Tamworth, the Yirribee bred four-year-old Cambo Blaster (by Caribbean Blaster) won his second race in 1:59.2 at Bathurst, while Willem (by Lombo Pocket Watch) was a most impressive winner in 1:57.2 at Shepparton. Million Dollar Cam, Tintin In America, Caribbean Blaster and Lombo Pocket Watch are part of an imposing Yirribee Pacing Stud sire roster for the upcoming season. They are joined by Australasian champions Lazarus and Lennytheshark and the revered North American duo, Warrawee Needy and Fear The Dragon.   By Peter Wharton

Graeme Wood,Harness racing

Popular race club Secretary passes

Graeme Wood, who gave many years of service to trotting as a horseman and administrator, passed away on September 18, aged 86.   He had a lengthy association with the sport at Yarra Glen, as a long standing committee member of the Yarra Glen Harness Racing Club (now Yarra Valley Racing).   Graeme was also Secretary of the YGHRC for several years from the mid 1980s, and his contribution to the club saw him recognised with life membership of the organisation.   He is also the only person to receive the honour of life membership of the current Yarra Valley Racing organisation.   Graeme grew up around horses and upon selling a successful manufacturing business and retiring to Dixon's Creek, near Yarra Glen, he took an active involvement in trotting.   As a hobby trainer/driver, he achieved success with a small team, and his first horse, Tarport Andrew, while not a great performer here would later be sold to Macau and win 22 races, 14 of those breaking 2:00.   Graeme had success with other horses including Persian Spring (seven wins), however his best horse was the top mare Melleray, in the late 1980s and early 1990s.   The home bred daughter of Meadow Looney won 15 races for Graeme and wife Stephanie, including the 1992 Queen Of The Pacific among six wins at Moonee Valley.   The mare was driven in all her wins by local reinsman Michael Hayes.   Melleray also produced False Pretence (four wins for the Wood family) and Copyright (five wins).   Graeme had not enjoyed the best of health in recent times and will be missed by all at his local course.   A respected gentleman of the sport, Graeme is survived by wife Stephanie and their children.     Kyle Galley

FOR the second year in a row Tiger Tara has been crowned the Gallagher New South Wales Horse of the Year. Receiving 100 per cent of the votes, Tiger Tara was handed the honour at the Harness Racing New South Wales Awards Night on Saturday. Tiger Tara certainly had a year to remember on track taking out the Tabcorp Inter Dominion as well as the Hunter and Victoria Cups and pocketing $865,500 in prizemoney along the way. The Minister for Better Regulation and Innovation responsible for Racing, the Hon Kevin Anderson was in attendance and presented Club Menangle Chairman Ray Sharman Australia's highest harness racing award, the JP Stratton Award, for his 26 years of service on that Board. Harness Racing NSW would like to take this opportunity to congratulate all of tonight's award winners. Listed below are all of the 2018/19 award winners which were presented in front of a capacity crowd, hosted by Mark McNamara.   HORSE OF THE YEAR AWARDS   Arthur J. Gallagher NSW Horse of the Year: Tiger Tara Club Menangle Two-Year-Old of the Year: Expensive Ego Cockburn & Co NSW Two-Year-Old Colt/Gelding Pacer of the Year: Expensive Ego Cockburn & Co NSW Two-Year-Old Filly Pacer of the Year: Michelle Lee Mac Cockburn & Co NSW Two-Year-Old Trotter of the Year: Playboy In Paris Club Menangle NSW Three-Year-Old of the Year: Muscle Factory Sydney Morning Herald NSW Three-Year-Old Colt/Gelding Pacer of the Year: Muscle Factory Sydney Morning Herald NSW Three-Year-Old Filly Pacer of the Year: Miss Streisand Sydney Morning Herald NSW 3YO Trotter of the Year: Caligula Club Menangle NSW Aged Horse of the Year: Tiger Tara KS Black & Co NSW Aged Entire/Gelding Pacer of the Year: Tiger Tara KS Black & Co NSW Aged Mare Pacer of the Year: Major Occasion KS Black & Co NSW Aged Trotter of the Year: Tough Monarch Daily Form Service NSW Broodmare of the Year: Miss Brazillian Daily Form Service NSW Sire of the Year: Million Dollar Cam   PARTICIPANT AWARDS   TAB Kevin Newman Award For Driving Excellence: Anthony Frisby Lexus Of Parramatta Junior Trainer Encouragement Award: Brooke Wilkins Lexus of Parramatta Junior Driver Encouragement Award: Joshua Gallagher KARI Indigenous Participant of the Year: James Sutton Garrards Horse & Hound NSW Leading Hobbyist Driver: Cassie Robinson Garrards Horse & Hound NSW Leading Hobbyist Trainer: Wayne Sullivan Garrards Horse & Hound NSW Leading Trotting Trainer and Driver: Blake Fitzpatrick Garrards Horse & Hound NSW Champion Junior Driver: Cameron Hart Garrards Horse & Hound NSW Champion Driver: Todd McCarthy Garrards Horse & Hound NSW Champion Trainer: KerryAnn Turner GHD NSW Owner of the Year: Greg and Mandy Targett IntelliTek NSW Breeder of the Year: Greg and Mandy Targett Harness Racing NSW Service to the Breeding Industry: Peter and Marie Neil   CLUB MENANGLE AWARDS Lexus of Parramatta Medal: Lachie Manzelmann Lexus of Parramatta Club Menangle First Lady Award: Gemma Rue Lexus of Parramatta Club Menangle Metropolitan Driver: Todd McCarthy Lexus of Parramatta Club Menangle Metropolitan Trainer: Shane and Lauren Tritton   DISTINGUISHED SERVICE AWARDS HRNSW Don Clough Award: Lorraine Pozza HRNSW Industry Contribution Award: Jim Bell HRNSW Club Volunteer Awards: Ann Brown (Tamworth HRC), Brian Hay (Wagga HRC), Jan Hay (Wagga HRC), Peter Jones (Eugowra HRC), Terry McMillen (Wagga HRC)   CARNIVAL OF CUPS AWARDS Tabcorp Carnival of Cups Horse of the Series: Ned Pepper Tabcorp Best Community Engagement Club: Coolamon HRC Tabcorp Best Fraternity Engagement Club: Young HRC Tabcorp Best Club with a feature race over $30,000: Eugowra HRC Tabcorp Best Club with a feature race between $13,001 and $30,000: Temora HRC Tabcorp Best Club with a feature race to a max of $13,000: Newcastle HRC   To access photos from the night please click here.   AMANDA RANDO MEDIA & COMMUNICATIONS MANAGER HARNESS RACING NEW SOUTH WALES

