The Bendigo trotting fixture held on Thursday November 28 belonged to the Goulburn Valley and Bendigo area who provided five of the eight winners on program, with Bunbartha horseman John Newberry taking the honours after providing a stable double. First to come along was talented Earl/Shine On Alisha six year old gelding Just Call Me Earl in the CV Batteries Strath Village Trotters Handicap for T1 or better class over 2150 metres. Starting from a 20 metre equal backmark, Just Call Me Earl bided his time mid-field with Man Of The World (barrier four) working to the front after travelling a couple of hundred metres. Easing three wide in the final circuit, Newberry in what was “the drive of the night” switched Just Call Me Earl down to the sprint lane, before finishing strongly to defeat Man Of The World and Jusamirel which raced rough on more than one occasion. The mile rate 2-05.1. Raced by the Newberry family, Just Call Me Earl has fronted the starter on 63 occasions for nine wins. Leg two came about when lightly raced four year old Monarchy/Shine On Alisha gelding The Majestic scored in the Freedom Tanks Trotters Mobile for T0 class over 1650 metres in a mile rate 2-02.2. A surprisingly short priced even money favourite, The Majestic (gate two) settled three back in the moving line and driven with the patience of Jobe, was taken four wide on the final bend before putting the race away with ease, defeating Brother Of Sonoko and Ballan Road which led. Echuca/Moama trainer Shane Gilligan four year old Northern Luck/Soap Box mare Mary Mon returned to form when successful in the Bendigo Cup Eve Cocktail Party 10 January Pace for C2 class over 1650 metres. Taking a concession, Mary Mon driven by son Tom was restrained to the rear of the field from gate six prior to gaining a three wide trail in the last lap on the back of both Johnny Tee and Flyin Indi Air. Despite making the home turn very wide, Mary Mon a half sister to the smart juvenile Lady Belladonna finished all over the top of her rivals to score from Flying Indi Air and Johnny Tee in a rate of 1-57. Charlton’s Mark Boyle has Blissful Hall/Lensmare six year old gelding Xbolt racing at the top of his game, landing the Christmas @ Lord’s Raceway 12 December Pace for C0 class over 1650 metres. With Neil McCallumin the sulky, Xbolt began swiftly from gate five to lead throughout in a rate of 1-58.6, defeating The Muse which raced outside him, with the hot favourite Heathbern Star running on late when extricated clear of a pocket three back the markers to finish third. Shelbourne trainer Larry Eastman’s above average Northern Luck/Decethree Lombo five year old mare Lombo Cloud Nine treated her rivals with contempt in the N.Y.E Party @ Lord’s Raceway 31 December Pace for C3 & C4 class over 2150 metres with Chris Alford in the sulky. Sent forward from outside the front row to settle three back in the moving line, Alford was off and running in the back straight on the first occasion to be surprisingly handed the lead on a platter from the last start Ballarat winner Tere T. Travelling under double wraps for the rest of the journey, Lombo Cloud Nine coasted to the wire 6 metres in advance of Tere T and Nimble Jack (three back the markers) in a rate of 2-00.2 to record her 10th victory in 42 starts. Astute Avenel trainer/driver Ian Mongomery provided a smart first starter by the name of Captain Under Fire to blitz his rivals in the Bendigo Bank 3-Y-0 Pace over 2150 metres, leading throughout from the pole in accounting for Notjustanothalombo (three back the markers) by 22.7 metres in a rate of 2-00.9. Braeview Bomber finished third after racing in the open. Bolinda trainer/driver Lisa Miles also provided a winner on debut when four year old Four Starzzz Shark/Sassy Stoneridge mare Denim Npearls greeted the judge in the Victorian Equine Group Pace for C0 class over 1650 metres. Taken back from gate two as the start was effected, Denim Npearls possied three back in the moving line, before unleashing a powerful burst out wide on straightening to impressively gain the day over Majestic Swan which led and Imsosweetaboucha which followed the winner home in the final circuit. The mile rate 1-58.7. By Len Baker
