Day At The Track

Aussie Made Lombo bows out with record

03:51 AM 03 Mar 2013 NZDT
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Gary Hall Jr & Aussie Made Lombo
Gary Hall Jr & Aussie Made Lombo

Gutsy mare Aussie Made Lombo, in foal to champion sire Art Major, ended her brilliant harness racing career in magnificent fashion when she smashed the race record in scoring a heart-warming victory in the $50,000 Green Planet Grass Empress Stakes at Gloucester Park on Friday night.

The Bettors Delight five-year-old rated 1.57.9 over the 2536m journey to lower the race record of 1.58.1 set by Meggie Dear when she defeated Lombo Adreamin and Express Fire in the 2001 Empress Stakes.

Aussie Made Lombo's victory over Live High and Famous Alchemist was the highlight of a great night for leading reinsman Gary Hall jun., giving him the third of four winners on the ten-event program.

"I really wanted to win this race, particularly for the mare's sake," Hall said. "She is such a pleasure to do anything with around the stable. Mares can get a bit cranky when they're in foal, but she has been such a dream to handle and she's been racing better since she has been in foal.

"That was a really gutsy win and it was a great way to send her off. She really deserved it. I was hard on her over the final 200m and I felt a bit sorry for her. But she doesn't mind the stick. There are not many mares who have made the money she has."

Aussie Made Lombo, owned by Robert Watson, has completed her racing days with a marvellous record of 62 starts for 22 wins and 26 placings for stakes of $578,456. Her win in the group 2 Empress Stakes was her fifth victory in a feature event.

She won two group 1 events (the Gold Tiara at Bathurst and the Seymour Nursery Pace at Albion Park) and the Gold Chalice, a listed classic, as a two-year-old. As a three-year-old she won the group 2 Gold Bracelet at Bathurst and was second in the group 1 New South Wales Oaks and Australian Breeders Crown at Melton. She also finished third in the group 1 Vicbred Super Sires Series final at Melton.

In a nutshell, she won four group events and a listed classic and was placed another seven times in group races.

She is by Bettors Delight from former champion mare Tailamade Lombo, who amassed $1,354,978 from 49 wins and 25 placings from 110 starts.

Aussie Made Lombo was a heavily-supported 5/4 favourite and Hall allowed her to settle down in 11th position after starting out wide at No. 4 on the back line. Outsider Never Waver Lombo led for the first 550m before Chris Voak sent Leda McNally to the front. Centrefold Angel, second favourite at 3/1, was left working hard without cover, with Cool Adda enjoying an ideal passage, one-out and one-back.

Hall sent Aussie Made Lombo forward, three wide, in the middle stages and the mare moved into fourth place at the bell. She charged to the front with 550m to travel and Hall urged her to produce a special effort. She responded grandly and dashed three lengths clear of the opposition at the 400m.

After a third 400m section of the final mile in 28.8sec. Aussie Made Lombo was fully extended over the final quarter which took 31sec. But her rivals were all under duress and she held on in fine style to win by just over a length from 9/1 chance Live High, who sustained a powerful burst from 11th at the 600m mark. Famous Alchemist, a stablemate of the winner, performed very well as a 10/1 chance, coming home stoutly from last at the bell.

Dreams Daughter also finished boldly from the rear to be fourth, while Centrefold Angel was a gallant fifth.

Aussie Made Lombo's win gave leading trainer Gary Hall sen. his second success in the Empress Stakes. He trained and drove Moray Miss when she won the race from Miss Bo Scott in 1991.


Inexperienced West Australian-bred gelding Shirlz Sensation emerged as a handy prospect for this season's three-year-old classics when he caused an upset by storming home to win the 1730m Saturn Grass Pace at Gloucester park on Friday night.

Most punters expected the race to be fought out by Extreme Dreams (eight wins) and Northview Punter (seven) and Extreme Dreams, bidding for his sixth win in a row, was sent out favourite at 6/4 on, with Northview Punter at 5/1.

Shirlz Sensation, trained by Mike Beech, was a 22/1 chance, despite his fast-finishing victory at a 1.57.8 rate over 2185m at Pinjarra at his previous outing. That was his initial success at his fifth start.

Getaway Plan started from the No. 1 barrier and led for the first 450m before Morgan Woodley sent Extreme Dreams to the front after an early speed duel with Northview Punter. The opening 400m section of the final mile whizzed by in 28.7sec. and after the next quarters in 30.1sec. and 29sec. Gary Hall jun. sent Northview Punter to the front 300m from home.

