Day At The Track

Another trotting Alpha to debut for Stewart

09:26 AM 02 Jul 2020 NZST
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Alpha Male,Harness racing
Stuart McCormick photo

Despite the remarkable exploits of pacer Ride High it’s getting pretty hip to be square at Emma Stewart and Clayton Tonkin’s busy stable.

Their dabbling into trotting continues with today’s Shepparton debut of Utopia in the Your Sold Real Estate 2YO Trot and, like fellow Australian Premier Trotting Sale graduate and stablemate Alpha Male (pictured), the richly bred two-year-old brings a mighty reputation to his first race day.

A few missteps aside Alpha Male has built himself a big reputation despite having only five starts to date and Stewart some of that extraordinary talent, witnessed in a 34-metre Group 1 win at his last start, was also on display in Utopia.

“We really like this one, we rate (Utopia) pretty highly,” Stewart said of the two-year-old Trixton colt, who’s out of Nick Hooper and Paul Graydon’s mare Gluteus Maximus, a winner of $104,855 and dam of Derrie Aire ($68,730) and Kyvalley Shaunie ($28,723).

“He’s not quite Alpha Male at the same stage, but he’s not far off it. They are both very similar – strong, fast and, touch wood, safe. I’ll be disappointed if he gets beaten (today).”

The confidence was only fuelled by Utopia’s most recent trial, when he was a 52.5-metre winner.

It was a performance that didn’t go unnoticed by Craig Rail in his Trial File, with Utopia going straight into the Blackbook having “been extremely impressive at the trials and continued his good form with a runaway victory”.

As for Alpha Male, Stewart said he was nearing a race track return and would carry lofty expectations.

“He is three weeks away,” he said. “He comes back easily marked, so should have a nice run coming into lower races.

“If all goes well and he stays sound (the Great Southern Star) is definitely something we are aiming at.”

Away from the trotters, Stewart will also today debut supremely bred Bettors Delight colt Fightnfury, a half-brother to Group 1 winning two-year-old Mirragon.

“He’s found a tricky race first up,” Stewart said of the Hunter Rural 2YO Pace. “He’s no star, but is an honest horse.

“As long as he runs on strong we’ll be happy. He is a nice enough horse, but not our best and definitely not our worst.”

And Stewart will also have Bruce and Val Edward bred and owned filly Float On By step out today in the Alabar 3YO Pace.

“She’s OK, she’s no star but she’s honest,” Stewart said. “If she gets a good trip she will be thereabouts. She will need a few things to go her way.”

But the last word is reserved for the horse of the moment, Ride High, who returned with an audacious record 52.7-second final 800 metres at Melton on June 20 and will be second-up this Saturday night.

“He’s doing everything right. He’s been working super this week,” Stewart said.

“He has enough gate speed to come out of the gate and roll along at his own clip. When he’s towing Kima it’s not like towing anything and that’s the way that he likes it.”


Hosts Jason Bonnington and Blake Redden have another big line-up for today's Talking Trots on SENTrack, which runs weekdays from 11am-1pm on 1377AM in Melbourne, 657AM in Perth and 1575AM in Wollongong.

Click here to listen live and for links to download the SEN app.


The good oil from the Vic trials circuit

Tabcorp Park Melton, R4 N6, Yankee Gold

Proved too good for JILLIBY DINGO in fast time and was able to beat the same pacer at the races on (June 18) where he produced a powerful display. He is out of a half sister to the great Desperate Comment (1.55.7, $1,033,065), so he is certainly bred to be a tough campaigner. REPORT

Tabcorp Park Melton, R5 N8, Lucky Pats Son

Is a good beginner from the standing start and most of his best efforts in Victoria have been from starting behind the tapes. REPORT


HRV - Michael Howard

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