Harness Racing Victoria (HRV) is pleased to announce the finalists for each category in the 2019 Victorian Horse of the Year awards. The awards will be presented at the Gordon Rothacker Medal night on Sunday October 27. More details on the Rothacker Medal night will be unveiled early next week.    Victorian Horse of the Year finalists by category 2YO Pacing Fillies Jemstone Maajida Treasure 2YO Pacing Colts/Geldings Be Happy Mach Jilliby Nitro Yejele Hammer 3YO Pacing Fillies Kualoa Tangoingwithsierra Two Times Bettor 3YO Pacing Colts/Geldings Lochinvar Art Max Delight Out To Play 4YO Pacing Mares Goodtime Heaven Pistol Abbey Soho Burning Love 4YO Pacing Entires/Geldings Poster Boy Rackemup Tigerpie Tam Major 5YO+ Pacing Mares Carlas Pixel Makes Every Scents Tell Me Tales 5YO+ Pacing Entires/Geldings Buster Brady San Carlo Wrappers Delight 2YO Trotting Fillies Im Ready Jet Jaxnme Pink Galahs 2YO Trotting Colts/Geldings Andover Sun Is That A Bid Powderkeg 3YO Trotting Fillies Emerald Stride I Am Pegasus Royal Charlotte 3YO Trotting Colts/Geldings Alpha Male Kyvalley Clichy Majestuoso 4YO Trotting Mares Aleppo Jewel Moonlight Dream Moonshine Linda 4YO Trotting Entires/Geldings Chief Runningcloud Kyvalley Finn Majestic Player 5YO+ Trotting Mares Dance Craze Pantzup Red Hot Tooth 5YO+ Trotting Entires/Geldings Big Jack Hammer McLovin Tornado Valley   HRV Trots Media

Five-year-old gelding Call Me Hector is now officially the quickest pacer to race on Tasmanian soil when the Matthew Cooper-trained and driven pacer broke the Tasmanian and Hobart track record with a slick 1m 54.3s victory in Hobart last night. The previous state record of 1m 54.5s was shared by Ryley Major (Hobart 16/06/19) and Mister Lennox (Launceston 14/05/17). Last night from barrier four, driver Matthew Cooper was keen to find the lead on the $2.10 favourite and bowled along in quarters of 28.7s, 28.4s, 28.9s and 28.2s. “I knew he was running along and I thought I would just let him run,” said Cooper. Cooper said pre-race that the gelded son of Art Major just lacks a fast-finishing sprint and is best suited when driven tough, and that’s exactly what Cooper did. “He can keep running 29 (second) quarters and he felt that strong down the back I gave him a tap on the bum and went for home,” said the winning trainer-driver. Call Me Hector is out of the Mach Three mare Lady Jillett Lombo which makes Call Me Hector a half brother to last season’s George Johnson winner Call Her Julie who also did an outstanding job in Cooper’s care. “They are similar horses, they are tough, have a good heart, they just like running and you don’t have to work them hard,” explained Cooper. Call Me Hector defeated Star Chamber by 6.4 metres with Blackbird Power a further 6.8 metres away third, the first five placegetters in the event were all driven along the pegs. Adelaide Bay winning in Hobart on 18 September 2019. Later in the night, the Marc Butler-trained Adelaide Bay broke his maiden status with a 14.2-metre victory in the Tasmanian Veterinary Services Pace. The gelded son of Auckland Reactor is still learning the racing game, causing a tough drive once again for Ricky Duggan. “Marc (Butler) changed a bit of gear on him to try and get him to settle but that didn’t work, so we will go back to the drawing board with that,” said Duggan. “He feels alright and he has a bit of a motor, he just has to learn what it is all about as he is still not doing things 100%,” the master driver added. Duggan drove a double on the card, he partnered Witch Master in the opening race for his brother Adrian. Todd Rattray recorded a training and driving double on the card with five-year-old mares Karpenkova Leis and Bremusa. Another trainer to record multiple wins was Rohan Hillier who prepared Boss Major in race two with stable junior driver Conor Crook in the sulky before Im Barney Rubble scored in the claiming race of the night. The Daryl Bates trained Streetside Classic registered his first win since March 2018 with an all the way win in the Go Racing Tasmania Pace courtesy of a brilliant front running drive by Gareth Rattray. Pink Ponder caused the biggest upset of the night when the Ben Yole-trained mare used the Roberts Sprint Lane to score at odds of $47 with Rohan Hadley in the sulky. Duncan Dornauf for Tasracing