Five-year-old Dredlock Rockstar, the only West Australian-bred pacer in the field, made a mockery of his lowly assessment when he outclassed his ten rivals in the $30,000 Del Basso Smallgoods Parliamentarians Cup at Gloucester Park on Friday night. His impressive all-the-way victory vindicated the decision of his owner Jamie Howlett and trainer Michael Callegari to throw the M1-class pacer in the deep end and challenge his vastly more distinguished opponents, including Sneakyn Down Under (M16), Dasher VC (M12), Ima Rocket Star (M11), Ohokas Dallas (M8), Shardons Rocket and Davy Maguire (M7). And Busselton reinsman Aaron Beckett made the most of the unexpected opportunity to drive Dredlock Rockstar for the first time, a chance he received after the gelding’s regular reinsman Ashleigh Markham was suspended for 13 days the previous Friday night for causing interference when driving Dredlock Rockstar in the Mount Eden Sprint. Dredlock Rockstar was a 40/1 chance in the Mount Eden Sprint when he gave an eye-catching performance in thundering home from 12th at the bell to be third behind star pacers Bettors Fire and Im Victorious. His prospects in the Parliamentarians Cup were boosted when he drew favourably at No. 2 on the front line. He was solidly supported and started second fancy at 11/4 behind Dasher VC (5/2), with Ima Rocket Star at 9/2 from the outside of the back line. Dredlock Rockstar bounded straight to the front and Beckett was able to get the gelding to relax and amble through the first 400m section of the final mile in a dawdling 32.1sec. before zooming over the next three quarters in 28.6sec., 27.9sec. and 28.3sec. to win at a 1.56.2 rate over the 2130m. He finished just over a length clear of polemarker and 60/1 outsider Ohoka Dallas, who trailed him throughout. Shardons Rocket (12/1) raced in the breeze and fought on to be third, in front of Leda McNally and Ima Rocket Star, who ran, three wide, from tenth at the bell. “It was a great pick-up drive,” said the 31-year-old Beckett. “I didn’t really want to get going too early, but the way the horse was travelling I couldn’t really hold him back any more. Once I pulled the plugs in the straight and got into him he just took off. ” Dredlock Rockstar, who has overcome a fractured pedal bone, received in a race at Collie in March 2012, is proving to be a tremendous bargain for the 53-year-old Howlett, who paid just $3000 for him at the 2010 Gloucester Standardbred yearling sale. The gelding has now earned $100,056 from 12n wins and 17 placings from 41 starts. Dredlock Rockstar was out of action for ten months after fracturing his pedal bone and he has returned to racing in wonderful form for the 37-year-old Callegari, who, like Howlett, has an eye for a bargain. Callergari paid $2000 for Smokey The Bandit at the 2011 yearling sale and the pacer has already earned $64,465 from nine wins and 14 placings from 35 starts. Last December he outlaid $3000 for Make Me Grin, whose first 12 starts for him have yielded two wins and three placings for stakes of $11,813. Dredlock Rockstar, by Canadian-bred stallion Northern Luck, was named after the popular reggae song Buffalo Soldier, written in 1980 by Bob Marley. The opening line of the song is: Buffalo Soldier, dredlock rasta. Howlett purchased Dredlock Rockstar because he admired the toughness and longevity of the Albany-trained Bank the Money, who had 246 starts for 31 wins, 61 placings and stakes of $152,969. Bank The Money was out of Soky’s Maid, who also produced the Safely Kept mare Maid For Life, the dam of Dredlock Rockstar. De CAMPO MAKES THE RIGHT CHOICE WITH DANIELJOHN Young Capel reinsman Aiden De Campo made a split-second decision soon after the start of the $21,000 Del Basso Wholesale Meats Italian Sprint at Gloucester Park on Friday night when he opted to keep Danieljohn in the one-wide line instead of taking him to the pegs to follow the hot favourite and noted frontrunner Midnight Dylan. Danieljohn raced in the breeze early before de Campo restrained to take the perfect sit, one-out and one-back. But with a slow early pace de Campo began to have misgivings about his decision. After driving Danieljohn to a splendid victory at 10/1, the 21-year-old de Campo admitted that he was fully prepared to receive a blast from his father Andrew, the trainer of Danieljohn. ”Half way through the race, when they were walking, I thought I’d made the wrong decision and thought perhaps I should have been on the fence,” he said. “I was expecting to get a spray from Dad. But things worked out all right. I knew around the corner if I got the split he would be right in it because he was travelling so nicely.” Danieljohn eventually got clear and he sprinted fast to burst to the front 20m from the post. He won by one metre from Midnight Dylan, with a neck to 12/1 chance Your Good Fortune, who fought on gamely after racing outside the pacemaker. The expected challenge from 5/2 second favourite The Ragpickers Dream failed to eventuate. The Ragpickers Dream ducked his head at barrier two and broke into am gallop at the start, losing about five lengths. He started a three-wide move at the bell, but his run was short-lived and he wilted to finish ninth. Danieljohn, who was having his first start since late June, was bred and is owned by John Bell, of Collie. He is a promising five-year-old stallion by Blissfull Hall who has raced 42 times