Much of the sheen of the effortless victory by freak pacer Has The Answers in the $20,500 Ross North Homes Spring Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night (September 17) was taken away when the harness racing stewards fined veteran Byford trainer Tony Svilicich $5500 after a protracted inquiry into his activities.
The 64-year-old horseman pleaded guilty to two charges of failing to inform the stewards of an injury sustained by outstanding pacer Mysta Magical Mach, a stablemate of the all-conquering Has The Answers.
Mysta Magical Mach was an acceptor last Tuesday afternoon for the Spring Pace before being withdrawn on the instructions of the stewards on Wednesday morning.
Svilicich was charged under rule 89 (i) for having failed to advise the stewards of the condition of Mysta Magical Mach which may have affected his performance when he was a wilting fourth behind Has The Answers in the Media Guild Cup last Friday week. For this, he was fined $500.
He was also charged under rule 33 (part 1) for having failed to advise the stewards after Mysta Magical Mach's condition deteriorated last Tuesday afternoon. For this, he was fined $5000, of which $3000 was suspended for 12 months on the proviso he did not re-offend.
Six of the 11 acceptors for the Spring Pace were pacers trained by Svilicich. The field was reduced to nine after the withdrawal of Mysta Magical Mach and stablemate Rostriever Ornum on Wednesday morning.
And to add to Svilicich's woes, the stewards fined him a further $50 for a late driving change when he replaced Mark Reed as the driver of Roman Trickster with Giles Inwood.
Svilicich admitted that Mysta Magical Mach, a winner of $596,781 from his 21 wins and 19 placings from 57 starts, has been affected by bruising of his near fore hoof. He said that Rostriever Ornum was suffering from a sore knee, with the problem likely to be a chipped bone.
Chairman of stewards Bill Delaney said that Svilicich had indicated when nominating Mysta Magical Mach on Tuesday morning that the gelding's hoof problem was okay before he thought the injury was "a bit funny" in the afternoon.
The stewards visited Svilicich's Byford stables early on Wednesday morning when they discovered that the pacer was clearly sore. They then advised Svilicich to withdraw Mysta Magical Mach from the Spring Pace. It was then that Svilicich also indicated that Rostriever Ornum had a problem.
While Mysta Magical Mach and Rostriever Ornum were recuperating at home, the seemingly indestructible Has The Answers maintained his winning ways, simply toying with the opposition in strolling to victory by 10m over Little Big Sister in the Spring Pace.
This was his fourth successive victory and his eighth from his past ten starts and it took his record to 140 starts for 49 wins and 42 placings for stakes of $757,259, with his next assignment the $35,000 James Brennan Memorial over 2536m next Friday night.
Has The Answers, favourite at 3/1 on, started from the outside (barrier two) on the back line. Chris Lewis had him out four wide on the first bend before urging him forward. He mustered his normal blistering early speed and zoomed past the pacemaker Little Big Sister after 600m.
From then it was a procession and Lewis gave him a breather in the middle stages when he ambled through the second 400m section of the final mile in 30.3sec. before he lifted the tempo and dashed over the final two sections in 29sec. and a blistering 27.7sec. He rated 1.56.3 and beat Little Big Sister by 10m, with Auto Pilot 23m farther back in third place.
Stewards quiz reinsmen after post-race incident
Top-flight reinsmen Gary Hall jun. and Nathan Turvey were quizzed by the stewards after an incident moments after the field had crossed the finishing line in the 2536m Centurion Claiming Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night.
No action was taken, but the inquiry was adjourned to enable the stewards to scrutinise enhanced video vision of the incident in which Spirit of Shard (Hall) and Parasite (Turvey) crossed the line locked together in fifth and sixth positions, respectively.
Spirit of Shard was strongly supported on the tote and started favourite at $2.90, with Parasite third favourite at $6.30.
The race was won by evergreen 11-year-old All In Teck, who started at 18/1 on the tote and ended a losing sequence of 51, with his only success in his past 88 starts being in a claimer at Gloucester Park last October.
All In Teck started from barrier one and Chris Brew had him in front for the first 550m before Colin Brown sent the 9/4 second favourite into the lead.
The Tony Svilicich-trained The Finale Word, who had worked hard out three wide for the first 400m after starting from the No. 8 barrier, set a solid pace, but was unable to withstand the finishing burst of All In Teck, who swept to the front in the final 50m. Flying Nemo, tenth at the bell, was aided by an inside passage in the final circuit and he flashed home late to snatch third place from Sportivo despite breaking briefly in the final stages.