Another Vinnie (Aaron Beckett) had raced ion the one-out, one-back position and Shirlz Sensation had enjoyed a good trip in sixth place in the one-wide line. Another Vinnie took the lead 120m from home, but was unable to hold off Shirlz Sensation, who finished full of running to hit the front 25m from the post. Shirlz Sensation beat Another Vinnie by just over a length, with Northview Punter holding on to be third, 7m behind the runner-up.

Shirlz Sensation, by Yankee Sensation and the only foal out of Village Jasper mare Village Oak, rated 1.56.3. Extreme Dreams faded to eighth in the nine-horse field, with Getaway Plan a distant last after pulling hard behind the pacemaker and then being checked and breaking into a bad gallop on the home turn.

Winning reinsman Chris Lewis praised Shirlz Sensation, saying: "He's got a lot of raw ability, but still has got a lot to learn. The key to him is that he can sit on any sort of pace. He certainly comes in with a chance in the bigger races.

"Looking at the field for tonight's race I thought he was up against it, but the way the race was run, he was able to get over them."


Chris Voak, back in Perth on Friday night after landing three winners in New South Wales earlier in the week to take a commanding lead in the Australasian Junior Drivers Championship, maintained his great form to land 16/1 chance Parasite a surprise winner in the 2130m Mars Grass Pace at Gloucester Park.

Parasite, an eight-year-old veteran of 138 starts, ended a losing sequence of 44, stretching back to his victory in an $8000 claimer at Gloucester Park in November 2011. He settled in eighth place and moved to fifth (three wide) at the bell before surging to the front 100m from the post.

The New Zealand-bred Parasite was claimed by Serpentine Trainer Matt Scott and Anthony Maguire last August and was having his 25th start for his new owners on Friday night.

He was a smart performer a few years ago and advanced to an M4 classification in October 2010. Under the drop-down regulations (with horses graded M2 or better dropping a class after every losing sequence of ten) Parasite got right down to an M1 classification and was able to contest Friday night's event which was restricted to pacers on an M1 mark.

The win took Parasite's record to 18 wins and 30 placings for earnings of $166,565.

Polemarker Golden Bromac, second favourite at 4/1, set the pace, with Voak restraining Parasite from barrier six back to settle in eighth place. Parasite started a three-wide move 980m from home and he moved top fifth at the bell before sustaining his effort to overhaul Golden Bromac 100m from home. Parasite beat Golden Bromac by 2m, with Arnoux, who had trailed the pacemaker all the way, finishing solidly to be third.

Soul Tana, favourite at 2/1 at his first appearance for seven months, was handy in fourth place in the one-wide line at the bell, battled on to finish fifth.

Parasite rated 1.59.3 over the 2130m after the final four 400m sections taking 31.2sec., 30.8sec., 29.6sec. and 29.3sec. "It wasn't a super strong field for M1 company and the sections worked in his favour," Voak said.

"He put the writing on the wall at his previous start, at Pinjarra (when a close third behind Therecomesatime and Death Adda), when the winner rated 1.54.2 and the final 800m took 57.2sec."

Seventy minutes after Parasite's victory Scott struck again when In The Barrack, favourite at 5/2 and driven by Shane Butterworth, finished strongly to win the 2180m Diamond Joe Pace at Wagin to end a losing sequence of 20. Scott and Maguire and several others are part-owners of In The Barrack.


Aggressive tactics paid handsome dividends for Gary Hall jun. when he landed Rakarebel a smart winner of the 2130m Green Planet Grass Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night.

Rakarebel, favourite at 10/9 on, won an exciting early speed battle with polemarker Legislate (7/1) and Old McDonald (7/2) and Hall then was able to give the eight-year-old a welcome breather by coasting over the first two 400m sections of the final mile in 31.8sec. and 31.9sec. before he increased the tempo and covered the final quarters in 29.3sec. and 29.2sec. to win at a 1.58.9 rate by 4m from Legislate.

Legislate resisted a wholehearted early challenge from Rakarebel before Hall got Rakarebel to the front after a hectic first 500m when the lead time was a very quick 35.2sec. Old McDonald, who raced three wide early, then had to work hard in the breeze.

Old McDonald faded to finish sixth and McGintysgoat, who made a three-wide mid-race challenge, dropped back to finish last. Dundee Three (11/2) was not involved in the early speed battle and he finished solidly from seventh (and last) at the bell to be third.

Hall said that Rakarebel was a great frontrunner, but lacked a touch of brilliance to match it with the best pacers. Rakarebel, trained by Gary Hall sen., made a tremendous start to his Australian career when he won at his first eight starts in WA in the space of six months between May and November 2011.

