Up-and-coming harness racing four-year-old Red Salute gave Chris Lewis an armchair drive in the $50,000 Channel 9 Binshaw Classic at Gloucester Park on Friday night when he bowled along in front and coasted to victory over Western Cullen and Gate Bender.
Lewis, who replaced suspended regular reinsman Chris Voak, admitted that he did not let Red Salute "go" as he made sure he did not allow a clear passage for Gate Bender (Colin Brown), who had trailed Red Salute throughout the group 2 feature event.
"He went to the line with a bit in hand," Lewis said. "I was just holding him back. I had Colin on my back and I didn't want to let him out. As a young horse Red Salute was very green and it took a lot of patience to get him to this stage. He has really come forward in the past few weeks. He's now putting it all together and can develop into a very good performer."
Lewis made full use of the No. 1 barrier on the front line and Red Salute was able to resist an early challenge from Western Cullen, who was sent forward by Matt White from the No. 4 barrier.
After covering the first two 400m sections of the final mile in 30.3sec. and 29.3sec. Red Salute sprinted the next quarter in 28.1sec. before Lewis took hold of the gelding, who needed only a final quarter of 29.8sec. to hold his rivals at bay. Western Cullen finished a length away in second place, with 1m to Gate Bender, who was badly hemmed in on the pegs all the way down the home straight.
Red Salute, who rated 1.57 over the 2130m journey, completed a hat-trick of wins for Oakford trainer Ross Olivieri and owners Denise Trobe, Jeanine Diederich, Adrian Staltari and Tony Jones. The win gave the 57-year-old Lewis the third leg of a driving quartet. He also was successful with Bundaberg Black, Live High and Shardons Rocket.
Red Salute, who had won a qualifying heat of the Binshaw Classic the previous week after the tyre of the off-side sulky wheel had been punctured almost 600m from home, was solidly supported from 5/4 on to 7/4 on, with Gate Bender at 6/1 and Western Cullen at 13/2. Red Salute, bred by Ms Diederich, has earned $89,669 from ten wins and five placings from 29 starts.
Ms Trobe paid tribute to Red Salute's former trainer Peter Tilbrook and Voak, who has driven Red Salute to seven of his ten wins and is the gelding's regular trackwork driver. "Chris Voak has helped sort out Red Salute's quirks when driving him in trackwork," she said.
MYSTA MAGICAL MACH READY FOR ANOTHER SHOT AT INTERDOMINION GLORY
Evergreen eight-year-old Mysta Magical Mach, second to Im Themightyquinn in the interdominion championship final 11 months ago, is well and truly on target for another tilt at glory in the $750,000 interdominion championship final at Menangle on March 3.
The New Zealand-bredgelding warmed up for the $50,000 championship heat at Gloucester Park next Saturday night with an effortless record-breaking victory in the 2130m Underbelly Squizzy On Nine Pace on Friday night.
"The interdominions, that's where we're really aiming for with this horse," said Morgan Woodley after driving Mysta Magical Mach to an impressive win over Fremantle Cup winner Dasher VC (7/2) and 16/1 chance Remember El.
"We would dearly love him to qualify and get over to Sydney and hopefully mix it with the big boys. This horse couldn't be going any better. He's definitely had the barrier draws to suit him this week and last week."
Veteran Byford trainer Tony Svilicich has got Mysta Magical Mach back to top form in recent weeks. Friday night's victory followed the New Zealand-bred gelding's all-the-way win over Im Themightyquinn in the 2536m Lord Mayor's Cup the previous Friday night.
Mysta Magical Mach started from the No. 1 barrier on Friday night and was hot favourite at 3/1 on. Woodley jumped him straight to the lead from Clancy Maguire, with Chris Lewis slotting Dasher VC into the one-out, one-back position after starting smoothly from barrier four.
With Woodley putting the brakes on in front, Lewis eased Dasher VC three wide after 400m to take up the position outside the pacemaker. Woodley then increased the tempo and Mysta Magical Mach zoomed over the last three 400m sections of the final mile in 28.5sec., 28sec. and 28.2sec.