for 17 wins, 14 placings and stakes of $153,312. The winner of the San Simeon Classic and Harvey Cup earlier this year, Danieljohn moves to an M4 classification and gives every indication of developing into a contender in feature events at the coming summer carnival. He is the fifth foal and only winner out of Victorian-bred mare Aussie Evita, who had 81 starts for eight wins, 18 placings and $17,975. BIT OF A LEGEND SOUNDS AN OMINOUS WARNING TO HIS RIVALS New Zealand-bred stallion Bit Of A Legend sounded an ominous warning to his rivals in the coming series of rich events for four-year-olds when he sprinted home over the final 800m in 56.1sec. to score an effortless victory in the 2130m Sealanes Golden Nugget Prelude at Gloucester Park on Friday night. The son of Bettors Delight was unextended by Brent Mangos in scoring by more than three lengths from Galactic Galleon (14/1), with Northview Punter (4/1) a head away in third place. The winner, who started at 3/1 on, rated 1.57.1. This gave the 49-year-old Mangos his first driving success in Western Australia. The Auckland horseman has been preparing Bit Of A Legend at Pinjarra while the horse’s trainer Cran Dalgety has been looking after his big team of pacers in Christchurch. Bit Of A Legend, surprisingly beaten at 5/1 on at his WA debut the previous Friday night, gave the crowd in excess of 8000 a sample of his class with the ease of his victory. And Mangos predicted better things were in store. “His work this week has been super and he has gone to another level from last week,” he said. “He has gone to the line strongly and should keep on improving. I wasn’t disappointed at all last week when he was narrowly beaten. It was a good effort at his first run for five months.” Bit Of A Legend will now contest the $50,000 Retravision Four-Year-Old Championship next Friday night before tackling the $125,000 McInerney Ford Classic the following Friday and the $175,000 Lancaster Cup Golden Nugget two weeks later. He now has an impressive record of 34 starts for 17 wins, 11 placings and earnings of $638,928. He has won 13 times in New Zealand and has raced six times in Victoria for three wins, including the group 1 Breeders Crown for two-year-old colts and geldings at Melton in August 2012 when he defeated star New Zealander Border Control. He raced twice at Menangle last March for a placing in a heat and a fourth in the final of the New South Wales Derby, won by Lennytheshark. Bit Of A Legend started from barrier three on Friday night and burst to the front after 300m before cruising through the first two sections of the final mile in 31sec. and 30sec. Then he sped over the final quarters in 28.3sec. and 27.8sec. Galactic Galleon battled on gamely after trailing the pacemaker, while Northview Punter, who raced without cover over the final mile, was a fighting third. VETERAN MISS AZOOMA STILL HAS GOT WHAT IT TAKES The $40,000 Norm’s Daughter Championship next Friday week is the immediate target for veteran mare Miss Azooma, who caused an upset when she defeated 3/1 on favourite Askmenow in the 1730m Normandie Foods Pace for mares at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Miss Azooma, who started at 27/1, was having her third start after a let-up and her third run for young Byford trainer Josh Dunn. She had started at 125/1 and 30/1 when unplaced at her two previous starts, but she made the most of the prized No. 1 barrier on Friday night. Chris Lewis was content to take the sit with Miss Azooma behind Askmenow, who began speedily from the No. 2 barrier. Askmenow, driven by Gary Hall jun., reeled off quick sectionals of 29.2sec., 29.2sec., 28.1sec. and 29.3sec., but was unable to hold off the fast-finishing Miss Azooma, who sprinted strongly to hit the front 40m from the post. Korobeit Angel (10/1) ran on from fifth (pegs) at the bell to be third, with Famous Alchemist (25/1) running home strongly from last at the bell to be fourth. Miss Azooma, bred and owned by Travis Bull, went into Friday night’s event with unplaced efforts at her five runs since leading and winning the Race For Roses, a 2503m stand, at Gloucester Park last May. The veteran of 144 starts has earned $132,467 from her 15 wins and 36 placings. “When I drove her previously (two starts ago) she did run well (eighth behind Bettor Dreams),”Lewis said. “I thought she was some sort of chance tonight, coming off a soft run and a good pace. And she got a perfect run and was able to run over the top of them. “Josh has done a great job with her. He’s got her in top-class order and I think he’s a trainer of the future.” SUVALJKO PLAYS THE WAITING GAME WITH BALLAS AROCKSTAR Shannon Suvaljko played the waiting game and managed to get outsider Ballas Arockstar through a needle-eye gap in the closing stages to get up and snatch