Day At The Track

Art already in the money

11:41 AM 30 Apr 2009 NZST
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Moonee Valley
Moonee Valley - 2nd March 2004

It doesn't matter where Artifice finishes in tomorrow night's $300,000 Group 1 Australian Pacing Gold 2YO Fillies Final at Moonee Valley, the Tasmanian visitor is already a winner.

The daughter of boom sire Art Major is the cheapest horse in the race and along with Modern Girl are the only finalists to have already recouped their purchase price.

A $10,000 buy at last year's Melbourne sale, the winner of two of her four starts has already banked $13,453.

That will swell by at least $5000 tomorrow night with the APG final paying that amount to horses finishing sixth through to last. First prize is a whopping $150,000.

Rattray, who part-owns Artifice with family members and Barry Stewart, said it was good to know they had a cheque coming given they were slightly disappointed with her heat efforts and she has gate 11 in the 1609m final.

"We're pleased to be in the final and pleased with our horse, but we think she can go a bit better than she has been," Rattray said.

"Hopefully she does and gets a lot of luck, which she'll need from where she's drawn, and we can get a bit more of that prizemoney."

Last week Artifice ran second to Modern Girl, having finished third to Morgan Abby and Gem Of Reibey in her opening qualifier.

After taking her back to Tassie in between the APG heats, Rattray left Artifice on the mainland after last week's race and he hopes that brings out the best in her.

"We have been travelling her back and forth and this is the first time that she has had a period over there (in Victoria), so we're hoping that will make a significant difference and she'll race a lot better than she has been," he said.

"She's had good runs in both heats and was probably entitled to win them both but hasn't done that. She's raced well from behind previously and that's what we'll be looking to do from the draw."

APG Finalists (price in brackets): Talorem ($15,000), Morgan Abby ($26,000), Shes Norma Jeane (emerg, $13,000), Stunin Girl ($34,000), Rocknrolla ($27,000), Clontarf Lady ($20,000), Dancewithagrin (non sale entity), Modern Girl ($16,000), Art Princess ($30,000), Mach And Me ($22,000), Artifice ($10,000).

Boys on show up north

Once the Australian Pacing Gold 2YO Fillies Final is run tomorrow night at Moonee Valley, attention will quickly turn to the following night's Albion Park fixture.

That is where the second round of heats for the two-year-old boys will be run.

Several of the colts and geldings that form one of the most exciting crops of two-year-olds in years will pursue a place in the following Saturday night's $300,000 Group 1 final.

Victoria's top fancy, boom Art Major colt Renaissance Man, steps out in the latter of the night's two qualifiers, at 7.40pm.

The Andy Gath-trained star, a winner of three of his four starts, will start from barrier two in the heat that also features Bathurst Gold Crown winner Chariot King (one) and promising Victorians Kiwi Joe (four) and Jar Zinyo (five).

The opening heat sees emerging trainer Jeremy Quinlan resume his quest for back-to-back titles with unbeaten Artesian colt Jorg Is Best.

An effortless winner of his first-round heat, Jorg Is Best will roll from gate two in the 6.38pm qualifier.

But he has some equally-talented youngsters for company. Queensland's unbeaten Art Major colts For A Reason (five) and Major Bronski (10) are engaged, along with talented New South Wales gelding Cuttheattitude (six).

Dazed drawn to dominate

A plum draw has Dazed And Confused poised to extend an eight-month winning streak in tomorrow night's Vicbred Super Series four-year-old mares semi finals at Moonee Valley.

The Dean Braun-trained star will roll from the coveted inside alley when she is reunited with emerging reinsman Greg Sugars in the first of two $20,000 qualifiers.

The daughter of Troublemaker needs only a top-five finish to qualify for the following week's $100,000 Group 1 final, but the Lara mentor said the alley presents her with a chance to continue on her winning way.

"All is well with her and we've come up with a good draw, so we may as well try and use it," Braun said.

"I was pretty happy to come up with (barrier) one. Now we just need to get through to next week and come up with one again," he added with a laugh.

But winning is something Dazed And Confused has become accustomed to, having not tasted defeat since running fifth in the Australian Pacing Gold Preview on August 24 last year.

She won the $100,000 Group 1 final five days later and hasn't been beaten in three starts this campaign, the latest being a half-head win over Tayarna Mia and Wya Mya Macray in her Vicbred heat at Cranbourne.

"She's had a faultless preparation so far and she's still not at the top of her game yet, but she will be next week," Braun said.

