Day At The Track

Lenny on top of his game for semi-final night

06:30 PM 26 Jun 2014 NZST
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Lennytheshark is chasing a sixth successive win on Friday night at Tabcorp Park Melton.

Given how well Lennytheshark is going, his rivals are probably going to need a bigger boat to stop the David Aiken-trained star's ascent at Melton on Friday night.

Lennytheshark is at the top of his game leading into the Empire Stallions Vicbred Super Series semi-final.

His trainer is thrilled with the progress of the four-year-old son of Four Starzzz Shark, who is about $1.30 to make it six straight Tabcorp Park Melton successes in Race 11 (from gate six).

“I’m rapt with how he’s going. He hasn’t put a foot wrong,” Aiken said.

Lennytheshark has looked downright lethal this time in, putting his rivals to the sword time and again.

His win in the Rising Stars Championship on May 16 was terrific, coming in first by over 10m in 1:55.7.

At his next start in the 4YO and 5YO Championship (Group 2) he romped in again by over 10m, this time humbling a first-rate field including Inky Cullen, Chilli Palmer, Magical Telf and Restrepo in 1:56.5.

At his most recent outing on June 18 in the Super Series heat, Lennytheshark beat Ginger Bliss by 1.9m with a further 10m back to top-liner Guaranteed in third.

Lennytheshark was initially headed by firebrand beginner Ginger Bliss on that occasion but soon assumed the front, driver Chris Alford then putting his foot on the brake and dictating terms.

Easy sectionals of 31.3, 30.7, and 30.2 allowed Lennytheshark to sprint to the line with a final quarter of 26.3, clocking a mile rate of 1:58.4 for the 2240m trip.

On Friday night Lennytheshark has avoided a repeat clash with Guaranteed and Ginger Bliss, those two drawing to face each other in the other four-year-olds’ semi-final.

Aiken is enjoying the ride with Lennytheshark and hopes the winner of 13 from 28 starts will go on to have a sparkling career at the very top.

“The hope is that he’ll be able to go on and be a Grand Circuit performer. He’s just got so much ability. He’s a really genuine racehorse,” Aiken said.

Meanwhile, Aiken has several other runners on Friday night hoping to qualify for Vicbred finals.

It kicks off with two-year-olds Mammals Spark (Race 3 No.12) and Show Me The Bling (Race 4 No.13).

“Mammals Spark is still in a learning process but he’s really improved,” Aiken said.

“Show Me The Bling has a stack of ability. He’s probably got as much ability as anyone in the series, he just can be a little bit erratic.”

In the three-year-old males’ division Aiken will have two semi-finalists in Bryce Cooper (Race 5 No.1) and Epaulette (Race 5 No.3).

“I’m very happy with both of them,” Aiken said. “They’re pretty even.”

Earth Angel (Race 6 No.5) will fly the Aiken flag in the four-year-old mares’ semi-final.

She will be hoping to turn the tables on Our Femme Fatale, which defeated her narrowly last time out.

“Her run in the heat was really good and then we just got beaten last start. And I actually think the inside might not have been that great, so that should be a good guide as to how the series is progressing.”

In Race 7 Aiken has Jedi Mind (Race 7 No.5). “I was happy with his first run for us. He’s a nice horse. It’s a tough race but he should go well.”

In the three-year-old girls’ division Smiling High (Race 8 No.9) will start from the back row in her bid to upstage power fillies Mindarie Priddy and Bettor Downunder.

“A bit like Mammals Spark, she’s on a learning curve,” Aiken said. “But she won’t look out of place.”

Wolfpack (Race 9 No. 7) has drawn awfully for Aiken in the 4YO boys’ first semi-final against stars Guaranteed and Ginger Bliss.

“It will be tough from out there but he’s going really well.”

Aiken has two runners engaged in the three-year-old fillies’ second semi-final – Beach Shack (Race 12 No.11) and Quick Draft (Race 12 No.9).

“Quick Draft is our best three-year-old filly. She’s got a stack of ability. And Beach Shack went good in the heat.”

Aiken will also have consistent four-year-old Wounded in the same race as Lennytheshark.

Cody Winnell (Harness Racing Australia)

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