The WA-bred All In Teck (by) has been a wonderful campaigner who has now had 257 starts for 22 wins and 49 placings for earnings of $181,314. He is trained at Harvey by Kevin Egerton-Green, who races the gelding in partnership with Tim Egerton-Green, Kingsley Smith and Enzo Menara.
All In Teck has travelled many thousands of miles all over the State, competing at 13 tracks and winning at seven of them --- Harvey, Bridgetown, Geraldton, Pinjarra, Kalgoorlie, Gloucester Park and Bunbury.
His dam Classic Pierre won twice at Bridgetown and once at Northam in a 40-start career and her dam Nellie Be Good was a good performer, earning $55,781 from 14 wins and 14 placings from 57 starts. Classic Pierre also produced five other winners, including Maid To Love (11 wins and $66,929), Chillies Jackpot (seven wins and $50,862) and John Rossi (six wins and $53,524).
Two horses were claimed, with Svilicich outlaying $15,000 for six-year-old Parasite, a winner of 15 races from 70 starts, and John Padberg getting nine-year-old Spirit of Shard for $14,500 after a ballot between nine claimants.
Frontrunning Tara Village makes it two in a row
Bunbury horsemen John Robinson and Ashleigh Markham enjoyed a welcome change of fortune in the city when 26-year-old Markham drove handy mare Tara Village to an all-the-way victory in the 2096m Bella Vista Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night.
Tara Village is part-owned and trained by 57-year-old Robinson. This gave the six-year-oldmare her second success in the space of seven days. Markham handled her when she started at 8/1 and sat one-out and one-back before finishing strongly to score at Bunbury the previous Saturday night.
Markham adopted different tactics on Friday night when he bounced Tara Village (7/1) out in front from the No. 2 barrier on the front line. After being worried by Big Jedd on her outside in the middle stages, she put the result beyond doubt when she sprinted the final 400m in 28sec. and won by 5m from the 20m backmarker Conte Centovalli.
Conte Centovalli was eighth at the bell, following a three-wide run being made by Hurricane Anvil. Conte Centovalli, favourite at 11/4, went five wide with 400m to travel and he finished powerfully.
Secret Interlude, second favourite at 4/1, followed Conte Centovalli in the last lap and finished solidly, out wide on the track, to be fifth.
Tara Village, bred in WA, is out of New Zealand-bred mare Teressa (by), who had 29 starts for one win in New Zealand, two in Victoria and five in South Australia(in successive starts at Globe Derby Park) before she had her final two starts in WA for unplaced runs at Gloucester Park in February 1996. Tara Village now has had 73 starts for eight wins and 27 placings for stakes of $61,104.
Aussie Reactor unwinds a sizzling finishing burst
Smart five-year-old Aussie Reactor unwound a spectacular finishing burst to charge home from a seemingly hopeless position to snatch a thrilling victory in the 2130m Admiral Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night.
A 20/1 chance, Aussie Reactor looked to be an even bigger longshot when he was in 11th position 250m from home.
But he was then taken five wide by young New Zealand reinsman Chris Butt and he simply flew home, coming from seventh at the 100m mark to get up and beat 45/1 chance Bankers Choice by a head, with Talk It Up (7/1) a head away in third place.
Close up behind the first three placegetters were Dominating Diomedes (5/2) and the 6/4 on favourite Alby Albert.
Alby Albert led from barrier one, with Dominating Diomedes putting on the pressure in the breeze. Talk It Up was first into stride from barrier four, but was unable to cross the polemarker.
Aussie Reactor, trained by Gary Hall sen., started from the No. 9 barrier and was restrained to the rear, with Butt coolly waiting for the last crack at the leaders.
Talk It Up burst to the front in the final 50m, but was unable to hold out the fast-finishing Aussie Reactor and Bankers Choice, who had raced three back on the pegs.
Aussie Reactor, who finished a 1m second to Harrys A Fake at his debut in May 2008 and then won at each of his next seven starts, including a memorable nose victory over champion two-year-old James Matthew in the $125,000 Golden Slipper Stakes in July 2008, was being driven for the first time by Butt, who is working at Hall's Hazelmere stables.
The winner of $158,299 from his 13 wins and seven placings from 32 starts, Aussie Reactor is by American stallionout of Texan Cowgirl, who won four times in Kalgoorlie and twice in Geraldton from 31 starts.
Texan Cowgirl is out of Texan Classic, who produced quality performers Madusa Cam (48 starts for 11 wins, 18 placings and $94,162) and Capricorn Cruiser (67 starts for 11 wins, 26 placings and $167,458).