Ballarat-based harness racing young gun Darby McGuigan has provided a "shot in the arm" for a Sunshine State husband-and-wife team's Victorian campaign. McGuigan, fresh from driving over 100 winners for the first time last season, showed patience personified before timing his run to perfection to land the prize with nine-year-old mare Majestic Whiz at Swan Hill on Tuesday night. Majestic Whiz (Majestic Son-Roydon Whiz (Gee Whiz II), trained by Gavin and Kay Crone, scored by the narrowest of margins in the $7000 Cardigan Boko @ Goodtime Lodge Trotters Handicap. The square-gaiter is one of a handful of horses being campaigned on a "working holiday" down south by the couple. The Crones come from Ebenezer, a small rural township 44 kms from the capital Brisbane with a population of about 300 residents. "It was great because no-one gave us much of a chance, but I can tell you that Gavin and Kay and their friends were very excited," McGuigan said. "The horse was always travelling nicely and had an easy time buried away three back on the pegs. I was able to pop off into the one-out line on the home corner and we just found enough up the home straight to snatch victory," he said. "The race was run at a consistent tempo (of 30.5, 30.9, 29.8 and 29.3) which suited us. But to be honest, I wasn't sure if I had run down the favorite Majestic Devil (Michelle Phillips). It was certainly very close." McGuigan, now into his fourth season of race driving, said he met Gavin at a recent Ballarat meeting and was offered the drive. "I don't mind trotters. I get a few drives on them and I've had a few wins and it's always a good feeling," he said. The victory ended a long streak of being out of the winner's circle for Majestic Whiz. Her previous triumph was at Bankstown (December 22, 2017) and her 57 starts since that success have yielded just 10 placings at Albion Park, Redcliffe and Marburg circuits. The successful Crone clan after their win in the Springboard Series in Queensland in August (photo courtesy Dan Costello) Majestic Whiz is now owned by former Sydney trainer Peter Carson who's a well-known fan of the square-gaiter. The mare started her career in South Australia under the care of the McMillan family, running second on debut at Globe Derby Park in March, 2013, before winning there two weeks later. Five placings followed in the next four months before she found her way to the Melbourne stable of Brent Lilley. After an unplaced effort in the G1 Redwood Classic at Maryborough, Majestic Whiz was produced 18 months later by Carson at Menangle. She had quite a few attempts prior to the Bankstown success. Her next stop was to Ebenezer to the Crone stables, who also share a love for the square-gaiters. The couple had half the field in the Swan Hill event. Apart from winner Majestic Whiz, Kay drove Princess Katerina (3rd) and Gavin piloted Davey's Gift (5th). Also making the Victorian trip is talented three-year-old Armbro Variable-sired gelding Indefensible (Armbro Variable-Mental Power (Its Motor Power). He was an impressive winner back home in the $15,000 Stallions Australasia Springboard 2yo Trotters Final. His three Victorian runs have been good with a third at Maryborough and two fourths at Ballarat. The visitors are hoping Indefensible can breakthrough because he's Vicbred which entitles him to an $7000 bonus in addition to stakemoney. Crone's brother Darryl, who lives in Victoria, owns and bred the horse. McGuigan shared driving honors at Swan Hill with Boris Devcic, of Mildura, both landing doubles. "It was fantastic landing Byalla Boy for dad (Tim). The horse was good recently at Mildura, but disappointed a bit at Yarra Valley, so we were happy to see him bounce back," McGuigan said. "It was his eighth win. Seven of these have been when he's landed in front." And it could have easily been a treble for the youngster who was engaged to drive winner of the opening event Spring Delight for Steven Duffy. "We had a few hiccups on the way and I didn't get to the track on time, so Zac Phillips took my place - and they got the money!" McGuigan said.   Terry Gange NewsAlert PR Mildura

In last week’s column we sang the praises of Matt Young for tipping the card at a recent Saturday night meeting at Bunbury. What we didn’t report was that The West Australian’s Ernie Manning also tipped the card at the same meeting. Apologies to Ernie for that oversight and belated congratulations to him for realising the dream of every tipster. Now to dissect tomorrow night’s meeting at Gloucester Park by members of the WA Trotting Media Guild. TABradio racecaller Hayden King and Radio Great Southern’s form analyst Warren Wishart are keen on Warfare. “The Justin Prentice-trained Warfare is drawn to lead and should be too good off a let-up,” King said. “He can progress through to FFA class.” And Wishart agrees. “My best bet comes up in race three with No.1 Warfare,” Wishart said. “Very talented type who gets a good draw. I think he should lead all the way.” Leading tipster Young believes El Jacko is poised to return to the winners’ list. “El Jacko has drawn to receive the perfect run and has a good turn of foot and should finish over the top of the leaders in the Navy Cup,” Young said. Longshot guru Pat Harding is a fan of the Ray Williams-trained Walkinshaw. “After last week's tough meeting there might be a few more wins for punters this week,” Harding said. “My best bet comes up in the second race with No. 6 Walkinshaw. This is his third run back after a spell and I think he can prevail in this small field. He’s due for a win and this might be his best opportunity.” Guild president Wayne Currall has made another Williams-trained pacer as his star bet for the meeting. “Major Pocket has been nothing but consistent this campaign with six minor placings from his past eight starts,” Currall said. “Expect him to be driven more aggressively from gate three and he just might prove too strong at the business end.” Manning and his colleague, The West Australian’s racing co-ordinator Ryan Havercroft, have settled on Arma Indie as their best. “Arma Indie has emerged as one of WA’s most promising pacers when winning clearly at her past three starts and looks set to confirm she is a summer carnival prospect,” Manning said. “The four-year-old, who joined Mike Reed’s stable after two New Zealand wins within eight days last January, has shown she has the gate speed to take advantage of barrier one. She won by 13.2m and 23.1m in Gloucester Park races before her 6.8m victory at Pinjarra  last week. She looks an ideal proposition for the Mares Classic in December.” Havercroft agrees. “Arma Indie has resumed from a spell in devastating fashion, winning at all three starts since her injury-shortened Oaks campaign,” Havercroft said. “In two of her three wins she found the front and from the inside draw this week she will likely lob into the lead and be hard to run down.” On-course announcer Ken Casellas believes punters would be wise to get on Vincenzo Perrugia. “Septuagenarian owner-trainer Tony Svilicich has New Zealand-bred six-year-old Vincenzo Peruggia racing with admirable enthusiasm and the gelding is my best bet this week after drawing favourably at barrier three,” Casellas said. “Vincenzo Peruggia looks like founding the top and is capable of leading his rivals on a merry dance. He put the writing on the wall last Friday night when he raced without cover and finished a desperately close second to Bettor Party.” VALUE BETS HAYDEN: Sea Me Smile is flying lately and will sit off the pace in the first. She could soar home over the top with the speed on. WARREN: James Butt is in a much more suitable race tonight. Some of his runs last preparation were very good and at each-way odds. I think he can win. MATT: The old timer Maximum Demand will get a soft run and if he gets any luck he will be sprinting home powerfully at double-figure odds. He’s getting better with every run. PAT: I think Chris Voak can have James Butt well placed to come home strongly and give punters some value. WAYNE: On a night where there doesn’t appear to be too much value, I think Waylade could get a soft run behind likely leader Thereugo and run a race at huge odds. ERNIE: Presidentmach has not won in his past seven starts, but the gelding should not be overlooked from a pole draw. He started from barrier seven when unplaced last Friday night. A winner of 16 races, he recently ran second to the talented Wildwest. RYAN: Jaxon Fella will drop out to last from the wide draw. He erupted late four starts ago and in a small field here he won’t be far from them if there is any speed on. KEN: For value, I suggest Athabascan in the final event. He’s tough and is overdue for a change of fortune. To view all of the Media Guild tips click here. Good Punting   Wayne Currall