victory from Deluxe Edition and Say It Now in the 2130m Phil Coulson Memorial Pathway Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Starting at 37/1 on the tote, mainly because of his unfavourable draw ion the outside of the back line, Ballas Arockstar was taken straight to the inside by Suvaljko, who made a snap decision to drive for luck. “Before the race I was planning to track up three deep, but no one went to the fence,” he said. “This horse goes better on the fence, so that’s where I went. From there it was a case of wait, wait, wait.” Ballas Arockstar settled down in fifth place, three back on the pegs while polemarker Fully Zapped led from the 2/1 second favourite Big And Smooth on his outside and Say It Now (11/1) behind the leader. Deluxe Edition, the 5/4 favourite, slotted neatly into the one-out, two-back position. Chris Voak sent Deluxe Edition forward, three wide, approaching the bell and the mare, who raced ungenerously in the back straight, eventually got to the front 380m from home. Fully Zapped fought back doggedly and looked set to fight out the finish with Deluxe Edition before Suvaljko squeezed between those two pacers to forge to the front in the final couple of strides. Ballas Arockstar scored by a head from Deluxe Edition, with Fully Zapped a neck away in third place. Ballas Arockstar, a seven-year-old trained by Shane Tognolini, ended a losing sequence of ten and took his record to 111 starts for 16 wins and 45 placings for $141,256 in prizemoney. He is still a Metropolitan maiden performer. He has been an honest and consistent performer since making a wonderful start to his career when his first five starts as a two-year-old in January-February 2009 produced four wins and a second. Those runs included his victory in the $70,000 group 2 WA Sales Classic by a head over Robbery. His dam Gail Force Lombo managed just one win (at Kalgoorlie in August 2003) from 19 starts. His great granddam Pliability produced nine winners of 79 races, including Mon Amigo (149 starts for 20 wins, 47 placings and $163,516). Pliability’s mother Our Miss Andre produced smart performer Wipe The World, who had 55 starts in New South Wales in the 1980s for 18 wins, 18 placings and $210,464. FAST-FINISHING THIS TIME DYLAN GIVES HALL A NOTABLE MILESTONE Champion trainer Gary Hall sen. notched the wonderful milestone of training 1500 city winners when his younger son Gary drove This Time Dylan to an impressive last-to-first victory in the Action Industrial Catering Claiming Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. For most of the 2130m event Hall sen. held high hopes of achieving this notable record through Sanjaya, who was being driven confidently in the lead by his elder son Clint. This Time Dylan started from the outside of the front line and was restrained back to last position before Gary Hall jun. started a three-wide move approaching the bell. The 2/1 favourite, a winner at his three previous starts in stands, went four wide at the 300m and finished in dashing style to burst to the front 100m from the post. He went on to win by 4m at a 1.57.6 rate from Sanjaya (9/4), with last-start winner Artorius (13/1) running home strongly to be third. “He was an absolute lunatic when he arrived at our stables,” said Hall jun. “But recently he has settled down and is racing in wonderful form.” This Time Dylan, a New Zealand-bred eight-year-old, has had 24 starts in WA for eight wins and three placings to take his career record to 32 starts for 11 wins, six placings and stakes of $91,625. OUR BOY SU HOLDS VISITING NOWITZKI AT BAY New Zealand-bred seven-year-old Our Boy Su bounced back to form and caused an upset when he set the pace and beat highly-regarded Victorian four-year-old Nowitzki in the 2130m BLVD Tavern Joondalup at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Nowitzki, favourite at 10/9 on at his WA debut, began speedily from the outside of the front line, but the efforts of his trainer-driver Daniel Jack to get him to an early lead were thwarted when Waroona trainer Bob Mellsop drove the polemarker Our Boy Su hard to retain the front. Jack then was forced to race without cover and Mellsop stole a tactical march on his rivals by getting Our Boy Su to relax and dawdle through the first 400m section of the final mile in 31.9sec. before going through the next quarter in a comparatively easy 29.6sec. Then Mellsop upped the tempo and Our Boy Su dashed over the final sections in 28.5sec. and 29.2sec. as he fought on grandly to keep the favourite at bay. Our Boy Su held on to win by a head, with What God Knows (16/1) finishing gamely to be a neck away in third spot. The winner rated 1.58.9. Our Boy Su, who had finished at the rear at his two previous outings, was an 11/1 chance, mainly because he had drawn the prized