Day At The Track

Huge weekend for the stallion Sportswriter

07:50 AM 25 Jul 2016 NZST
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Saturday night proved a good one for Alabar's Sportswriter with feature harness racing wins at Tabcorp Park Menangle and Tabcorp Park Melton.

Sportswriter progeny won four races at the two venues, two wins at each, including a pair of Group 3s.

Niki No No (Sportswriter-Benelise) notched win No.14 of her career, delighting connections including Melton on-course MC and trots media personality Rob Auber.

The four-year-old mare captured the Empire Stallions Vicbred Platinum Pace (Group 3) for trainer Kari Males, benefiting from a master Greg Sugars drive.

Sugars, who is third on the SBG Accountants Metropolitan Drivers Premiership, second on the Melton Saddlery State Drivers Premiership and third on the National Drivers Premiership, has driven Niki No No to all her victories.

On Saturday night from the pole he trailed leader Starzzz Of Icon before switching to the outside instead of the sprint lane in the straight, Niki No No balancing up and sprinting past Snip Of Grand for a narrow win in a 1:57.9 rate over 2240m.

Niki No No won the 4YO Mares Empire Stallions Vicbred Super Series Bronze Final earlier this month and has saluted in four races from 13 starts this season.

Among Niki No No’s 14 career victories are an Empire Stallions Vicbred Super Series Fillies Final (Group 1) at two and a Nevele R Stud Victoria Oaks (Group 1) at three.


Later on the Melton program Burrumbeet horseman Michael Stanley continued his strong form by taking out the VHRSC Graduate with Spiritwriter (Sportswriter-Striking Spirit) in 1:59.4.

The three-year-old gelding is raced by the burgeoning Go Racing group, whose members include Sky’s Gareth Hall and Dave Stanley.

Spiritwriter crossed smart polemarker Stuover out of the straight the first time in the 2240m event and Stanley controlled the remainder of the race.


Now a six-time winner from 17 starts, Spiritwriter possesses a sharp sprint. He got home in 55.8s on Saturday night after a 62.8s opening half. And Stanley hardly moved a muscle, Stuover getting within a neck of the winner at the finish.

At Menangle Shezallapples (Sportswriter-Apple Sorbet) looked first class, last month’s Alabar NSW Breeders Challenge (Group 1) winning two-year-old filly out-punching race favourite Manly Mach from the chair over the mile in 1:54.3 for reinsman Jimmy Douglass and trainer David Thorn in the Garrards Horse and Hound Ready2Run Sales Stakes (Group 3).


And ex-Victorian Egodan (Sportswriter-Full Pleasure) won the Sweet Lou Woodlands Stud Pace for Kevin Pizzuto and Nathan Jack, the four-year-old gelding clocking 1:53.5 to notch a 10th career victory at start number 30 for owners AD Investments.


Cody Winnell

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