Well-bred Delight in Decree shows her class
Beautifully-bred mare Delight In Decree served notice of better things to come when she produced a strong staying performance to win the 1730m Wesley Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night.
Morgan Woodley had no hesitation in driving the five-year-old as the best mare in the race by dashing her forward from the No. 5 barrier in the first lap to race without cover with Crackling Rose (9/4) setting the pace.
Delight In Decree (11/2) got to the front 300m from home and fought on tigerishly to beat the fast-finishing Sheer Dreams (9/2) by a head, with Magiclittlepartner (2/1 favourite) running home from last to be third.
Delight In Decree, trained for Robert Watson by Glenn Elliott at Northam, is byfrom Rule The Roost, a mare who has produced many outstanding pacers, including Make The Rules and Courage To Rule.
Make The Rules earned $220,075 from his 24 wins and 32 placings from 108 starts. Trained by Gary Hall sen., Make The Rules finished a nose second to Countess Kala in the Golden Nugget Classic at Gloucester Park in December 1999.
Courage To Rule, who won the Victoria Derby at Moonee Valley last February, has already amassed $378,539 in prizemoney from his nine wins and 16 placings from 35 starts.
Pancho Maguire notches a hat-trick
six-year-old Pancho Maguire maintained his superb form for Hazelmere trainer Michael Brennan when he proved too tough for his rivals in the 2096m Rendezvous Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night.
Pancho Maguire, favourite at 10/9, began safely from 10m and Gary Hall jun. quickly dashed him forward to assume the position outside the pacemaker Jay Factor after 650m.
Real Life, the sole backmarker off 30m, surged forward 1200m from home, but was kept three wide for the final circuit by Pancho Maguire. Real Life fought on in grand style to finish a 2m second, with Sunsets West finishing gamely into third place.
Pancho Maguire got to the front with 370m to travel and he went to the line strongly to keep Real Life at bay.
Pancho Maguire, who is raced by Brennan in partnership with Michael Harding and Greg Black, now boasts an imposing record of 12 wins and three placings from only 35 starts for stakes of $76,419. He has had 19 starts in WA for ten wins (eight of them in stands) and three placings. Smart Cullen, anothergelding, won for the fifth time from 23 WA starts and improved his career record to 83 starts for ten wins and 21 placings for earnings of $87,550 when he raced two back on the pegs before sprinting home smartly to win easily from Tuff Jag and Falcons Medley in the 1730m Sentinel Pace.
Trained and driven by Grant Williams, Smart Cullen was an 11/2 chance. His victory upset a strong betting move for Falcons Medley, who went out favourite at 10/9.
Banana Dana began speedily from barrier four and Greg Kersley set a sizzling early pace, with Falcons Medley forced to work hard on his outside. Williams eased Smart Cullen off the inside leaving the back straight in the last lap and the gelding went three wide at the 250m mark before bursting to the front 120m from the post. He rated a smart 1.56.3.
Face Lift completes a treble for Lewis
Star reinsman Chris Lewis has taken an early lead in the premierships for the State's leading driver for the 2010-11 season.
Lewis completed a treble at Gloucester Park on Friday night when he drove trotter Face Lift to an easy all-the-way win in the Aspen Handicap. This followed wins behind pacers Big Town Drive and Has The Answers.
Lewis leads the city premiership with 11 wins from 35 drives. He is well clear of Gary Hall jun. (four wins) and Shannon Suvaljko and Chris Brew (each three). Lewis has driven 12 winners from 47 drives and leads the State-wide table from Suvaljko (11 wins), Hall, Aldo Cortopassi and Morgan Woodley (each eight).
Face Lift, owned by Norm and Julie Champion and trained at West Swan by Merv Jupp, was second favourite at 11/8 and he gave his supporters no cause for concern when he jumped straight to the front and was unextended in leading and winning by two lengths from Jay Jay Wynette, with Picasso Star running home solidly into third place.
Jack The Capricorn, backmarker off 30m, was favourite at 5/4 and he raced at the rear before finishing gamely into fourth place.
The Victorian-bred Face Lift now has won seven times from 20 WA starts after winning five races in Victoria.
An confident, aggressive drive by Lewis paved the way for Big Town Drive's victory over Parsonemby and Im Grant Lea in the 2536m Belvedere Pace.
Big Town Drive, trained by Ross Olivieri and favourite at 7/4, started out wide at barrier eight and Lewis drove the Sports Town gelding hard to get to the front 1200m from home. Biog Town Drive then sprinted the final 400m in 28.5sec. and won in good style by a length to record his sixth win from 27 starts.