Mysta Magical Mach rated a slick 1.55.2 which broke the 2130m track record of 1.55.6, set by Livingontheinterest when he led and defeated Ohoka Dallas, Mysta Magical Mach and Im Themightyquinn on January 4 this year.
QUICK REFLECTION COMPLETES AN UNUSUAL DOUBLE FOR de CAMPO
Capel trainer Andrew de Campo completed an unusual double on Friday evening when Matt White drove Quick Reflection to a smart victory in the first event at Gloucester Park, the 1730m Tim McMillan On Nine News Pathway Pace.
He had just finished watching on Sky Channel his seven-year-old thoroughbred mare Dr Ava, an 11/1 chance, leading and winning a race over 1705m at the Bunbury race meeting.
Quick Reflection, a New Zealand-bred five-year-old, was second favourite at 4/1 behind The Black Lord, who was backed from 10/9 on to 7/4 on.
Punters groaned when The Black Lord, galloped badly from barrier two and settled down in last place 40m behind the pacemaker Tartary Troy (20/1), with White settling Quick Reflection in the one-out, one-back position.
White bided his time and waited until 250m from home before angling Quick Reflection three wide. Thegelding sprinted quickly and burst to the front on the home turn before winning by a half-length from 8/1 chance What God Knows, who finished resolutely after racing three back on the pegs. Our Universal Ruler (16/1) fought on well to be third after racing in the breeze all the way.
"Things played into our hands early (when The Black Lord galloped) and Quick Reflection got to the front pretty easily, around the bend," White said. The winner rated a smart 1.55.9 after Tartary Troy had set a brisk pace at his first appearance for six months.
Quick Reflection shows good promise and de Campo expects him to win more races. This was only his third appearance at Gloucester Park. He has earned $49,038 from nine wins and ten placings from 36 starts. He won five times in New Zealand and has had 14 starts in WA for four wins and four second placings.
HES MY HERO GETS HOME IN A THRILLING THREE-WAY PHOTO FINISH
Hes My Hero, a brilliant three-year-old in New Zealand four years ago, is making his mark in WA and looks set for further successes after scoring a fighting victory in the 1730m Big Brother On Nine Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night.
Trained at Wanneroo by Debbie Padberg, Hes My Hero was heavily supported from 9/4 to 5/4 favouritism and he prevailed in a thrilling finish after being forced to work hard in the breeze.
Polemarker Village In Vesa (9/1) held out Hes My Hero (barrier two) in the early stages and these two pacers were joined soon after the start by 5/1 chance Aussie Made Lombo, who applied plenty of pressure, out three wide, throughout the race.
Shannon Suvaljko got Hes My Hero to the front 450m from home and then Aussie Made Lombo got on terms at the 230m mark. After a tremendous struggle down the home straight Hes My Hero scored by a nose from Adda Paternal Suit (9/2, 7/2), who followed the three-wide run of Aussie Made Lombo and finished determinedly from sixth at the bell. Aussie Made Lombo refused to give in and she was a head away in third place.
"He's done a great job," Suvaljko said. "Once the one (Village In Vesa) wanted to lead, Hes My Hero was left facing the breeze and Aussie Made Lombo never left us alone. She put in a big run, too. She just kept coming at us, but Hes My Hero dug deep and did a really good job.
"I was pretty confident after last week (when fourth behind Adda Paternal Suit) and when the barrier draw came out on Tuesday I was confident he could find the front and win pretty easily. But once he had the breeze it was a different kettle of fish. However, he did a really good job."
Alkira Jetstar (11/2) was prominent in fifth place in the one-wide line all the way before finishing solidly to be a sound fourth. The pace was on all the way and Hes My Hero rated 1.54.3.