"She was a little bit underdone going into the heat, but she trialled at Bacchus Marsh last Saturday and broke the clock. I was very happy with the way she come through that, and she worked terrifically on Tuesday morning."

Braun deliberately held Dazed And Confused back over the warmer months knowing what she had coming up in the final third of the 2008/09 season.

He is considering sending her to the inaugural Australasian Breeders Crown four-year-old series in August via the nation's premier mares' standing start event, the $100,000 Group 1 Queen Of The Pacific, on May 29.

Harness Racing Victoria price assessor Bill Hutchison has marked Dazed And Confused the $2.10 favourite for the 7.42pm qualifier despite the presence of Australian 3YO Filly of the Year Kept For Pleasure ($2.60, barrier 11).

Last year's Vicbred champion Staccato steps out in the second semi, but she has gate 11 and a rampaging Sophie Pass (two), who thrashed Kept For Pleasure by 34 metres in their heat, to contend with in the 8.12pm qualifier.

Glorious going well in NZ

John Caldow stopped short of suggesting the One Over Kenny camp should be shaking in their boots, but the Melton horseman is thrilled with the way Just Glorious has adapted to life in New Zealand.

Last weekend's Sunnyfield Trotters Mile winner this morning had his first look at the reverse way of going he will be confronted by in tomorrow night's NZ$300,000 Group 1 Rowe Cup at Auckland and passed with flying colours.

"I took him to Addington this morning to have a look at the track and do some light work," Caldow said. "He had a look around and worked pretty nicely, so I couldn't be happier.

"Going the wrong way for two miles is a big ask, but he felt good and felt like he'd handle it, so if he does that he'll run a good race."

Just Glorious drew barrier eight on the front line for the 3200-metre standing start event that has attracted a bumper field of 16.

The dual Group 1 winner shares the third line of betting with Our Sunny Whiz (11) and Another Moment (14) at $18 in the New Zealand's TAB's fixed odds market.

One Over Kenny stifles betting at $1.30 after landing the coveted inside alley, while last year's Inter Dominion champion Galleons Sunset (16) occupies the second line at $15.

"He's got the job ahead, but he had that before the draw," Caldow said. "But at least he's drawn the front line, which gives him a chance. If he finishes top five I'll be rapt."

The son of S J's Photo isn't the only one who needs familiarisation with the Addington circuit with Caldow not having driven there since the 1999 Inter Dominion.

"I drove Anvils Star in the (Inter Dominion) consolation years ago," he recalled. "That was when Our Sir Vancelot won his last Inter, so that's how long ago it was.

"I'm driving one of Gareth Dixon's earlier in the night (Davy Maguire in race two), so that will be good as I'll get a feel of the track."

The Rowe Cup will be run at 7.20pm AEST and is race seven on the class-laden program that features three other Group 1 events.

Auckland Reactor steps out in the Messenger Championship at 6.50pm, rising star Ima Gold Digger headlines the field for the Northern Trotting Derby (5.55pm), while some star fillies go around in the Sires Stakes Fillies Championship (6.20pm).

BIG incentive for BIG6 Punters

The prospect of winning claiming a jackpot worth almost $30,000 is not the only enticement for punters to have a crack at the BIG6 tomorrow night at Moonee Valley.

Any punter that places a BIG6 bet of $20 or more on any code with the Victorian TAB tomorrow, Saturday or Sunday goes in the draw to win a trip for two to Royal Ascot with Ambassador Travel.

The prize includes return flights to London, six nights' accommodation, transfers, hospitality for two people at the Royal Ascot gallops meeting on Tuesday, June 16 and Saturday, June 20, $500 spending money and a $500 bet on Takeover Target in any one of the races he contests at Royal Ascot.

To enter, BIG6 customers need to put their details on the bottom of their BIG6 ticket and place it in the entry box at any TAB. BIG 6 punters placing bets via telephone betting,, Sky Racing Active or will be automatically entered.

Tomorrow night's BIG6 operates on Race 3 to 8 and includes every feature on the bumper program.

It kicks off with the Vicbred Super Series four-year-old mares semi finals, at 7.42pm and 8.12pm respectively, and includes the Westburn Grant FFA (at 8.42pm) and the Australian Pacing Gold 2YO Fillies Final (9.42pm).

The pool has been seeded with $29,194.51 worth of funds not won on last Saturday night's Moonee Valley BIG6.


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