Day At The Track

Duffy hopes for more Joy

12:51 PM 02 Jun 2020 NZST
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Milah Joy,Harness racing
HRV

Steve Duffy’s made the trip from stable to track for some 40 years and counting but never before has his team of hopefuls stretched as deep as it will at Shepparton tonight.

“It’s the first time I have taken five to the races,” Duffy said. “The last few years I’ve poked around with about 10 horses and eventually you are going to have a handful of racehorses to take to the race track.”

The Orrvale trainer’s big fleet comes after committing full-time to training in recent years, having previously balanced his training and professional gardening duties.

“I have always been breaking them in and getting them going for others and used to do two to four for myself, then three or four years ago (my son) Ryan (Duffy) got into it and I started doing more.”

Duffy will subsequently have his most starters in a season in 2019-20, having before tonight had 103 starters, second in his career only to 1986-87 when he had 112.

Additionally, his 15 wins this season are his equal second most, matching last season’s total and within earshot of his career best – 19 in 2017-18, when A Special Dream (9 wins) and Winkanditsover (6 wins) were dominant.

Duffy’s optimistic about adding to the win column tonight, particularly with recent additions Janjuc and Millah Joy (pictured).

The latter has come across from Jess Tubbs and Greg Sugars stable, with her owners Michael Soccio and Susan and Daryll Weggman hoping a region change would bring new opportunities.

“She was always running against better class horses down that way,” Duffy said. “The owners wanted to get her into races where she could get it a bit easier.”

And, having won her last two in vastly different circumstances, the venture’s quickly proven a successful one.

“She come up from Greg’s in terrific order. Her first start was a little disappointing, but I didn’t do much too her. Since then her work has been good and she come from last to win in the first one and then led and won in the other.”

Duffy said she would likely only have a short campaign with an eye to the November Breeders Crown and Vicbred Super Series on New Year's Eve, but was well placed to add to her win tally, beginning with tonight’s Cottrell Electrical Pace, which closes out the Trots Vision coverage at 8.42pm.

“She’s up in class, but is going good and has drawn well," he said. "She will be somewhere around the mark.”

Duffy rates Millah Joy and Janjuc as his best two chances, the latter also a recent addition, having been previously with David Drury and won on debut for the stable before a torrid run last start.

She will start from gate nine in tonight’s Your Sold Real Estate Pace.

“I think she’ll go better with the sit and will be hard to beat in this,” he said. “She’s a good chance. I have only had her for two starts, but she’s really improved working with other horses.”

Steven Duffy also gave Trots Centre readers insights into his other runners:

R5 N7 Interest Me

“She is nice enough horse, but no world beater. The draw is awkward for her, she has gate speed but first up she will probably have to go back and need a bit of luck. She’s had two soft trials and trialled up well. If the race panned out for her, it wouldn’t surprise me if she won, but she is more suited to the short-course.”

R5 N11 Rothko

“He always runs a race where he looms like he’s going to win, but never seems too. He likes to run beside them, I need to try and turn him around to have a lot more killer instinct. He’s also more of a short-course horse.”

R6 N2 Majic Fair

“She is up in class. She had a little issue, a cold, after her last run, so is probably going to need the run, but the stand will be no worries for her, so she will likely lead and decide what to do from there.”

TALKING TROTS ON SENTRACK:

Hosts Jason Bonnington and Blake Redden have another big line-up for today's Talking Trots on SENTrack, which runs weekdays from 11am-1pm on 1377AM in Melbourne, 657AM in Perth and 1575AM in Wollongong.

Click here to listen live and for links to download the SEN app.

The good oil from the Vic trials circuit

Shepparton, R1 N1, Smiles

Showed gate speed to lead early before taking a trail and ending up being three back on the inside. She used the sprint lane to finish third. REPORT

Shepparton, R2 N11, Del Port

Began well to find the lead at the 1600m. He did want to race keenly and became a little fierce mid-race, particularly when ORBIE took the lead away from him but he kicked on okay in the straight for second. REPORT

Shepparton, R5 N7, Interest Me

Settled four back on the inside before angling onto the back of LUNAR DELIGHT in the straight. She never peeled to the outside of the winner at any stage in the straight and seemed to have plenty in reserve. REPORT

 

HRV - Michael Howard

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