Hes My Hero shone as a three-year-old and he was most impressive in winning five races in a row in New Zealand as a three-year-old early in 2009. He had 49 starts in New Zealand for ten wins and five placings before racing in New South Wales, where he won another four times. He has had 11 starts in WA for two wins and three placings for an overall record of 85 starts for 15 wins and 12 placings for earnings of $193,503.
Hes My Hero, by, is one of six winners out of the unraced mare Radiant Guest.
BUNDABERG BLACK IS STILL WINNING AS AN 11-YEAR-OLD
Just over nine years ago Bundaberg Black was successful at his first two starts, at Pinjarra and Gloucester Park, and at Gloucester Park on Friday night he chalked up two wins in a row when Chris Lewis drove him to an easy all-the-way victory in the 2130m Sally Ayhan On Nine News Pace.
During an injury-plagued career the 11-year-old Bundaberg Black has had several long lay-offs and he now has a record for owner-trainer Natalie Duffy of 69 starts for 11 wins, 16 placings and stakes of $88,053.
He had ended a losing sequence of 14 at his previous appearance, at Pinjarra on December 24 when he finished solidly to win from Ohoka Squire over 2692m. That was the first time he had been driven by Lewis.
Bundaberg Black, an 11/2 chance from the No. 1 barrier, lacked early sparkle and Governor Johnny, from the No. 2 barrier, was first out and led by a length. But Governor Johnny was unable to cross to the pegs and Lewis then was able to dictate the terms in front, with Shoab (5/1) moving into the breeze after a lap and providing Im Elsa (7/2, 5/2 favourite) with a good trail, one-out and one-back, with Whos Mistake (7/2) trailing the leader.
Bundaberg Black covered the final 800m in 58.7sec. and won comfortably by a length from the dogged Shoab, with Whos Mistake an unlucky third, hopelessly blocked for a clear run throughout the final circuit. Anvil Attack caught the eye when he finished fast from 11th at the bell. The winner rated 1.58.6.
"He was able to run his own race," Lewis said. "He can run treasonably solid quarters, but hasn't got a real quick sprint. He went to the line with a similar quarter in him."
Bundaberg Black did not start in a race between June 2004 and January 2008 and he raced only once in 2010, when he won an M0 event over 2536m at Gloucester Park, beating Pancho Maguire and Puhinui Rainbow. He then did not reappear for 15 months.
He is by Kinney Hanover and is the first foal out ofmare Nats Addiction, who had four unplaced starts late in 1999 before being retired. Bundaberg Black is related to former strong open-class performer Garry John, who had 130 starts in the 1970s for 34 wins, 42 placings and stakes of $204,176.
PRIDE OF COLORADO PROVES TO BE A BARGAIN GONE BEGGING
WA-bred six-year-old Pride of Colorado had no takers when he contested a claiming race late in December with a price tag of $10,000. No doubt owners Ray and Pam Grantham are quite happy that there were no takers for the Saab gelding, who has boosted his stake-earnings by $15,196 over the past 12 days.
There was no interest in Pride of Colorado when he ran in a claimer at Gloucester Park on December 28, at his first outing since leading and winning a Pathway Pace on the same track five weeks earlier. He was unplaced in the claimer and then finished eighth and third at Pinjarra at his next two starts before Grantham transferred him from his Pinjarra stables to Aldo Cortopassi's Darling Downs training establishment.
In his first two starts for Cortopassi, Pride of Colorado was a fighting second to Whos Mistake at Gloucester Park last Friday week before winning the 2130m Nine News Pace on Friday night.
Grantham had sent the gelding to be prepared by Cortopassi about a year ago. But Cortopassi was laid low for several weeks with a fractured collarbone and the pacer went back to Grantham at Pinjarra.
"Ray has been kind enough to offer him back to me," Cortopassi said after driving pride of Colorado to a convincing win over Taiaha and Jezalenkoyoubeauty on Friday night. "The horse came to me pretty fit and forward in condition."
Pride of Colorado's price eased from 7/4 to 9/4 after strong support for the polemarker Soho Daytona (5/1, 2/1 favouritism).