New Zealand-bred five-year-old Cut Above bounced back to her best form with a fast-finishing win in fast time at Gloucester Park on Tuesday night and is poised for another powerful effort in the Mondo Doro Smallgoods Pace on Friday night. The Matt Scott-trained mare, to be driven by Shannon Suvaljko, is favourably drawn at barrier three on the front line and should prove to be a serious rival for the strong, in-form Craig Saligari-trained six-year-old Bob Wheel. “Racing twice in the space of four days won’t worry her,” said Scott, who will set a personal record of nine starters at a Gloucester Park meeting. “Cut Above and Son of a Tiger are probably my best winning chances, but Clarenden Hustler, Rock Me Over and Charlie El have each-way prospects.” Cut Above sat behind the pacemaker Highroller Joe before finishing fast to win narrowly from Dredlock Rockstar on Tuesday night, rating 1.56.9 over the 2130m after the three final quarters in 28.4sec., 27.5sec. and 29sec. Cut Above, a winner at one of her two starts in New Zealand, has proved a good investment for Tim Blee, who outlaid $25,000 to buy the mare, who now has had 34 starts in Western Australia for 11 wins, 12 placings and $66,352 in prizemoney. “She has also been high maintenance,” said Scott. “On her first day here, she bucked and got her leg over the cart. She had to have three months off and still has a big scar on a back leg. She’s fine now, but we only lead her in her work because she still bucks at home.” One of Cut Above’s rivals on Friday night is stablemate Always On, who will start from barrier six with Chris Voak in the sulky. The five-year-old Always On, a former Mildura performer, set the pace from barrier four before wilting to finish sixth behind Atmospherical over 1730m last Friday week when making her first appearance in WA.       “It was a very disappointing first-up run,” said Scott. “I’ve changed his work and he has worked a bit better and I’m not sure whether we’ll blast him out (at the start) or drive him with cover. “ Scott admitted that he was also disappointed with Neighlor’s past two unplaced efforts but is hoping for an improved effort from the No. 1 barrier in the Etch Coating Pace. “Whether we’ll lead or race with a sit — I’ll leave that up to Shannon (Suvaljko),” he said. Scott said that he expected another strong showing from Son of a Tiger in the Simmonds Steel Pace in which the New Zealand-bred five-year-old will start from barrier six. “It’s a tricky draw and he goes up in class, but the speed should be on, and that will suit him,” he said. “I reckon they’ll go 1.55 again and he’ll be coming home.” Son of a Tiger started out wide at barrier nine last week and impressed when he was ninth at the bell and charged home to win from Carter Micheal and Extreme Prince, rating 1.55.2 over 2130m. “He will probably have a spell after this week’s run and then freshen him up for Christmas when the Christmas Gift or Nights of Thunder should be right up his alley,” Scott said. “Clarenden Hustler and Rock Me Over are each-way chances. Clarenden Hustler from barrier eight has quick beginners inside of him, but he doesn’t have to lead to win; he can win with a sit and he’s definitely not out of it (in the Worldwide Printing Pace). “Rock Me Over is consistent and has each-way claims in the final race, while Charlie El is likely to find it hard from the wide draw at No. 8 in race six. But Clarenden Hustler couldn’t beat Charlie El on the track two weeks ago and he didn’t get out when fifth at Northam on Saturday night.” Ken Casellas

Maddison Brown, fresh from driving Highly Flammable to an easy victory at Gloucester Park on Tuesday night, is looking forward to handling stablemate Ideal One in the 2536m TABtouch Pace on Friday night. Hall of Fame trainer Gary Hall Snr declared that the No. 1 barrier would suit the eight-year-old Ideal One, saying: “He hasn’t had much luck with barriers, and I think that this is definitely a winnable race. Maddison will try to lead with him, with the only problem being whether the horse gets too much pressure. “Ideal One overraced outside the leader (Runaway Three) when fifth behind Son of a Tiger over 2130m last week. The 2536m will not be a concern for Ideal One. All my horses go better over the longer distances; the further they go, the better they go.” Ideal One showed his liking for 2536m five starts ago when he set the pace from barrier two and won from Waimac Attack and Beltane at a 1.58.5 rate. This will be the first time in 27 starts at Gloucester Park that Ideal One will begin from the No. 1 barrier. He has won at six of his 36 starts in WA and he set the pace in four of his six wins in New South Wales. Ideal One’s main dangers this week appear certain to be the three horses drawn at barriers two, three and four The Trilogy, Pierre Whitby and Carter Micheal.       Another good drive for Brown will be Just Rockon Bye, who will start from the outside barrier in a field of eight in the 2536m Garrard’s Horse and Hound Pace. Trainer Gary Hall Snr engaged Brown in order to use her concession as a novice driver and become eligible for the $20,000 event for mares. Gary Hall Jnr drove Just Rockon Bye last Friday night when she gave a superb performance to race without cover before finishing with tremendous determination to win by a nose from the odds-on favourite and pacemaker Hit It Rich in a 2130m event for mares, with the final quarters whizzing by in  27.4sec. and 28.3sec. Just Rockon Bye will clash with several in-form mares, including the lightly-raced Mike Reed-trained Arma Indie, Hit It Rich and Delightfulreaction. Arma Indie, who will start from the No. 1 barrier, has resumed after a spell in fine form with three effortless victories from three outings against considerably weaker opposition. Hall Jnr has given punters a significant lead by choosing to drive the Justin Prentice-trained Warfare in preference to nine-year-old Mad Robber, an all-the-way winner at his past two starts, in the third event, the 2130m Simmonds Steel Pace. Warfare, a winner at 15 of his 56 starts, is a strong frontrunner who looks the winner from the prized No. 1 barrier. Ken Casellas

