Day At The Track

Aussie news with Terry Gange

01:57 PM 13 Jul 2019 NZST
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Jim O'Sullivan
Jim O'Sullivan

Harness racing veteran reinsman Jim O’Sullivan, who makes no secret of still having an unbelievable love of the game, wound back the clock at Swan Hill this week.

The highly respected horseman, now in his early 70s, showed fine touch to take out the Elliott Print Pace with brown gelding Sands Of Zanzibar (Art Colony USA-Spy Games (Armbro Operative USA) in one of his rare visits to the far north-west circuit.

After not showing much gate speed at all, the pair found themselves buried three back the pegs early on.  But O’Sullivan was quick to pop off into the one-out two-back position, then got shuffled back to near-last with 600 metres to go.

A well-timed run out five wide saw Sands Of Zanzibar snatch a narrow win.

O’Sullivan, based at Heathcote, near Bendigo, is well remembered through the deeds of terrific horses like My Lightning Blue, winner of the 1987 Inter Dominion grand final at Christchurch; Yankee Loch who took the 1991 Trotters Inter at Moonee Valley and multiple cups winner Quite Famous, purchased from the Charles family at Mildura.

O’Sullivan enjoyed a tremendous relationship with big-spending owner Alan Hunter in the heady days of the 1980s and 90s. Another more recent highlight was becoming the 17th recipient of the Gordon Rothacker Medal In 2017.

These days O’Sullivan trains a small team and can be found helping out other trainers with farrier duties, as well as cheering on his daughter Shannon, who is steadily making her mark as a talented junior driver.

A passionate and successful competitor in the annual Indigenous Drivers’ Series in NSW in recent years, Danny Gibson, is again wearing a huge smile.

Gibson, who lives at Elrington, near Cessnock (two hours north of Sydney), made the long trip to Albury on Tuesday along with nine other drivers.

The popular hobbyist took the honors in the HRNSW and Tabcorp Park heat, landing 3yo filly Madame Annie (Sportswriter-Madame Lily (John Street North USA) for trainer Robert Walters.

Madame Annie showed her customary gate speed and was well rated by Gibson, who had a handy eight metre advantage up his sleeve at the finish. The mile rate was a creditable 2.00 for the 2170m journey.

Gibson and his wife Janelle aren’t afraid to travel.  Earlier this year they hit the road for a 13 hour trip to campaign with two horses at the famous NSW Silver City mining town of Broken Hill.

They tasted success with Evils Afoot and enjoyed a holiday to remember!

Danny and Janelle Gibson

Buyers at this Sunday’s Shepparton Mixed Sale have some interesting opportunities to invest in the bloodlines of promising sire Auckland Reactor (Mach Three – Atomic Lass (Sokys Atom), who’s continuing to get winners on both sides of the Tasman.

Offspring of the former champion NZ pacer were again to the fore this week, winning in good style in WA and NSW.

Chestnut gelding Gold Horseshoe (Auckland Reactor-Aussie Vision (Grinfromeartoear) looked good at Pinjarra for trainer Colin Reeves and driver Morgan Woodley. Sent out the punters’ elect at $2.30 fav, the three-year-old came with a late rush and proved too good.

Astute NSW trainer Dean Chapple produced Aucklander (Auckland Reactor-Leagueoferown (Fake Left) to land the money at Tamworth on Thursday. Chapple took the reins and had a four-metre advantage over his rivals on the line.

One lot at the Shepparton sale that will generate interest from buyers is the magnificent-looking Lot 27 weanling filly.  The youngster, out of Passionate Embrace, is one of several offered on behalf of clients by Alabar Farms.

There’s also an unnamed colt by Auckland Reactor out of Elegant Art. Breeders should also take note of broodmare Kitty Macguire (Badlands Hanover-Tuapeka Dancer) who has a positive to Auckland Reactor.

The Shepparton sale starts at 12 noon.

Auckland Reactor

Terry Gange

NewsAlert PR Mildura

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