Pride of Colorado lacked early sparkle from barrier two and after 500m was in seventh position in the one-wide line, with 25/1 chance Livingisfun out in front from Killarney Miss (breeze) and Soho Daytona gaining the one-out, one-back trail.
Cortopassi sent Pride of Colorado forward, three wide, after a lap. He sustained the three-wide run to take the lead 500m from home and he finished strongly to hold the fast-finishing Taiaha at bay to score by one and a half lengths at a 1.58.2 rate
Pride of Colorado is out of themare Lady Legacy (23 starts for five wins and $23,280 in the mid-1990s) and is a half-brother to Scram Jet, who has earned $228,862 from 24 wins and 38 placings from 163 starts. Pride of Colorado now has earned $62,604 from nine wins and nine placings from 44 starts.
Lady Legacy is out of Fiscal Miss (85 starts for 15 wins, 24 placings and $53,854). Fiscal Miss is also the dam of Whitbys Miss Penny (50 starts for 32 wins, six placings and $568,289) and Ace of Whitby (79 starts for 29 wins, 21 placings and $317,247). Fiscal Miss is out of former good race mare Remit, who produced eight winners, including Whitby Heritage (66 starts for 22 wins, 18 placings and $201,758), Whitby Timer (44 starts for 23 wins, eight placings and $314,899) and Whitbys Merit (14 starts for ten wins, two placings and $168,598).
FAST-FINISHING LIVE HIGH BRED TO BE A GOOD WINNER
Memories of former star mare Cornsilk were revived at Gloucester Park on Friday night when Live High stormed home to win the 2130m The Block All Stars On Nine Pace for mares.
Live High, owned by South Australia's No. 1 reinsman David Harding, trained by Ross Olivieri and driven by Chris Lewis, is closely related to Cornsilk, who was brought to Perth with considerable fanfare to contest the WA Oaks in May 2000.
Driven by Scott Stewart, Cornsilk was beaten into second place in the Oaks by Pharosan. That was her only appearance in WA in a 152-start career which produced 43 wins and 39 placings for stakes of $555,046. Her 17 Australian wins included two classic events for two-year-old fillies in Victoria and the $100,000 Vicbred Super Series for four-year-old mares at Moonee Valley in December 2000. She went on to win another 26 races in America.
The Victorian-bred Live High is byout of Higher Love (a winner of six minor races from 25 starts). Higher Love's dam Owatagirl also produced Cornsilk.
Cornsilk is the dam of WA-bred pacers, four-year-old Lerrad Maharg and five-year-old Mister Rocknroll, each of whom is a last-start winner on January 31. Lerra Maharg was successful on the Gold Coast and Mister Rocknroll won at Penrith.
Live High won three times in Victoria and three times in South Australia before being sent to WA where she now has had eight starts form one win and three placings for an overall record of 26 starts for seven wins, six placings and stakes of $26,500.
Live High, who started from the back line on Friday night, was an 8/1 chance who returned tote odds of almost 16/1. Brilliant last-start Pinjarra winner Bollinger baby was favourite at 6/4 on from the No. 2 barrier. But she was beaten out by Libra Belle (6/1, 4/1), who flew out from barrier four.
Libra Belle set a moderate pace, with Bollinger Baby in the breeze and Live High in 11th position in the first lap. When Kate Hawkins sent Centrefold Angel forward, three wide, at the 1100m mark, Lewis was quick to follow that run. Live High finished boldly and overhauled Libra Belle 60m from the post to beat that mare by 1m at a 1.57.4 rate after the final 800m was covered in 58.1sec. Centrefold Angel was a head away in third place.
COOL ADDA LOOKS A MAJOR HOPE FOR THE EMPRESS STAKES
WA-bred five-year-old Cool Adda maintained her sparkling form with a powerful victory in the 2130m The Voice 2013 On Nine Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night and she is emerging as a major hope in the $50,000 Empress Stakes over 2536m on March 1.
Even though she had been successful at two of her four previous starts Cool Adda was an 8/1 chance who returned odds of better than 14/1 on the tote.