His unbeaten sequence ended when he finished a nose second to Dasher VC in a 2503m stand, but then won at his next appearance, beating Real Life and Tartary Gladiator in the group 2 Celebrity Sprint in December 2011 --- and leaving Crombie, David Hercules, Mysta Magical Mach, Dasher VC and Can Return Fire in his wake in the unplaced division.

He then had a losing sequence of 20 before winning at Gloucester Park in mid-February this year. Rakarebel now has raced 97 times for 17 wins and 29 placings for stakes of $244,726.


Young reinsman Dylan Egerton-Green made the most of an unexpected inside passage in the home straight to land 13/2 chance Franco Quarry a strong winner over the pacemaker and 7/4 on favourite Dhoni in the 2130m Neptune Grass Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night.

Franco Quarry started from the inside of the back line and trailed the pacemaking polemarker Dhoni all the way before he was able to take advantage of a dream inside run to burst to the front 25m from the post and beat the favourite by just under a length at a 1.59.4 rate.

"I was in a bit of pain on the home turn," said Egerton-Green who was driving Franco Quarry for the first time for trainers Greg and Skye Bond, who made use of his junior concession to enable the M2-class Franco Quarry qualify to contest Friday night's event which was restricted to M1-class horses.

"And when the gap came I didn't even have enough time to pull the plugs or activate the pull-downs. He just charged."

The stewards fined Aiden de Campo $100 for having allowed Dhoni to shift up the track, allowing Franco Quarry to gain an inside run.

Franco Quarry, an all-the-way winner at his previous start, covered the final 800m in 58.3sec. and took his record to 54 starts for 16 wins, ten placings and $99,959 in prizemoney. He has raced 39 times in WA for Greg Bond, Kevin, Rob and John Gartrell, Andrew Foster and Craig Hampson for 12 wins.


Bunbury trainer Murray Hansen's perseverance with Flip The Coin is starting to pay dividends, with the New Zealand-bred five-year-old becoming more tractable. He was on his best behaviour at Gloucester Park on Friday night when Gary Hall jun. drove him to an easy all-the-way victory in the 2536m Earth Grass Pace.

A solidly-supported favourite at 6/4 on, Flip the Coin was smartest into stride from barrier three and Hall dictated the terms perfectly before the gelding strolled to a convincing win over Catch Me Right and Gate Bender.

After coasting through the first 400m section of the final mile Flip the Coin gave his rivals little chance of figuring in the finish when he dashed over the final 800m in 57.6sec.

"Looking at the race on paper the two on his inside (Visigoth and Kintori) were not going to trouble him much for the lead," Hall said. "And that's the reason why I stuck with him (in preference to D B Dazzler). He's a pretty hard horse to get over."

Hall said that there were excuses for Flip The Coin's tenth placing behind Callaway Bromac at Pinjarra the previous Monday. "He was off the track when they had gone slowly early and so once we had got back in the field I treated it as a fitness run and he carved out some good sectionals even though he was well beaten.

"So back to the shorter track tonight I knew he would be hard to beat. When he arrived in WA he wasn't the best gaited horse and he got knocked over a couple of times. And he brought those bad habits back to the track when he didn't get knocked over, but still galloped. Now he's finally putting it all together and he should win a few more."


Twenty-four-year-old Chris Voak completed a long-priced double at Gloucester Park on Friday night when 8/1 chance Mighty Metzger produced a sparkling late sprint to get up and snatch a last-stride victory from 6/4 favourite Twelve Bells in the 1730m Green Planet Grass Westbred Pathway Pace.

Voak, who had won earlier in the night with 16/1 chance Parasite, brought Mighty Metzger home with a well-timed three-wide burst from seventh at the bell to gain the verdict by a half-head.

Morgan Woodley gave Twelve Bells every chance in front after allowing her to stroll through the first two 400m sections of the final mile in 31.6sec. and 32.4sec. before covering the third quarter in 29.6sec. She looked a certainty when she turned for home well clear of her rivals.

But she wilted in the closing stages of the final quarter which went by in 28.3sec. Jasper Casper (14/1) ran on gamely from sixth on the pegs at the bell to be third.

Mighty Metzger, a seven-year-old Pacific Fella mare, is owned and trained at Pinjarra by Frank Vanmaris. Mighty Metzger had raced seven times previously at Gloucester Park for just one placing, a third early in January 2011. She has had 58 starts for four wins, 12 placings and $28,463.


Standing-start specialist Shardons Rocket maintained his outstanding form when he overcame the back mark of 20m and a scratchy start to score a decisive victory in the 2503m Green Planet Grass Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night.

While Shardons Rocket settled down in last place for Chris Lewis, there was action aplenty in front where Peraki King (Bob Mellsop) challenged To Transcend (Morgan Woodley) for the lead.

