Day At The Track

Bumper Easter Sunday on Warragul Cup Day

03:25 AM 21 Apr 2011 NZST
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Daryl Douglas is charged with the job Fashions on the Field makes a return Jodi Quinlan and Jazzam
Daryl Douglas is charged with the job - behind Kasyanov at Warragul on Sunday
Fashions on the Field makes a return - after a two-year hiatus
Jodi Quinlan and Jazzam - will pair up once more on Sunday

One of the strongest harness racing fields in recent memory will contest the $25,000 Rapidvite Warragul Pacing Cup on Easter Sunday afternoon (April 24). Local pacing mare Jazzam is attempting to create history by becoming the first horse to win the race twice. But she will face a 20-metre handicap in the standing start race, and a field that includes worthy competitors from across the state.

It will take a mighty effort from Jazzam to win - leading fancies in the race include Jukebox music and Tear It All Away from the front row on the handicaps, and Our Malabar, who gives his rivals 30 metres start.

Cranbourne pacer Yakuza impressed in winning a trial from the stand at Warragul on Saturday, and is the smokey from a good barrier draw.

Elsewhere, the club should be proud of entries in the support races.

The $10,000 Eddie Evison Memorial Trotters Cup is a ripper with Tsonga, winner at the last Warragul meeting, stepping into open company for the first time against a proven campaigner like Earl Of Mot, who has a 30 metre handicap.

Local trotter Pepperell Dancer, who won the race in 2008, is back for another tilt at the Cup.

There are only seven runners in the Gippsland Media Centre Guineas, but it will be an outstanding contest, with the giant local Cullen Bromac drawing barrier one after winning a trial at Warragul last Saturday. There are four very nice three-year-old's to take him on though, in Narre Boy, Asoka, Pennsbury and Houhora Delight.

The two-year-old Young Guns features local pacers One More Smile and Scruffy Major, both impressive winners on debut at Cranbourne.

Off the track there are loads of attractions including Fashions on the Field, pony trots and plenty of free kids activities.

After a two-year break, Fashions on the Field makes a welcome return to the day. Students from GippsTAFE have taken on the organisation of this year's contest, as part of their practical studies. The students have arranged the support of several local businesses, who are sponsoring prizes for the various categories on offer including:

Best Dressed Male

Best Dressed Female

Best Dressed Couple

Best Dressed Mini (under 12 years old)

Special guest judge for the event this year will be local community radio announcer Vicky Arrigo. Vicky presents her popular "Mixen with the Vixen" program on 103.1 3BBR-FM every second Saturday, and also made a recent appearance on the Millionaire Hot Seat television program.

As well as Fashions on the Field and the racing action, there will be plenty to keep patrons entertained.

There are lots of free kids activities including playground and jumping castle, face painter, an appearance by Koko the Clown and, of course, free Easter eggs!

One lucky racegoer will have a chance to win a 100cm Samsung LCD TV, valued at $1000, in the club's major raffle.

TAB betting will be available on all local and interstate races, while a Punters' Club will also operate.

Families are welcome to pack a picnic lunch and relax on the lawn, however no BYO alcohol is permitted. Bar, restaurant and kiosk facilities will also operate.

Admission to this Sunday's meeting is just $10 for adults and $5 for pensioners. Children under 18 are admitted free.

First race will get underway just after midday with the highlight being the $25,000 Rapidvite Warragul Pacing Cup, final leg of the 2010/11 Choice Hotels Country Cup series.

by HRV Media

Jazzam out to defy history

Jazzam will have no shortage of history against her when she attempts to defend her crown in Sunday’s $25,000 Rapidvite Warragul Pacing Cup.

Not only is she striving to become the first back-to-back winner of the race that was first run in 1955, she will become the first horse to win it more than once if successful.

In addition to that, she has been pulled a further 10m and confronts a stronger field than 2010, when she won it off 10m. The most recent horse to win the Warragul Cup from further back than 10m was Odds Torado in 1993.

But those factors will just make victory even sweeter if Jazzam can repeat the dose on the home track of trainer Debbie Quinlan at what is likely to be one of her final few runs before being retired to the broodmare barn.

“Looking at the field and where we are coming from and who we’ve got in front of us – they’re a lot stronger horses ahead of us than what we had last year – she has got the job ahead of her, history tells us that,” Quinlan said.

