Day At The Track

Aussie News - 8 January 2018

09:07 AM 08 Jan 2018 NZDT
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Lumineer,Harness racing
Lumineer

Next stop is the Victoria Derby heats for Australia’s buzz three-year-old Lumineer.

The colt made it two wins from as many starts this campaign and stretched his unbeaten record to seven runs with another dominant display in last Friday night’s $20,000 VHRSC 3YO Classic (2240m) at Melton.

He was surprisingly eased to the rear at the start from gate four, but driver Jason Lee made a lightning midrace move around them to take the front and won as he liked by 10.4m in a cosy 1min57.4sec mile rate.

Lumineer ripped home in 55sec and 27.1sec under his own steam.

“He can get fired up, so we didn’t want to use him off the gate this early in his campaign. Jason said he relaxed well coming back off the gate and then got the lead easily when he made his move,” trainer Ange McDowall said.

“We know he’s got the gate speed when want to use it, but you don’t want to everu time with a horse who can get a bit keen.”

McDowall said the run definitely sharpened-up Lumineer again.

“He still had a good blow afterwards, so I’m glad he got a good hitout and we’ve had the two lead-in runs to the (Derby) heats.”

The Derby heats are at Ballarat on Saturday week with the final at Melton on January 27.

Although unbeaten Kiwi Chase Auckland won’t be there, McDowall still knows the enormity of the task ahead.

“There are so many nice three-year-olds around. Poster Boy came back with a good win, I like the Queensland horse Colt Thirty One a lot and then there are the Kiwis as well,” she said.

Poster Boy, regarded as Emma Stewart’s top Derby hope, opened his season with a soft Bendigo win last Saturday night. It proved little after he found the lead cheaply and only dashed-up the last 400m in 27.8sec to win by 9.6m.

 

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It's been a golden few weeks for Brent Lilley.

And it’s been a couple his veterans leading the charge in Kyvalley Blur across in NZ and now Messini back home.

Messini landed yet another major win, this time as an outsider, when he outstayed a handy field in last Saturday night’s $60,000 Group 2 Bendigo Cup (2650m) in a 1min57.7sec mile rate.

It was a fascinating race which sparked plenty of post-race stewards’ questions when favourites Ideal For Real and Moonrock duelled for the front for 400m.

The effort took its toll on both with Moonrock finishing fourth and Ideal For Real, first-up for 16 months, wilting very badly to finishing last.

Stewards queried Gavin Lang and Anthony Butt’s tactics on Ideal For Real and Moonrock respectively.

 

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Popular Victorian driver Chris Svanosio confidently and correctly predicted his first Group 1 win at Bendigo.

Svanosio spoke glowingly about Sparkling Success’ chances in a pre-race on-track interview and the John Meade trotter delivered with a dominant win in a scorching track record 1min53.9sec in the Group 1 Maori Mile.

“He’s always shown so much potential and he’s really matured now,” Svanosio said. “That was some sort of win.”

Reigning Great Southern Star champ Glenferrie Typhoon led in slick times, but looked under pressure when he broke and Sparkling Success powered clear.

Sparkling Success won by 6.9m over Sonya Smith’s talented former Kiwi trotter Hey Yo with Vincennes in third spot.

 

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It will be interesting to see whether NSW trainer Darren Elder heads to the Victoria Derby heats with Bright Energy.

The emerging son of Western Terror impressively won the Group 3 Simpson Memorial at Menangle last Saturday night, which is a tradtional lead-up race for NSW-based raiders ahead of the Victoria Derby.

It was a hotly contested 1min52sec mile with Shane Tritton’s Divine State bowling along front, before tiring late for fourth.

Mark Jones’ Kiwi pacer Life Lavros was backed into favourite, but worked hard and dropped-out to finish last.

The hardluck story was Amanda Turnbull’s lighly-raced War Dan – a brother to Victoria Cup winner Caribbean Blaster – who ran into plenty of traffic issues in sixth spot.

 

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Tim Butt’s Menangle stable continues to build momentum.

Veteran former Scandinavian trotter Daryl Boko returned to his best form for the the most dominant of wins at Menangle last Saturday night.

Despite sitting parked for driver Chris Geary, the eight-year-old powered clear to win by 10.5m in a 1min55.2sec mile.

 

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So who is the stable star of the powerhouse KerryAnn Turner/Robbie Morris barn?

Aztec Bromac grabbed the tag with a hugely successful Queensland spring campaign, but Charlaval has clearly gone to the next level in recent weeks.

Fresh from upstaging Bling It On at Bathurst on Boxing Night, Charlaval dominantly won the Menangle free-for-all in a slick 1min51.3sec mile last Saturday night.

Classy Kiwi pacer No Doctor Needed, back for another stint with Paul Fitzpatrick, caught the eye with a terrific second placing.

 

Adam Hamilton

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