Day At The Track

Warragul Cup for a piping hot “Murray”

06:34 AM 16 Apr 2019 NZST
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Steve O’Donoghue and San Carlo at home,Harness racing
Steve O’Donoghue and San Carlo at home
John Tapp Racing
Back in 1971, a single was written and recorded by American musician and actor Jerry Reed that’s been a well-worn catchphrase ever since.
 
That song was “When You’re Hot, You’re Hot”. It provided Reed (1937-2008) with a Grammy in 1972 and it’s become a maxim for card-sharks, punters and athletes.
 
So our usage of the lyrics won’t come as a surprise in relation to Shepparton superstar pacer San Carlo (Mach Three-Bridge Player (Classic Gary), known around the stables as “Murray”.
 
The eight-year-old is ultra-hot at the moment, and connections have indicated they are now headed to the Group Three $35,000 Warragul Pacing Bowl Cup next Sunday afternoon.
 
San Carlo is described by his reinswoman Bec Bartley as “a once in a lifetime horse”.
 
He already has a host of cups to his name this season. Last week it was a heat and final of the Mildura Pacing Cup after earlier picking up the Bendigo, Yarra Valley and the Cranbourne Gold Cups during the season.
 

Long-time Mildura trainer Noel “Lucky” Cameron hosted the San Carlo team during their carnival stay – and got the pre-race “warm up” duties on the cup contender!

Bartley said trainer Stephen O’Donoghue, was keen to head to Warragul.
 
“But the decision hinged on how well the horse pulled up after the Mildura carnival,” she said.
 
“He didn’t leave a crumb from Sunday night’s tea and the following day was zipping around his paddock full of beans, so the final decision was really pretty easy.”
 
Bartley said San Carlo was impressive in Saturday’s Mildura Cup, and once he found the lead he relaxed in the race and didn’t knock himself around.
 
“It was quite the contrary to Tuesday in the qualifying heat when he over-raced and got all wound up,” she said.
 
That particular event is still being talked about and will be for some time to come. A proud Bartley later described that effort as “probably close to his best performance”.
 
“If you take the sections into account of 29.3, 29.7, 28.7 and 30.4 for a mile rate of 1.58-5 for 2600 metres on a track just 805m in circumference, it was a monster effort,” she said.
 

Bec Bartley (Courtesy Cobram Harness Racing Club)

San Carlo and Brallos Pass went head and head in a gruelling battle for the final 250 metres with neither “giving an inch”.
 
San Carlo got the honors after a late dive right on the post.
 
When you’re hot, you’re hot!
 
Play it again San Carlo...
 
Hoofnote: And just for the music buffs who crave a bit of history and context, a little bit more trivia on that 1970s Grammy hit.
The song describes an illegal game of craps, in a back alley. The protagonist is on an uncanny winning streak, which ends when a cop arrests all the players and takes the money as evidence. Undeterred, our hero believes his lucky streak will continue and tells the cop: “When You’re Hot,
You’re Hot”. The third verse describes the court case. The singer is delighted to see the judge is an old fishing buddy, to whom he owes money.
But a bribe to pay back the money for a lighter sentence backfires. The judge grins and does the opposite: giving the others small fines, and a 90-day jail sentence for the singer…accompanied by an ironic summation by the Judge: “When You’re Hot, You’re Hot”!
 
 

Terry Gange

NewsAlert PR Mildura

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