Day At The Track

Laying down Laura on track

06:54 PM 27 Oct 2017 NZDT
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San Carlo, Harness Racing
San Carlo

Shepparton horsewoman Laura Crossland’s big start to the new harness racing season has continued during the past week. The trainer landed her 11th winner for the new season when Lochinvar Delight saluted last Saturday night at Swan Hill.

Then at Kilmore on Wednesday night Crossland posted win number 12 when recent stable addition The Male Model scored in a 1690m dash after a smart getaway.

While Lochinvar Delight, driven by David Moran, won by only a narrow margin he raced outside the leader throughout the race and outstayed his rivals in a tough effort to register win number seven from 17 starts.

Lochinvar Delight, who is by uncanny sire Bettors Delight, is out of the Tuapeka broodmare gem, Uncork, who has left 12 individual winners including Hes A Corka (45 wins) and Saved A Corka (13 wins).

Crossland has had The Male Model for only three starts and has chalked up two wins and a second with the four-year-old son of former smart pacer The Warp Drive.

Prominent Nathalia horseman and owner Zac Cornell is one of the owners who race The Male Model who started his career in NSW and had three wins at Menangle when trained by Shane and Lauren Tritton.

He was also a finalist in the Breeders Crown three-year-old colts and geldings final at Melton in late August when prepared by Brent Lilley.

The two latest wins has Crossland currently sitting in sixth place on the state trainers’ premiership.

Rising up rankings

Boom Shepparton pacer San Carlo has been virtually assured of a start in the Inter Dominion Championship in Perth in November-December after the third round of rankings were released this week.

The Steve O’Donoghue-trained seven-year-old jumped from 42 to 30 in the latest rankings which virtually guarantees him a start in the first round heats on November 24.

Superstar New Zealander pacer Lazarus, a winner at Addington on Monday, heads the third round ranking list from the David Aiken-trained champion Lennytheshark.

The Gary Hall Sr-trained local hope Chicago Bull, an impressive winner at Gloucester Park last Friday night is number three in the rankings.

The Amanda Turnbull-trained Majordan was also a big mover in the latest rankings, coming in from 44 in the second round of rankings to 32. The cut-off deadline for pacers contesting the heats is 30.

Fourth and final round of rankings will be released on November 8.

In the build-up to the Inter Dominion, San Carlo will tackle the $30000 Maryborough Cup this Sunday.

He has drawn barrier two in a hot field in which another of the fancied runners, the Aiken-trained newcomer Thereal Usain Colt, third in last Saturday night’s Swan Hill Cup, has drawn the pole.

Another Shepparton-trained pacer John Of Arc will also contest the race in which the Tim Butt-trained My Field Marshall is expected to be the testing material.

Medal of Valour

Talented pacer Iconic Valour made a successful debut for new trainer Isabel Walsh last week at Shepparton.

The Jeremes Jet five-year-old, owned by the Redwoods, was driven a confident race by Mark Pitt who took the pacer from four back on the pegs to the death seat when an opportunity arrived 1200m from home and proved too strong for his rivals, beating the David Aiken-trained Heavenly Shades with Candlestick third.

Heath Redwood originally trained Iconic Valor who won three of his first four starts.

Iconic Valor had a stint with David Miles who won a race with him before Shepparton horsewoman Isabel Walsh took over his training recently.

Last week’s win in a C0 Only class race was his sixth from 19 starts and his effort suggested it won’t be his last.

Iconic Valor was the first leg of a driving double for Pitt.

He also partnered the Barry Quigley-trained Sixty to beat the hot favourite, the Andy Gath-trained Modern Maestro in a C3-C4 class race.

Hoofnote: Iconic Valor followed up his Shepparton success with a second placing at Kilmore on Wednesday night.

Earl is a real pearl

Consistent Bunbartha-trained trotter Just Call Me Earl won his sixth race on the Shepparton track when he prevailed in a T0 or better class trot last week.

Despite being the best performed trotter in the race a 30m handicap deterred punters and he was a 22/1 chance on the tote.

But he made light work of his handicap and with a well-timed drive by Matt Newberry was able to secure the win.

In a Bunbartha-trained quinella Newberry was able to usher Just Call Me Earl to four back on the outside for most of the race and he finished strongly to account for the Brian Bourke-trained and Laura Crossland-driven Starlight Storm.

Just Call Me Earl is a veteran of 186 starts, which have produced 19 wins and 44 placings for stake earnings of just on $128000.

Doing it like a boss

The Kima Frenning juggernaut rolls on with the Swedish horsewoman enjoying another win last week, this time for her boss, David Aiken.

Frenning piloted recent stable addition Im The Boss to one of the most convincing wins on the Shepparton program, which pleased a lot of punters who sent the Major In Art six-year-old out a$2.60 favourite.