A sparkling trial at Byford on Sunday morning is a strong pointer to a win by James Butt in the 2130m Specialised Equipment Funding Solutions Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. “He’s a nice horse who is tough and tries hard, but his greatest strength is his high speed,” said eight-time West Australian premier trainer Ross Olivieri, fresh from preparing four winners last Friday night. James Butt, who was handled in the 2150m trial by his regular reinsman Chris Voak, has drawn awkwardly at barrier five in the field of nine at his first appearance after an absence of 54 days. But he has the natural speed to overcome this disadvantage. In a three-horse trial at Byford, James Butt burst to the front after 500m and then dashed over the final three quarters in 30sec., 29.3sec. and 27.2sec. to win from open-class performer Waylade at a 1.58.2 rate. “He’s in with a chance and will go good on Friday night,” said Olivieri. “Hy Leexciting and Major Pocket have drawn to his inside and they are in good form and should prove hard to beat.” James Butt, a five-year-old by American stallion Big Jim, won at three of his 20 starts in New Zealand and has impressed in Western Australia with four wins and two placings from ten starts. Hy Leexciting, an eight-year-old to be driven by Emily Suvaljko for Banjup owner-trainer Ian Barker, is racing keenly and was a convincing winner three starts ago after racing without cover. He is favourably drawn at barrier two. The Ray Williams-trained Major Pocket also will have many admirers from barrier No. 3. With five seconds and one third from his past eight starts, he is overdue for a change of fortune. Also in contention is the polemarker, the Craig Hynam-trained Presidentmach, who will be driven for the first time by Shannon Suvaljko. He is a noted frontrunner, with eight of his 12 wins in South Australia coming after setting the pace. The most recent of his four wins in this State was when he started from the No. 2 barrier and set the pace before scoring from Quincey Brogden at Gloucester Park last April. Olivieri said that he was also looking forward for strong showings from The Last Parisian in race one, the Mondo Doro Smallgoods Pace, and Ardens Concord in race eight, the Worldwide Printing Pace. The Last Parisian, to be driven by Chris Lewis from out wide at barrier eight, will return to mobile racing after contesting stands at his past five starts. This will be his first appearance since he galloped at the start and finished at the rear behind Seven Demerits over 2560m at Northam on August 3. The Last Parisian came from fifth in the middle stages to finish second to talented four-year-old Ana Afreet in a 2150m trial at Byford on Sunday morning. “It was a very good trial and he has gone forward since then,” said Olivieri. “Ardens Concord is also an each-way chance.” Ardens Concord will be driven by Chris Voak from the prized No. 1 barrier and he is capable of improving considerably from unplaced efforts at his past six starts since he set the pace from barrier two and won from Waimac Attack at a 1.57.5 rate over 2130m in March this year. Ken Casellas

El Jacko and Vampiro, two of the star performers from the powerful Greg and Skye Bond stables, look set to dominate the $50,000 Navy Cup at Gloucester Park on Friday night and have bright prospects of providing the husband and wife combination with a quinella result in the Group 2 feature event. Punters face an intriguing quandary when choosing their selection in the 2130m race in which the talented stablemates have drawn favourably. The only real certainty surrounding the tactics of the 12 runners is that polemarker Thereugo will reveal his normal brilliant gate speed and will set the pace for Lindsay Harper, who celebrated his 60th birthday on Tuesday. El Jacko, with Dylan Egerton-Green in the sulky, will start from the No. 2 barrier, with Vampiro (Ryan Warwick) at No. 3. El Jacko finished an eye-catching second to the pacemaker and stablemate Our Jimmy Johnstone in the 2536m James Brennan Memorial last Friday night after enjoying a perfect passage behind the leader. He was hampered for room until getting into the clear 100m, when he sprinted fast, but was unable to overhaul Our Jimmy Johnstone, who set his rivals a difficult task by dashing over the final two quarters in 27.5sec. and 28.1sec. Vampiro started from the back line and raced in eighth position before fighting on doggedly to be sixth, less than three lengths from the winner and two lengths behind El Jacko. He will be very hard to beat this week, particularly if Warwick is able to slot him into the one-out, one-back position or the one-out, two-back spot. El Jacko, a seven-year-old with 21 wins from 58 starts, is an enigmatic pacer who gave a sample of his class by racing three back on the pegs and flashing home along the inside to finish a half-length second to the pacemaker Rocknroll Lincoln in the 2936m WA Pacing Cup last January. Then, in March he won the Pinjarra Cup from Rocknroll Lincoln and the Narrogin Cup. He has also had difficulty in the past of negotiating the final bend in races at Gloucester Park, particularly when racing one wide or wider on the track. Astute punters could well opt for Vampiro, a six-year-old with 19 wins from 50 starts, taking into account his splendid performance four starts ago when he began from barrier seven and worked hard in the breeze before finishing powerfully to snatch a half-head victory from the pacemaker Our Corelli in the 2536m August Cup. The Bonds also will be represented in Friday night’s Cup by 11-year-old Our Jimmy Johnstone, who will again be handled by Bailey McDonough, who rated the gelding perfectly in front to win last week’s Brennan Memorial. However, he will be at long odds this week after drawing the outside barrier (No. 9).           Greg Bond is seeking his second success in the Navy Cup. He prepared 9/4 favourite Richard Henry, who started from the No. 2 barrier, set the pace for Colin Brown and held on to win by a short half-head from Lightning Jake in November 2006. Chris Lewis, who has won the Navy Cup behind Skiptar (1980), Western Gentleman (1994), Mark Craig (1995), Super Strike (1996) and Lovers Delight (2015), will drive the in-form Our Corelli, who is handily drawn at barrier two on the back line. Our Corelli has won seven times from 11 starts for trainer Debra Lewis and he was far from disgraced in fading to finish ninth in last week’s Brennan Memorial when he began speedily from the outside barrier but was unable to cross to the front. He then had a tough run in the breeze before wilting only over the final 150m. Ross Olivieri, who has won the Navy Cup with Chipmont (1991), Mark Craig and Super Strike, will be pinning his faith on Mr Mojito, who will be driven by Chris Voak from barrier eight. Mr Mojito will be improved after his sound first-up fourth behind Our Corelli in the York Cup last Friday week, but faces a hard task from the wide draw.     Champion trainer Gary Hall Snr has won the Navy Cup with Abit Rich (1997), Real Life (2009), Hokonui Ben (2012), Beaudiene Boaz (2016) and Chicago Bull (2017 and 2018). He will be represented in Friday night’s Cup by King of Swing (barrier five) and Speed Man (barrier seven), who will need plenty of luck from their awkward draws. Ken Casellas

