Day At The Track

Big battles loom in Vicbred Final

07:27 PM 25 Jun 2016 NZST
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Tingira Beach.jpg Delight Me.jpg Ideal For Real.jpg
Tingira Beach and Lauren Tritton (Panella)
Stuart McCormick
Delight Me
Stuart McCormick
Ideal For Real
Stuart McCormick

Harness Racing aficionados will be licking their lips at the thought of next Saturday night’s four-year-old entires and geldings’ Empire Stallions Vicbred Super Series Final after tonight’s semis and barrier draw.

Heat winners Ideal For Real and Tee Cee Bee Macray have drawn five and 13 respectively, while reigning Vicbred champ and horse of the year Menin Gate, a fierce warrior when in front, has drawn well in barrier three.

Murranji Track in gate two has good gate speed and can run along also, so he will surely create headaches for speed mappers.

Tee Cee Bee Macray was ultra-impressive in winning his heat tonight, and while barrier 13 is never ideal, he does his best work when winding up with a big finish.

Trained by Alan Tubbs, Tee Cee Bee Macray (Ponder/Way Mya Macray) sprinted powerfully through the final 400m to overhaul pacemaker Solarsonic in the run to the line.

Driven by Greg Sugars, Tee Cee Bee Macray rated 1:56.9.

“There’s a lot of depth in the (four-year-old) field … but he’s very fast,” Sugars said.

“He’s a very good horse.”

The win clearly meant plenty for the Tubbs team, who received plenty of congratulations trackside.

Ideal For Real (American Ideal/Tamara Hall) was also super-impressive, the Emma Stewart-trained star winning its 10th race from 18 starts with a 1:56.2 run to score by 14.2m over runner-up Sevens Hope with Mister Wickham third.

Despite the ease of the win and the high expectations being placed on Ideal For Real, Lang said the entire still had a bit to learn.

“He’s got to learn to go straight or he’ll have to cover more ground than the others … he’ll get beat doing that,” he said.

“He’s got a good record but it won’t be an easy race next week.”

The continued dominance of the Emma Stewart stable was on full display in the four-year-old mares’ Empire Stallions Vicbred Super Series semi-finals tonight.

The Smythes Creek trainer qualified five mares for next Saturday night’s final, giving her almost half the field.

Stewart-trained Starburst Girl (barrier two for the final), Brighty Valentine (three), Lovelist (seven), Delight Me (nine) and Stay And Play (11) will all line up in the big dance.

Delight Me (Bettor's Delight/Cornsilk) impressively won her semi-final with Gavin Lang in the sulky, defeating stablemates Lovelist and Starburst Girl in the first semi-final, working wide in the run before finding the line strongly.

Stay And Play (Live Or Die/Play Ball) posted a mile rate of 1:56.2 in her 8.3m win over Snip Of Grand in the second semi-final, with third placegetter Brighty Valentine also hailing from the Stewart stable.


Empire Stallions Vicbred Super Series 4YO Mares Final barrier draw

1: Diamond Castle
2: Starburst Girl
3: Brighty Valentine
4: Soho Tokyo
5: Boadiceas Fury
6: Snip Of Grand
7: Lovelist
8: Glory Daze
9: Delight Me
10: Morton Plains
11: Stay And Play
12: Keayang Mercedes (em)
13: Miss Dreaming

Empire Stallions Vicbred Super Series 4YO Entires & Geldings Final barrier draw

1: Repeat After Me
2: Murranji Track
3: Menin Gate
4: Sevens Hope
5: Ideal For Real
6: Lucky Lombo
7: Mister Wickham
8: Solarsonic
9: Stagger Lee
10: Soynwasabi
11: Rule Of Thumb (em)
12: Blacknbrown
13: Tee Cee Bee Macray


Tingira Beach has emerged a frontrunner in the Empire Stallions Vicbred Super Series' two-year-old colts and geldings for New South Wales team Shane and Lauren Tritton, dominating his semi-final and drawing well.

Things only got better for the Somebeachsomewhere colt out of Western Tingira after he won his class's second semi-final by 12.9m, having then drawn barrier four in the final.

Conversely, fellow semi-final winner Jilliby Kung Fu will start from barrier 12 and will have to do things the hard way in the final on Saturday, July 2.

Lauren Tritton, driver of Tingira Beach, warned there was more improvement to come from her colt, who found the front and comfortably beat highly-fancied Victorians Our Little General and Wrappers Delight into second and third place.

“(Tingira Beach) is still really green, he still had a look around, but tonight he raced a lot better," Tritton said post-win. "He still had a good look around in the race and was on and off the bit. Next week he might run a bit better and could get the best of them."

Tritton said Tingira Beach's favourable draw, albeit with Geoff Webster's Wrappers Delight inside her, would not be a huge factor.

“He’s very versatile and the barrier doesn’t really mean much too him," Tritton said. "He hasn’t got that much gate speed in him, it’s always good to draw a good barrier but that’s not much of a worry.”

It could be a worry for Jilliby Kung Fu, though the talented Terang colt is only too happy to run them down from behind.

In his semi-final, Jilliby Kung Fu found the front and, though he “gets a bit lonely out there on his own”, according to driver Jason Lee, he had enough of a buffer to win by 2.5m from Geoff Webster’s fast-finishing Misterfreeze.

The two-year-old colt by Four Starzzz Shark out of Slip Slop Slap, trained at Terang by Marg Lee, produced a fifth win in 10 starts when from barrier 10 he looped the field to find the front.

“I think he’s a better chaser and I probably got a bit of itchy feet and thought I should jump around to the front, but he didn’t really want to go on with the job,” Jason Lee said. “He had a little bit left in the tank.”

Misterfreeze kept him close company at Tabcorp Park Melton in the semi-finals and Somebeachshadow, trained by Craig Demmler and driven by Jodi Quinlan, surprised with a third placing having started a $59 shot.


Barrier draws:

Two-year-old colts and geldings pacers

1: Wrappers Delight
2: Ruthless Armbro
3: Misterfreeze
4: Tingira Beach
5: Form Analyst (emg)
6: Island Specialmajor
7: Canada Bay

8: Our Little General
9: Bundy Playboy
10: Albarock
11: Somebeachshadow
12: Jilliby Kung Fu
13: Classic Maker (ODM)

Cody Winnell & Michael Howard

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