Day At The Track

Aussie News - April 24

09:23 AM 24 Apr 2017 NZST
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Tiger Tara,Harness racing
Tiger Tara

FORMER star Kiwi stayer Tiger Tara is ready and waiting for Lennytheshark.

Tiger Tara arrogantly posted his fifth successive win when he strolled home in the Group 3 Sydney Cup (2140m) at Bankstown last Friday night.

In contrast to recent wins where he’s done all the work, this time driver Todd McCarthy found the front and Tiger Tara won as he liked in a 1min57.5sec mile rate for 2140m. He zipped home in 56.3 and 27.7sec.

“He’s thriving on the hard racing and I can’t wait to get a crack at Lennytheshark next weekend,” trainer Kevin Pizzuto said.

“I know he hasn’t been beating the absolute best in his recent runs, but the way he’s been going means I’m not afraid of taking any horse on.”

Miracle Mile winner Lennytheshark hasn’t raced since winning the Cranbourne Cup on March 18, but sharpened-up with a slashing second in a Menangle trial last Tuesday.

Lennytheshark and Tiger Tara are set to clash in next Saturday night’s Group 2 Bulli Cup at Menangle.


FORMER classy Kiwi pacer Hughie Green was always going to enjoy life in Queensland.

It’s started as most expected with two easy wins from as many starts in his new home state for trainer-driver John Cremin.

He won first Queensland outing in all-the-way style at Albion Park on April 7, then did exactly the same, but looked even better doing it last Saturday night.

The five-year-old cruised through a 62.6sec middle half then ripped home in 55.5 and 27.0sec to win by 11.7m in a 1min57.3sec mile rate for 2138m.

Hughie Green is going to have a good grounding at Albion Park ahead of the Winter Carnival up there when the likes of Lennytheshark, Hectorjayjay and Tiger Tara are expected to spice things up.


CLASSY Victorian mare Rockstar Angel remains a “big hope” of contesting the Harness Jewels if the invite comes her way.

Trainer David Aiken set the four-year-old for the $40,000 Platinum Mares’ Championship three months ago and snared the final with a tough and dominant win last Saturday night.

It was a huge effort to come from outside the back row, do the work outside the leader and win in a blazing 1min53sec mile rate for 1720m.

Given the lack of Our Dream About Me and probably Golden Goddess, the Jewels’ 4YO Mares’ division looks a good target for Rockstar Angel if Aiken and owner Brendan James opt to give it a crack.

Also at Melton, Major Crocker made a one-act affair of the Westburn Grant free-for-all (2240m) by leading throughout in a 1min54.3sec mile rate.

And rejuvenated trotter Vincennes caused a minor upset winning the Group 3 Uncle Petrika Trotters’ free-for-all (1720m) in a 1min56.3sec mile rate.

The other eye-catching winner on the night was one-time Harness Jewels contestant, Burnaholeinmypocket, who looks to be regaining the sort of form he showed as a three and early four-year-old for Andy and Kate Gath.

He sat parked and dug deep for a blisterining 1min53.1sec win over 1720m.


ONE of the most stirring battles of last weekend came at Gloucester Park.

It was an epic stoush between brothers Clint and Gary Hall Jr and a couple of exciting three-year-old pacers Runrunjimmydunn and El Barcelona.

The pair cleared out from the rest of the field with El Barcelona in front and looking the winner on the home bend, but Runrunjimmydunn just kept coming and snatched victory by a nose on the line in a slick 1min55.8sec mile rate for 2130m.

Runrunjimmydunn brilliantly won his first Aussie run for trainer Gary Hall Sr then had little go right in the WA Derby before bouncing back last Friday night.

At the same meeting, another exciting three-year-old Maczaffair appreciated dropping back from racing the boys when 11th in the WA Derby to thrashing her rivals in a WA Oaks Prelude.

Trained by Mike Reed and driven by Shannon Suvaljko, Maczaffair led throughout from the pole to win by 13.2m in a 1min56sec mile rate for 2140m, including closing splits of 56.4 and 27.9.