No. 1 barrier. “He grows a leg in front,” Mellsop said. “It was a risk to hold out Nowitzki. I probably would have run second if I had sat up (and taken the trail). But we’ve won and winners are grinners. He got a virus and hasn’t been right at his past couple of starts. I was pretty sure I had him right, but you don’t know until you front up.” This was Our Boy Su’s fifth win from 18 starts for Mellsop in WA and the Elsu gelding now has had 55 starts for 11 wins, 15 placings and $93,493 in prizemoney. CARTERS ROCKET IS BRED TO BE A GOOD WINNER Carters Rocket, the all-the-way winner of the 1730m Italian Association Pathway Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night, is closely related to former star mare Tupelo Rose, who made a flying visit to Perth in December 2000 before becoming a prolific winner in America and Canada. In her two WA starts Tupelo Rose, driven by Ted Demmler, finished fourth behind Highest Honour in the McInerney Ford Classic and sixth behind Seelster Sam in the Golden Nugget Championship. The previous season she was successful in the Victorian, Queensland and Australian Oaks. She ended her brilliant career in the United States with a record of 101 starts for 35 wins, 25 placings and stakes of $879,867. Carters Rocket, a five-year-old by Elsu, is the second foal out of the unraced Pocket Rose, whose mother Hollywood Rose was the dam of Tupelo Rose. Carters Rocket has yet to reveal any of the brilliance of Tupelo Rose, but he is proving a handy performer for trainers Greg and Skye Bond and owners Greg Bond, Kevin, Rob and John Gartrell, Andrew Foster and Craig Hampson. After two wins from seven starts in New Zealand, Carters Rocket has had 26 starts in WA for seven wins and seven placings. Carters Rocket, an all-the-way winner of the Merredin Cup at Kellerberrin, then was beaten into seventh place behind Famous Alchemist over 2185m at Pinjarra last Monday afternoon. But he was a warm favourite at 5/4 on on Friday night, mainly because he was starting from the prized No. 1 barrier. Colin Brown sent carters Rocket straight to the front and after modest quarters of 30.3sec. and 30.7sec. Carters Rocket sped over the final two sections in 28.6sec. and 27.5sec. to win at a 1.56.6 rate by 4m from 6/1 chance Ardens Southee, who trailed the leader throughout Soho Highroller was third after racing without cover. “After drawing barrier one I was confident,” Brown said. “Forget his run at Pinjarra on Monday. I put my hand up straight away. It was my blue that the horse didn’t run in the first three at Pinjarra. And I thought his run was quite good, considering the times they ran. “I always thought that Carters Rocket had a bit of ability, but he hasn’t been convincing. Hopefully, this time he will keep stepping up. I just flicked him up in the straight, nothing too serious. The plugs are still in.” TURNPIKE CRUISER OVERCOMES A BAD START Former Tasmanian performer Turnpike Cruiser was solidly supported to start at 9/2 in the 2503m IAWCC Italian Community handicap at Gloucester Park on Friday night. But his supporters groaned when he galloped at the standing start and dropped back to the rear. However, Chris Lewis bided his time and brought the New Zealand-bred six-year-old home with a well-timed three-wide burst from eighth at the bell to hit the front in the final 80m and win by a length from 11/2 chance Jar Zinyo, with a metre to Multibet (14/1) in third place. “I was relying on a good start, which we didn’t get,” said Lewis. “But we did get a good cart into the race, so everything worked out well. I was fairly confident at the 300m that we were going to get over Jar Zinyo.” For Turnpike Cruiser, trained at Oakford by Ross Olivieri, this was his first success from eight starts in WA after having won 12 races in Tasmania and three in Victoria. He now has earned $119,148 from 16 wins and 30 placings from 74 starts. Melton Express, the 10/9 on favourite, ruined his chances with a tardy getaway and he finished tenth. Brown took Melton Express three wide after 600m, but the five-year-old was unable to muster sufficient speed in a concerted bid to get past the pacemaker, his stablemate False Promise, a 32/1 chance. Melton Express then raced without cover before receiving a bad check approaching the home bend. EL MACHINE MAKES IT FOUR WINS IN A ROW Up-and-coming star El Machine gave promise of better things to come when he produced a sparkling finishing burst to score an easy victory in the 2130m first heat of the Little Caesars Pizzerias The Kersley Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. His stylish win over Pembrook Henry and Menelaus of Sparta was his fourth success in a row and the WA-bred five-year-old is developing into a realistic prospect for the rich summer carnival events. Part-owner and trainer