Trots clubs in the western region of Victoria have come together to trial a new strategy for hosting trial meetings. Whilst the concept of trialling before or during race meetings is not a new concept, the change is somewhat of an innovation to the region and industry. The calendaring of meetings combine both trials before race meetings and the traditional standalone trial meetings, to ensure that there are trials in the region on a weekly basis, regardless of the number of nominations. The five South-Western region clubs are Ararat, Hamilton, Horsham, Stawell and Terang. Trainers note: Nominations will close as per regular trial meetings. Night race meetings – Noon the day of the race meeting* Day race meetings – Noon the day prior the race meeting* *Saturday and Sunday trial meetings will close noon Friday *Public Holiday trial meetings will close noon, the previous business day. (for example, Monday Public Holidays, nominations would close Noon the previous Friday).   Harness Racing Victoria

The studmaster at Australasia’s leading harness racing breeding farm has warned the trend towards the use of frozen semen threatens to collapse the industry “within a few years”. Alabar Farm proprietor Alan Galloway was a pioneer of cryogenics (frozen semen) 30 years ago, but now says it’s not feasible on an industry-wide basis and has the potential to threaten the viability of harness racing. “It’s too expensive, it has poor outcomes and actually can be quite cruel on the mares, but none of those things are admitted to by those advocating frozen semen,” Galloway said. “From a breeder point of view, the difference is not well understood. Most breeders think ‘frozen’ means ‘chilled’ and that couldn’t be further from the truth,” he said. “Frozen semen gets terrible results in comparison to fresh, chilled semen – foaling rates suffer, because there are lower conception rates and also higher percentages of foals aborting. “On top of that, to impregnate mares using frozen semen is expensive for the breeder, taxing on the mare and stressful on farm staff.” Galloway said the intensity of effort required for acceptable fertility rates was one reason Alabar virtually ended its use of frozen semen. “We still do a little but it’s a huge amount of work,” he explained. “Frozen semen is less viable – just by freezing the cells, you reduce their viable number by half – and getting mares pregnant means costs go through the roof because of the work involved. Frozen semen is normally packaged in 0.5-ml straws, with eight straws (800 million sperm cells) representing one insemination dose. Although there is tremendous variability between stallions, a typical ejaculate from a stallion will provide approximately eight insemination doses (approximately 64 straws). “You need to be absolutely accurate in your timing of insemination, because instead of fresh semen living for five or six days in the fallopian tubes of the mare, you have only three or four hours where frozen semen is viable,” he said. “So, to have the best chance of getting a pregnancy, you need to be scanning mares every three or four hours in their fertility phase.  This can be hard on the mares and you need experienced operators. There are only a handful of vets skilled enough. Historically, the insemination of mares with frozen stallion semen often resulted in disappointing results and high veterinary bills. “All of this comes with an added risk to the mare. Inflammatory reaction or infection can be more prevalent which means higher vet bills. Lower conception rates also mean the mares have to go through these procedures on more cycles per season. The costs just continue to rise – and even then there’s much lower percentages of live foals at the end of it all. It’s just too expensive and frustrating for the general consumer, so you have breeders, especially new or first-time breeders, getting burnt and exiting the industry. “It just doesn’t add up, but there’s a very strong trend happening, which concerns me deeply.” Galloway said key owners of American standardbred stallions were moving to “lock up” their sires in the Northern Hemisphere. “The trend is to keep those stallions there, in view of the reduced risk to the stallion, and because it’s cheaper and more convenient to simply send frozen semen to the Southern Hemisphere,” he said. “A good number of the American sires ‘standing at stud’ here in Australia this season are not here at all – they’re still in the Northern Hemisphere and the studs are simply shipping the frozen semen and offering a distribution service. “There needs to be more transparency because at the moment, the real fertility rates, the real results in foaling rates and the costs to owners are being hidden – and that’s to the detriment of breeders who are right now making decisions about what stallion to send their mare to.” Galloway said the industry’s administrators had also failed to identify and act on the risk the trend presented to harness racing. “One of the great injustices is that foals from North American stallions available here via frozen semen are eligible for our futurity and sires’ stakes races – yet to be eligible for their own sires’ stakes racing in North America the stallions have to be physically resident in the state!” he said. “So, there’s no incentive for breeders to support local studs and stallions – which is what sires stakes racing was set up to do, to encourage and nurture our own industry.” Galloway said he was excited about the prospects of work by the University of Newcastle of an “equine extender”, a process which allows semen to live for two weeks outside the body, without the need for freezing. He said he also wanted to encourage breeders to think carefully about their options for the upcoming season. “I’m not advocating breeders to come to Alabar, but just to be aware of what decision they are making and what that means– for their potential of getting a foal this year, for their costs and for the long-term future of our industry,” he said. “I don’t want to see frozen semen banned because if you did, we wouldn’t have had access to some of the truly great sires, particularly in trotting, which are just not available here.  But don’t hide the fact that you get reduced pregnancy results with frozen semen. “If it becomes the ‘norm’ then it will destroy our industry within a few years – we simply won’t have enough racing stock, because foaling rates will collapse.” Alabar has been the dominant Standardbred stud in Australasia for 30 years, breeding 40 percent of the mares in the Southern Hemisphere in the past decade (between 2500 and 3000 mares each year). “All I am asking is for more transparency around how the system is evolving and what it means for the future.  And if the switch is made to frozen semen, I’m out – simply because I won’t subsidise the industry to that extent,” Galloway said. Terry Gange NewsAlert PR Mildura  