She began well from the No. 5 barrier on the front line and claiming reinsman Robbie Williams urged her forward, three wide for the first 300m, before moving alongside the pacemaker Dhoni (5/1) who was smartest into stride from barrier two and easily beat out the polemarker Heisbackinblack, who was solidly supported from 9/4 to favouritism at evens.
Cool Adda got the upper hand of Dhoni 100m from the post and went on to win by just under a length from that pacer, with Heisbackinblack battling on into third place. Cool Adda sprinted over the final 800m in 57.1sec. and rated 1.58.3.
Williams said that trainer Shannon Suvaljko had expressed extreme confidence before the race. "He said he though Cool Adda would outstay them and beat them," Williams said. "He told me to make sure that I kept the opposition honest and that when I pulled the plugs she would respond. She did and she's gone super."
Cool Adda, winner of the group 1 $100,000 Diamond Classic as a two-year-old, has earned $158,389 for owner-breeder Harry Capararo from her 15 wins and 11 placings from 73 starts. She is related to former talented performers Palimar (96 starts for 24 wins, 29 placings and $306,125), Whitby Tolez (37 starts for 15 wins, ten placings and $200,196) and Travelling Whitby (207 starts for 39 wins, 52 placings and $148,404).
EXTREME DREAMS WARMS UP FOR SOUTH-WEST DERBY IN FINE STYLE
Exciting three-year-olds notched his fourth win in a row when he outclassed his four rivals in the 2130m A Current Affair Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night.
And he has bright prospects of extending his winning sequence when he contests the $10,000 South-West Derby at Harvey on Tuesday night when he will clash with smart performers Another Vinnie, Captain proud, Speed of Life, Jetsam and Northern Assassin.
Thegelding, trained by Colin Reeves, was driven with supreme confidence by Morgan Woodley, who dashed him past Indomitable and into the lead 200m after the start.
s then simply coasted over the next lap before Woodley gave him more rein and he sprinted over the final two 400m sections in 28sec. and 28.6sec. to win at a 1.58.2 rate, beating Indomitable by just over two lengths. Slick Chapel, who raced without cover over the final 950m, was a half-length away in third place.
s, favourite at 3/1 on, improved his record to 15 starts for seven wins and one third placing for earnings of $50,360.
SHARDONS ROCKET COMPLETES QUARTET OF WINNERS FOR LEWIS
Champion reinsman Chris Lewis completed a successful night at Gloucester Park on Friday when he landed Shardons Rocket a fighting winner in the 2503m House Husbands Handicap. It gave Lewis his fourth win on the ten-event program.
Shardons Rocket, trained by Tony Svilicich, was a co-backmarker off 20m and started at 5/1. However, his supporters had to survive some anxious moments before collecting. Shardons Rocket was rearing at the start and he paced roughly in the early stages.
He was last in the field of ten in the middle stages while the lone frontmarker That is Correct was setting a solid pace. Lewis started a three-wide move with Shardons Rocket 1100m from home, and the run was followed by fellow-backmarker Dalvey Gold (Aldo Cortopassi).
Shardons Rocket clawed his way to a narrow lead 350m from home and Lewis had to drive the eight-year-old New Zealand-bred gelding hard to hold on and win from Dalvey Gold and That is Correct. He rated 1.59.7 and boosted his earnings to $180,602 from 18 wins and 31 placings from 87 starts.
Shardons Rocket, a winner of two races in New Zealand, won at his first five Australian starts, as a four-year-old in Victoria in 2008 and 2009. He won nine races in Victoria and two in Tasmania (when he beat Tanabi Bromac in theCup at Elwick and when successful in the Ascot Gold Cup on the same track early in 2010).
He won at his WA debut, at Narrogin in a C5-class event in May 2011 and then strung together a losing sequence of 26. He entered Svilicich's Byford stable last November and has been transformed, with his first 12 starts for the veteran trainer producing four wins and five placings.
by Ken Casellas