The other highlight of the Gloucester Park card came when Bill Horn – of Village Kid fame – produced his injury-plagued pacer Heez On Fire for a first-up win in the fast-class race.

It was the gelding’s first run since a failed tilt at the Perth Inter Dominion late last year.


STILL in WA and leading trainer Greg Bond has been charged with behaviour detrimental to the industry from a race held during the Perth Inter Dominion series late last year.

After an exhaustive probe, Perth West Australian newspaper reported RWWA had charged Bond in relation a former Kiwi pacer Fifth Edition at Gloucester Park in December. An iquiry was opened straight after the pacer drifted alarmingly in betting, hung badly and wilted to finish last.

The inquiry focused on Bond’s comments in Perth radio on the morning of the race and his betting activity on race night.

RWWA’s general manager of integrity, Denis Borovica, said Bond initially told RWWA’s former chief steward, Carl Coady, he included Fifth Edition in a “first four bet” on the race, but subsequence evidence showed none his bets did include Fifth Edition.

Additionally, Borovica said Bond said on local radio on race morning that Fifth Edition was his “best prospect” that night, neglecting to mention information he had been given by stable foreman Ryan Warwick about the pacer hanging and cross-firing in trackwork the prior Tuesday.

The charges are serious and the inquiry has been adjourned to a date to be set.

Bond and his wife, Skye, are backbones of the WA industry with a huge stable – mostly Kiwi imports – and have trained almost 150 winners so far this season.


LATE last year there was plenty of prepost money around for San Carlo to win the Victoria and/or Hunter Cups.

San who may of you might ask?

San Carlo is a six-year-old gelding, who, if he could stay sound, would be a Grand Circuit horse.

Not long after the money came for him late last year, he had yet another setback and was put out for a spell by trainer Steve O’Donoghue.

San Carlo returned to the races with a sparkling win at Kilmore last Friday night. It was his 10th win from just 11 starts.

Despite being three-wide and outside the leader, driver Bec Bartley had an armchair ride as he coasted to a 9.8m win in a brisk 1min57.6sec mile rate for 2180m.


KIWI pacer Motu Premier gives Mark Purdon another major feature race player at Menangle next Saturday night.

The four-year-old made it two wins from as many runs during this NSW raid when he finished strongly to win a heat of the Carousel series at Bankstown last Friday night.

Motu Premier looks one of the major players along with the likes of Anything For Love and Lord Zin Zan in the $50,000 Group 2 Carousel final next Saturday night.

Lord Zin Zan won an epic battle with Anything For Love in a scorching 1min49.6sec mile at Menangle last Tuesday then backed-up last Saturday night for an easy all-the-way win at the same track in 1min52.1sec.


HARNESS Racing Victoria continues to tinker with its pacing races after abolishing standing-start races for pacers at the start of this season.

The move came under the microscope most on the country cup circuit where so many of the former standing-start races became mobiles and had short-priced favourites.

Overall, HRV revealed betting turnover across all country cups was up 3.9 per cent on last season, but they conceded some races – most notably the Shepparton Cup which was down 24.7 per cent – suffered as a result. Hectorjayjay started $1.20 and dominated at Shepparton.

In a quest to combat this, HRV’s CEO David Martin confirmed the country cups of Group 2 and 3 status would switch from free-for-alls to preferential draw races next season.

It’s a fair compromise with a marquee Cup, like the Group 1 Ballarat Cup, remaining a random draw.

The upside to scrapping stands has been more of stars like Lennytheshark and Hectorjayjay in the country cups and the preferential draws should at least make some of those Group 2 and 3 races more competitive.


MATTY Craven showed why he is regarded as one of the emerging training forces in Australia with an “on-the-road” treble at Menangle last Saturday night.

Craven, who is building a name for rejuvenating trotters, won with two trotters at Menangle – El Paco and Our Dreamlover – who have been both regained form since being switched to his stable.

Craven’s other win came with tough pacer Desdon Murruffy, who led throughout in a slick 1min54.7sec mile rate for 2300m.

 

Adam Hamilton

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