« Article Archive
USA
Canada
Australia
New Zealand
Europe
Loader
Loader
Experienced Wimmera harness racing trainer Owen Martin has high hopes that the best is just around the corner for his much-improved stable star, bay mare Marjorie Jean. That's despite the pacer having a standout 2018-19 season with six impressive victories - and along the way collecting the Horse of the Year award at Horsham Harness Racing Club. "I really think the horse has turned the corner. She was a bit slow early, but now she's got the idea and I'm sure that next year will be her best year," Martin, who is based at Concongella, near Stawell, in the Northern Grampians area. Prior to the most recent season, Marjorie Jean (Blissful Hall-Longtan Ebony (Village Jasper) had just one win and five placings from 30 starts. However last season she turned things around dramatically for six wins and five placings from 29 outings. "She recorded some nice wins at Horsham. It's a lovely big track and she certainly enjoys the long straights," Martin said. Marjorie Jean faced the starter at Horsham on seven occasions last season. She was victorious on four occasions and had one placing, so thoroughly deserved her award. "Our son-in-law Murray Sullivan does most of the driving and he won for us in February and March. But he's been away travelling a fair bit, so we've had to turn to a few others," Martin said. "Ballarat youngster James Herbertson got the money at Swan Hill, and then we've stuck with Jackie Barker at Horsham meetings and she won in June and August," he said. Martin said it was a big thrill to compete at Melton during the season with Marjorie Jean. "We raced in the Vicbred 4yo Mares series. I think Jackie enjoyed it down there. We ran fifth in a heat and then eighth, beaten 20m, in the Group One Final," he said. Marjorie Jean is owned by Steve West, who went to school with Martin. "That was a long time ago and now we are neighbors, probably living 500 or 600 metres from each other," Martin said. "I think I may have got Steve initially interested when I invited him to come on board in a syndicate, and he's had a terrific run since with a few handy ones," he said. "Farmersntradies, a Blissful Hall-sired chestnut gelding, was outstanding for seven seasons from 2009 with 18 wins and 27 placings for over $134,000. "There was also Across The Way that won a few before being sold to WA, and another called Usage that we sold to SA and then it ended up in Mildura." Martin said a trip to the South Australian yearling sales resulted in Steve purchasing Marjorie Jean. "Steve had his eye on one, but I talked him into bidding for Marjorie Jean. I had her full sister in Longtan Bliss who won 12 races for $60,000 and if she hadn't had a few problems she could have been anything," he said. Martin has been training for over 30 years after being taught the ropes by his late father Ray. "Dad was born and bred in the area. He worked hard from an early age, mainly on the silos at Rupanyup and Minyip. He was also a very good footballer and was paid massive amounts to play back before the war," he said. Marjorie Jean was sent to the paddock after her latest success at Horsham in late August. "We took off on a short holiday. She's back jogging now, but with the Barry and Aaron Dunn team, because I'm booked for an ankle operation, which will have me sidelined for two months. "I had the other one operated on about five years ago - just some wear and tear from my football days - but I'll be back at the horses as soon as possible." Other Horsham awards were won by: Kerryn Manning (leading driver); Matt Craven (leading trainer); Janet Excell (local trainer award); and James Herbertson (leading concession driver).   Terry Gange NewsAlert PR Mildura
ON the weekend Tiger Tara was crowned NSW Horse of the Year for the second successive year, his career looked at the crossroads. But there was two ways of looking at Tiger Tara’s latest defeat – his third from as many runs this campaign -  which came at Menangle last Friday night. On face value, the superstar found the front without much fuss over a suitable 2300m trip and could only labour into a well-held fourth placing behind former Kiwi pacer Alta Orlando. But, on the other hand, trainer Kevin Pizzuto was remarkably frank before the race, declaring Tiger Tara “way underdone” and very vulnerable. “Knowing where he’s at, I was happy with the run. He’s well short of peak fitness and I wasn’t able to fast work him during the week because of all the rain (in Sydney),” Pizzuto said. “I considered scratching him, but he needs racing. He needs to get fitter. He blew up badly over the back after it. He’s still got a way to go.” Pizzuto said he would “use the next few days” to plot Tiger Tara’s pathway towards the NZ Cup, which could include a Victoria Cup start on October 12. While Tiger Tara was the talking point, Alta Orlando built on some good placings since crossing the Tasman to post his first win in the Craig Cross stable. Luke McCarthy buzzed him out from a wide draw, took a sit on Tiger Tara and zipped through along the inside to win in a slick 1min54.3sec mile rate for 2300m. It was Alta Orlando’s first win since scoring at Addington on May 18, last year. _____________________________________________________________________________________ THE much-travelled Cruz Bromac is close to a racetrack return. Now back being trained in Victoria by Amanda Grieve, the high-class pacer popped-up at the Melton trials last week. He won a solo trial in slow time, but zipped home in 55.9 and 26.6sec. A winner of 20 of his 44 starts, Cruz Bromac hasn’t raced since finishing third in the Canadian Club Sprint, a Miracle Mile qualifier, at Menangle on February 23. It was his last run in a very fruitful stint where he earned almost $300,000 with Mark Purdon and Natalie Rasmussen. ____________________________________________________________________________________ FORMER Kiwi trotter Miss Blissful looks like continuing a winning formula for Andy and Kate Gath. She’s their latest trotter bought out of NZ for major owner Norm Jenkin, who also races Tornado Valley and McLovin. And Miss Blissful made quite the statement winning on debut for the Gaths at Melton last night. Despite drawing the back row and