Peraki King forced To Transcend inside the marker pegs in the early stages and got to the front after 400m. Woodley then eased To Transcend and made an unsuccessful challenge to regain the lead.

Peraki King set an even pace, with To Transcend in the breeze and Ohoka Dakota trailing the leader. Lewis followed a three-wide mid-race move by California Dreams and had Shardons Rocket poised to pounce at the bell when he was sixth and three wide with a trail.

Lewis switched Shardons Rocket, the 9/4 favourite, four wide at the 700m and 100m later Woodley had gained the upper hand with To Transcend. Shardons Rocket charged to the front with 450m to travel and he went on to score by 2m from the fast-finishing Anvil Attack, with Ohoka Dakota running home strongly to be third

To Transcend wilted to fifth and Peraki King faded to last. The stewards suspended Mellsop for 21 days for having caused To Transcend to shift inside the marker pegs racing out of the front straight shortly after the start. Chris Voak, who drove Ohoka Dakota, was fined $200 for an incorrect whip action in the final stages.

"It was tough going, that's for sure," said Lewis. "But the race was set up well for us."

Shardons Rocket has flourished since entering the Byford stables of Tony Svilicich, progressing from an M0 classification a few months ago to an M5 mark. His past ten starts have produced five wins (all in stands) and two third placings. He has earned $193,772 from 19 wins and 32 placings from 90 starts.


The oddly-named Hokuri Handrail upset a plunge on Franco Torres when Gary Hall jun. got the New Zealand-bred five-year-old away brilliantly from the No. 2 barrier to cross the polemarker and 3/1 on favourite Franco Torres in the 2130m Green Planet Grass Pathway Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night.

Hall rated Hokuri Handrail, second fancy at 9/2, perfectly and Franco Torres was hopelessly hemmed in behind the leader throughout the event. With Jinky Johnson fighting on grandly in the breeze, Hokuri Handrail sprinted the final 400m in 28.6sec. and won by just under a length from Jinky Johnson.

Franco Torres, driven by Shannon Suvaljko, was bolting, but had nowhere to go. He finished third, a half-length behind the second placegetter.

Hokuri Handrail, part-owned and trained at Serpentine by Kristie Morrone, had raced 22 timers in New Zealand for five wins and five placings before arriving in WA where he has had 12 starts for two wins and four placings.

"Everyone had Franco Torres leading on paper," said Hall, who had other ideas. Hall fired Hokuri Handrail straight past Franco Torres at the start and then had to hold out Frankie Maguire, who had begun speedily from the No. 4 barrier and had led by a half-length. However, Frankie Maguire was unable to muster the necessary speed to overtake Hokuri Handrail.


West Australian-bred six-year-old Pride of Colorado notched his third win from his past four starts when he produced a typical powerful finish to win the first qualifying heat of the Jupiter Grass Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night.

Pride of Colorado, favourite at 11/8, maintained his great form for owners Ray and Pam Grantham and trainer-reinsman Aldo Cortopassi when he lacked early sparkle from barrier two and settled down in seventh placing in the one-wide line.

Topnotch Dan led early before Gary Hall jun. took off, three wide, from the rear with3/1 second favourite Jaccka Felix to burst to the front 1200m from home. Cortopassi started a three-wide move at the 1000m mark and Pride of Colorado moved to fourth at the bell before gaining the upper hand 100m from the post. He won comfortably by a length from Jaccka Felix, with Topnotch Dan a sound third. Pride of Colorado covered the final 800m in 58.5sec. and rated 1.57.6 over the 2130m.

Pride of Colorado, a half-brother to Scram Jet (164 starts for 24 wins, 38 placings and $229,032), has earned $85,784 from 11 wins and nine placings from 47 starts. He is related to several former quality pacers, including Whitbys Merit, Whitby Timer, Whitby Heritage, Remit, Ace of Whitby and Whitbys Miss Penny.

"The speed was on all the way and I was able to let him roll up into it," Cortopassi said. "He's always been a nice horse and Ray resurrected him and gave me the opportunity to take him on again."


Talented West Australian-bred four-year-old Danieljohn gave a superb frontrunning exhibition to score an effortless victory in the $30,000 Harvey Cup over 2550m at Harvey on Saturday night.

Favourite at 6/4, Danieljohn was rated perfectly by Aiden de Campo and the gelding beat Russley Rascal by two and a half lengths, with Franco Renegade in third place.

Danieljohn, bred and owned by John Bell and trained at Capel by Andrew de Campo, dashed over the final 800m in 56.2sec. and rated 1.59.3 in winning for the 13th time from 34 starts.

by Ken Casellas


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