Frenning took Im The Boss to the death seat early from a wide front row draw and then forged to the front in the home straight with a lap to go and was too strong for the equal favourite Flight Officer with the Mark Pitt-trained and Lisa Bartley-driven Modern Lebron running another good race to fill the minor placing.

Im The Boss won again in impressive fashion at Kilmore on Wednesday night with Frenning once again taking the reins.

Tiana dines on Fondue

It’s all happening for young Kyabram trainer-driver Tiana McMahon at the moment.

Fresh from a recent successful trip to South Australia, McMahon produced pacer Miss Fondue to win last week at Shepparton.

McMahon was able to give the five-year-old Courage Under Fire mare the run of the race on the back of the pacemaker Village Encounter and she zoomed home along the sprint lane to beat the old warrior Lights And Music and Wotplanetrufrom who was driven by Donna Castles.

Miss Fondue was one of the winners — the other was Blissfully Unaware — who had won at Globe Derby for McMahon on a recent trip to South Australia where she first cut her teeth in the harness racing game.

Miss Fondue has got stronger as she matures and she posted a PB mile rate out of her three wins of 1:58.4 in winning the C1-C2 1690m event at Shepparton.

The quaddie killer

Wahring horseman Kevin Weidenbach Jr wasn’t exactly the pin-up driver for most quaddie punters at Shepparton last week.

Weidenbach partnered the Barham-trained pacing mare Acropolis Lass to an all-the-way win in the third leg of the main quaddie which floored most punters as she was a 53/1 shot on the tote.

Acropolis Lass beat off challenges from Catch Me If Youcan and Joelissa in the run to the judge.

Trained by Ruth Arthur, Acropolis Lass hasn’t won out of turn in her 29 starts with the Shepparton win the third of her career.

Weidenbach had a big week and was also in the winner’s circle at Bendigo two nights later when he partnered the pacer he trains Lucy McCool to another win.

Lucy McCool has now won three races for Weidenbach since joining his stable eight starts ago.

Willem home

Lightly raced Willem posted a PB best mile rate in winning a C2-C3 class race last week at Bendigo.

The Steve O’Donoghue-trained and Bec Bartley-driven five-year-old son of Lombo Pocket Watch came from second last at the 600m in the 2150m event to mow down his rivals one by one to notch his seventh win in 17 starts.

His mile rate of 1:56 was not only a PB, but the quickest for the program for races over the 2150m trip and was also equal quickest for the night in the events over the shorter 1650m trip.

O’Donoghue describes Willem as a ‘‘nice little horse who always gives his best’’ and it’s certainly an applicable description.

Yes, he can run

Pacer He Can Fly is certainly living up to his name.

The Bettors Delight five-year-old again showed he could be destined for bigger things with another powerful win last Friday night at Melton.

Driven by Josh Aiken and despite being forced to race outside the pacemaker for most of the 2240m trip he was still too good for his rivals at the business end of the race, making it six wins in eight starts since migrating south from NSW to the Avenel Aiken barn in July.

The win also stretched his current winning streak to four and in the two races he didn’t win since coming to Victoria he finished third and fourth.

Gongs for efforts

Cobram Harness Racing Club recently honoured its top achievers for the 2016-17 season at its awards night.

Harness Racing Victoria’s chief executive David Brick was a special guest.

Goulburn Valley industry participants fared well in the awards.

Shepparton reinsman Nathan Jack took the Driver of Year award, while Amanda Turnbull was the Trainer of the Year, pipping Glen Douglas by a point.

Young Shepparton horseman Mark Pitt carried off the Concession Driver of the Year for the third successive time.

Pacer of the Year award was a three-way tie between Somedan, Classic Grin and Be Good Juddy while Dabbsey took Trotter of the Year honours.

Ian and Tania Ward claimed the Trials Trainer of Year award, while the Laura Crossland-trained Lochinvar Delight took the Trial Horse of the Year honours.

Cobram is now gearing up for its annual Melbourne Cup day meet.

Revisiting glory days

Harness racing returns to Wayville tonight in South Australia for a one-off meeting on the smallest track in Australia.

It is the first race meeting to be held at the Wayville Showgrounds track since 1973.

Top SA trainer-driver Ryan Hryhorec said ‘‘Retro Night’’ would be “magic” after driving in trials at the track.

“Yes, the track is tighter than what we normally run on, but I was very happy with the way my horses went around,” Hryhorec said.

Harness Racing South Australia is hoping for a crowd of 10000 to relive some of the golden days of trots in the state.

One of the days was in 1963 when 45000 trots fans crammed into Wayville to watch the great Cardigan Bay win the Inter Dominion.

Coming up

Maryborough holds its cup meeting on Sunday and Shepparton races on Wednesday night.

Today: Melton (n).

Tomorrow: Ballarat (n).

Sunday: Maryborough (d).

Monday: Horsham (d).

Tuesday: Bendigo (n).

Wednesday: Shepparton (n).

Thursday: Cranbourne (n).

By the Shepparton News

Reprinted with permission of The Shepparton News

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