then making an early move to sit parked, the daughter of Pegasus Spur had the race won on the home turn and cruised away with a 12.4m victory in a 1min58.2sec mile rate for 1720m. She won just three of her 27 runs in NZ and was sold after a second at Alexandra Park on June 14. _____________________________________________________________________________________ WESTERN Australia’s most-improved pacer Our Corelli is no one-trick pony. Most of his wins since switching to Debbie Lewis’ stable sand roaring through the grades have come in front or right on the speed. Last Friday night he drew wide, sat midfield and snatch a nose win over many of WA’s best open-class pacers, including favourite El Jacko. Our Corelli, a five-year-old son of Bettors Delight, has won eight of his 12 runs since being sold and switching stables. Father and son, Mike and Mark Reed teamed for a couple of wins of note on the same Gloucester Park card. The exciting Bletchley Park, a four-year-old brother to Bling It On, thrashed a handy field and looks a serious horse in the making. He made it nine wins from just 17 starts, winning by almost 12m in a 1min56.4sec mile rate for the long 2536m trip. He’s sure to be a major player in the Golden Nugget late this year. And stablemate Arma Indie,a former Kiwi four-year-old mare led throughout to stretch her winning streak to four wins from as many starts this campaign in the ninth race. _____________________________________________________________________________________ FILLING the void left by the retirement of a megastar like Lennytheshark is a tough ask. But David Aiken’s stable, including his open ranks, are still ticking along nicely. Not only did Aiken quinella the fast-class race at Melton last night with Audi Hare leading and holding-off stablemate Higherthananeagle along the sprint lane, but he also won again with the very exciting Raptors Flight. Kima Frenning drove both Audi Hare and Raptors Flight. Raptors Flight has been a revelation since coming to Australia. He’s now unbeaten seven runs. Last night he drew wide and jumped in grade, but blasted to the front and, despite pulling very hard at times, ripped home in 56 and 28.3sec to win very impressively again. He looks every bit a serious country cups horse and maybe more. _____________________________________________________________________________________ UNHERALDED Victorian horseman Chris Svanosio snared a well deserved feature win of his own last night. It was just a couple of weeks ago where Svanosio played caretaker trainer with star NSW trotter Tough Monarch for Rickie Alchin and won two features at Melton. This time it was all in Svanosio’s name as he trained and drove Magicool to lead throughout and cause an upset in the Group 3 True Roman trot (2240m) at Melton. In a tactical affair, Svanosio pinched a 62.2sec middle half and sprinted home in 57.6 and 28.7sec to easily beat My Skypocket with multiple Group 1 winner Big Jack Hammer flying home from last to third. On the same card, it was fantastic to see former pin-up juvenile trotter Wobelee win so impressively. The five-year-old was outstanding, sustaining a long run around the field and surging clear to win in a brisk 1min56.2sec mile rate for 1720m.   by Adam Hamilton
Yirribee Pacing Stud’s resident stallion Million Dollar Cam was named as the 2018/19 NSW Sire of the Year at the industry Awards Night last Saturday. He left 44 individual winners and progeny earnings of $687,000. Million Dollar Cam was represented by four winners last week including Alimonie, who streeted his rivals in the Reward Series Final at Newcastle in a career-best 1:56.8. Our Millionaire (1:59.2, Ballarat), who was bred and raised by Yirribee, Whatta Conk (1:57.9, Penrith) and Summer Money (1:59.9, Tamworth) were other recent winners sired by Million Dollar Cam. The Yirribee Stud stallions Tintin In America, Caribbean Blaster and Lombo Pocket Watch all led in winners during the week. The Tintin In America mare Lady Sharnae NZ won at her Australian debut at Tamworth, the Yirribee bred four-year-old Cambo Blaster (by Caribbean Blaster) won his second race in 1:59.2 at Bathurst, while Willem (by Lombo Pocket Watch) was a most impressive winner in 1:57.2 at Shepparton. Million Dollar Cam, Tintin In America, Caribbean Blaster and Lombo Pocket Watch are part of an imposing Yirribee Pacing Stud sire roster for the upcoming season. They are joined by Australasian champions Lazarus and Lennytheshark and the revered North American duo, Warrawee Needy and Fear The Dragon.   By Peter Wharton
Graeme Wood, who gave many years of service to trotting as a horseman and administrator, passed away on September 18, aged 86.   He had a lengthy association with the sport at Yarra Glen, as a long standing committee member of the Yarra Glen Harness Racing Club (now Yarra Valley Racing).   Graeme was also Secretary of the YGHRC for several years from the mid 1980s, and his contribution to the club saw him recognised with life membership of the organisation.   He is also the only person to receive the honour of life membership of the current Yarra Valley Racing organisation.   Graeme grew up around horses and upon selling a successful manufacturing business and retiring to Dixon's Creek, near Yarra Glen, he took an active involvement in trotting.   As a hobby trainer/driver, he achieved success with a small team, and his first horse, Tarport Andrew, while not a great performer here would later be sold to Macau and win 22 races, 14 of those breaking 2:00.   Graeme had success with other horses including Persian Spring (seven wins), however his best horse was the top mare Melleray, in the late 1980s and early 1990s.   The home bred daughter of Meadow Looney won 15 races for Graeme and wife Stephanie, including the 1992 Queen Of The Pacific among six wins at Moonee Valley.   The mare was driven in all her wins by local reinsman Michael Hayes.   Melleray also produced False Pretence (four wins for the Wood family) and Copyright (five wins).   Graeme had not enjoyed the best of health in recent times and will be missed by all at his local course.   A respected gentleman of the sport, Graeme is survived by wife Stephanie and their children.     Kyle Galley
Loader
Loader

Additional Articles