Day At The Track

Josh ready to drop the Hammer

10:08 AM 19 Jun 2020 NZST
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Josh Aiken,Harness racing
Stuart McCormick photo

Regional racing has given Josh Aiken “life changing” comforts and opportunities, and yet the talented reinsman can’t wait until it’s over.

A week on from his 27th birthday, Aiken’s been a star of the region-based racing circuit that kicked off on April 2, leading the North East division with 23 wins from 79 starts and then sitting third in the expanded East division with 14 from 47.

“I’ve got some good opportunities the last couple of months,” Aiken said amid a break in yesterday’s Kilmore raceday. “It’s not ideal when you can’t race for metro prizemoney, but I have got good support from trainers.

“Less travel is life changing. Your lifestyle changes completely when you are only racing in your backyard.”

But Aiken’s looking forward to the days following the lifting of borders and return to metropolitan racing, targeted for July 1, in large part to the top tier talent that’s emerged at his dad’s (David Aiken) stable.

“We have some really nice metro horses and up and coming horses that we’re excited about,” Josh Aiken said. “They have programed some great mini-series and we have good horses ready to go.”

Among that number are several of the Aiken runners contesting tonight’s Shepparton racing, including leading trotter Big Jack Hammer, talented pacer Leonidas and emerging Reactor Now, who could well sweep the suped-up $20,000 features.

Josh will steer all three, including Leonidas, who’s US owned and expected to cross the Pacific, but has been so good in his four wins and two placings amid six starts at the Avenel stable that team Aiken are hopeful he’ll stay put for the immediate future.

“We would love to hang on to him into the Vic Cup and maybe over the summer cups as well,” he said.

Josh gave TrotsCentre readers the inside word ahead of tonight’s program with his runner-by-runner guide:

R1 N7 Enforce The Law:

“He gets back to a bit of an easier task. He was good last start. He has a couple of nice horses drawn inside him and a couple on the back row you have to respect, but I expect him to be in the mix.”

R2 N4 Hypervigilant:

“She has been really consistent her last five starts. There is a bit of exposed gate speed inside her, but she should settle pretty handy. She is not a bad each-way go. She is suited to a genuine tempo race and it looks like it might be that.”

R3 N1 Mister Joe Major

“He was really good last start coming from back in the field, something that’s not his go. He could possibly be leader, no worse than leader’s back. I give him a pretty good hope.”

R5 N8 Leonidas:

“He’s a class horse. We will have to get off the pegs as soon as we can and following Ellmers Image isn’t the worst case. The first half is really important. He can sit up and be driven for one run or pop out if need be. He’s very versatile. You always know he’s going to run a good race.”

R6 N9 Big Jack Hammer:

“Wobelee’s a champion so you have got to give him a lot of respect. We have had Sassy Pants come into the stable and she has been fantastic. The tempo is probably key for (Big Jack Hammer), but I expect him to run a good race. He’s been going good. His last win at Bendigo was against a handy field and it wasn’t too long ago he won a Group 1 at Menangle. He is a sit-sprint horse and he goes very good when the races are run to suit.”

R7 N9 Bringitonhome:

“He is a sit-sprint horse. You have just got to get a kart up. Interest Me is running well and is probably the leader. Bringitonhome has really fast point-to-point speed if you save him up for one run. It is an even race, his stablemate (Blingittothemax) also goes very well.”

R8 N3 Reactor Now:

“He’s just going from strength to strength. He is one of the horses in the stable I am most excited about. He is a country cups type. As soon as he gets to the mile and a half his racing is going to get even better. He’s got as much going for him as any horse in our stable. He gives me a lot of confidence.”

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.

Then from 6-10pm it's time to tune back in for Friday Night Trackside featuring Sam Hargreaves and Tim O'Connor. The duo stream on SENTrack (1377AM) for the entire show and SEN1116 (1116AM) from 8-10pm.

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

The good oil from the Vic trials circuit

Mildura, R1 N4, Ollies Molly

Has only had three starts but has had three different trainers and she is now being prepared by Andrew Vozlic, which will make it a fourth mentor the next time she steps out onto the race track. She pushed forward to find the lead and seemingly won with plenty in reserve so it was a promising start to her career in the Sunraysia. REPORT

Mildura, R2 N1, Gotta Go Josie

December 15: Trailed the leader WICKED AZZ before coming to the outside in the home straight. She extended very nicely in the home straight and got up to beat WICKED AZZ on the line. REPORT

Shepparton, R4 N2, Allshookup

Settled four back on the outside, came out three horses wide from the 700m and finished off strongly to run a game second. REPORT

Shepparton, R6 N6, Wobelee

The star trotter won the trial softly after settling down last and working into the race in the one out and one back trail from the 500m. He came to the outside on the home turn and never looked like losing. REPORT

 
HRV - Michael Howard
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