“But she’s owned by people who are on the (Warragul HRC) committee and they just love to have a runner in their own local cup.

“If she weighed in we’d be happy, but it would be a real pleasant surprise if she happened to get up.”

Dual Geelong Cup champion Our Malabar is the 30m backmarker with last weekend’s Loddon Valley Stud FFA winner Ti Vogliobene and Nyah Cup winner Stirling Charmer to share the 10m line.

The rejuvenated Veranjee, capable Johnorama, Mildura Cup placegetter Tear It All Away and former Sydneysider Jukebox Music are among those off the front line with Choice Hotels Country Cup regular Adda Paternal Suit drawn the second row with emergency Garnet River.

But while realistic in her assessment of Jazzam’s chances, Quinlan couldn’t be happier with the seven-year-old. She has had three runs back from a four-month spell, all against Broadways Best in mares’ grade, the most recent an Ian Daff Memorial fourth placing.

“We were pretty happy with her last start, so was Gavin (Lang) when he got off her, and she’s trained on good from there,” Quinlan said.

“We expect her to run good, it’s only the 20 metres on the small track and with the nice horses drawn off the front that’s the worry.”

Jazzam, who will be driven by John Caldow for the first time in the Warragul Cup, isn’t the only key runner Quinlan has engaged at Warragul on Easter Sunday.

Former high-priced yearling Cullen Bromac has drawn the pole in the Gippsland Media Centre Guineas (2205m) for three-year-olds, while impressive debut winner One More Smile steps out in the Drouin Signs Young Guns for the babies.

by Brad BISHOP

Gifted Goudie star looks set to get the cheese

If home really resides where the heart is, there's ample evidence talented former Sunshine State squaregaiter Kasyanov has found his headquarters for life with new mentor Peter Goudie in the scenic surrounds of the Yarra Valla ranges and a picturesque cheese town called Gruyere.

Turn the clock back a tick over 12 months and after three solid starts with Shaun Gillespie at Albion Park, the striking son of Sundon was stationed at Gruyere as part of an ambitious Inter Dominion raid which would ultimately culminate in one of the more unlikely silver medal performances in that series’ history.

But after underperforming upon his return home to Queensland – presumably homesick for his adopted digs sown south – Kasyanov is back in Gruyere, back with Goudie and preparing for more Garden State glory in the $10,000 Eddie Evison Memorial Trotters Cup at Warragul on Sunday afternoon.

“It all started when Shaun (Gillespie) brought him (Kasyanov) down for last year’s Inter Dominion series in Melbourne,” Goudie recalled. “He fitted in very well in the environment down here, as you saw when he finished second in the ID Final behind Sundons Gift.

“He just wasn’t quite firing when he went back home, so his owner Mark Gurry asked me if I’d like to have a go at him, and I said, ‘by all means, yes’, and that’s how he ended up coming back to me.

“He’s a pretty highly strung sort of a horse and he was very nervy and edgy when he arrived but he’s like an angel to handle now.

“He’s happy again – and my philosophy is that they’ll only perform if they’re happy. He’s got a great big grassy yard here and he just loves it. He’s got his mates around him, free rein of the place and we reckon it’s the key to getting him back to his best.”

Improving and impressive but so far winless in two starts since making his prodigal return, Goudie’s gifted six-year-old should get every chance to secure his maiden Victorian victory after landing the ace alley in Sunday’s 2620-metre standing start co-feature.

But with multiple metropolitan winner Earl Of Mot (30m), reigning Mildura Cup king Tsonga (10m) and consistent top-line trotters Salute To Wagon (10m) and No Early Spark (10m) also engaged in the third last regional squaregaiting feature of the season, Goudie acknowledges that his stable star will need to be at his best to win.

And that they’ll be relying far more upon his blistering early speed and untapped potential that his reputation as an Inter Dominion runner-up to get the job done this weekend.

“His last two starts, this horse has started like a bullet,” Goudie said. “I don’t think there’s much doubt that he’ll lead early on, but I’ll be leaving it up to Daryl (Douglas, driver) what he does after that.

“In all fairness, the horse has only won one race since he’s come to Australia, so we can’t get too far ahead of ourselves. He should have won more but he hasn’t as yet and that’s where we’re at.

“He is only a baby by trotters’ standards though, so he’s got time on his side and we expect he’ll put his best foot forward on Sunday afternoon.”

by Jason BONNINGTON

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