Kade Howson did not bustle El Machine, the 2/1 on favourite, early from the No. 5 barrier and was content to let him settle in eighth position as 17/1 chance and polemarker Menelaus of Sparta set the pace from Johnny be, who had dashed forward early from the back line to race in the breeze. Howson took El Machine, a $5000 yearling, three wide at the 100m mark and the gelding sprinted fast to take the lead 220m from home. The final quarters whizzed by in 28.1sec. and 28.3sec. and El Machine rated 1.57.4. This improved his record to 490 starts for 16 wins, 12 placings and $129,054. “He’s really grown into himself now,” Howson said. “Regarding carnival events, those sort of races are all about timing, and he’s got a long way to go, but is still on the way up and is hitting form at the right time.” by Ken Casellas
Following the recent success of JR Mint gelding Hugo Play at Melton a fortnight ago, bookings to the son of Northern Luck have been flowing at regular intervals, but it has not always been plain sailing for JR Mint since he was purchased by the late John Jetson. JR Mint's journey as a sire has been very disrupted to say the least. He was originally purchased by John Jetson, one of Tasmania’s top breeders for many years before his untimely death, to stand at Leigh Plunketts stud. The first hurdle came when Leigh was diagnosed with cancer, a battle he tragically lost soon after. He and his family decided due to his poor health, he could not continue to stand stallions. Jetson sent out a SOS to John Coffey at Alabar and JR Mint was sent to Echuca to stand his first season in Australia’s at the country’s biggest Standardbred nursery. JR Mint had 30 live foals in his first season which includes Hugo Play, who has won 11 races from just 22 starts including the Globe Derby Final (Tasmanian Sires Stakes) as a 3yo and the ill-fated Royal Sniper who won at his only 2 starts for Ian Dornauf. In his second season JR Mint re-located back to Tasmania to became the foundation sire at Lyndon & Gail Medegon, Big Park Stud. He served 34 mares that year , producing Island Disco & Black Centurian both 5 times winners as well as smart filly Really Fayfay who won the Premiers Blue Bonnet as 2yo and has gone on to win the 3yo Champion Fillies and Clamorus who won 3 times from just 5 states and been placed at her only two starts and Er El Jays Magic who looks a star in the making having won 2 of her 3 starts and finished second in the other. His third crop now current 2yo ‘s has produced Little Jethro a 3 time winner from just 7 starts, and Prisoner who won the Tasmanian Sales Classic . Part three in the journey of JR Mint after the untimely death of his owner John Jetson, is that he moved to NSW last season to stand at Lonsdale Stud near Young the stud, his sire Northern Luck stood at Lonsdale prior to his passing in 2012. JR Mint on the racetrack won 17 of his first 20 starts as a two and three-year-old in the USA and Canada including winning the elimination and final of the $500,000 Hoosier Cup. The bay entire that stands 15.2 hands high, comes from the hottest maternal family lines of the past few decades being out of Kiss & Candy an outstanding producer with four sub 1:55 winners . His grand -dam Beckys Love is a half sister to Blue Horizon, who we know in Australia is the dam of Panorama and grand-dam of Grinfromeartoear. This amazing family has also produced the highly successful sires Safely Kept and Real Desire as well as the champion racehorses Rocknroll Hanover, Red River Hanover and Tell All. Despite his continual movement, JR Mint is fast becoming one of Australia’s best percentage sires with just 88 foals of racing age. JR Mint has had 32 of those grace the starter for 14 individual winners who have notched up nearly $300,000 in prize money. All in all JR Mint must be one of the best value stallions standing at stud this season at only $1200 his semen is available in all states contact Lonsdale Stud near Young on (02) 63833270 By Gary Newton
Rising star Im Victorious remained firmly on track for an assault on rich feature events on the Australian circuit this season when he was driven in masterly fashion by Justin Prentice to score a magnificent upset victory over champion Im Themightyquinn in the $35,000 Brear And Doonan Members’ Sprint at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Produced in superb condition by Pinjarra trainer Michael Brennan, Im Victorious was second favourite at 3/1, with Im Themightyquinn, reappearing after an absence of ten weeks, red hot favourite at 3/1 on from the prized No. 1 barrier over the 1730m journey. Im Victorious was the only runner off the back line in the field of eight and Prentice was content to keep the five-year-old on the pegs, following the pacemaking Im Themightyquinn. Im Victorious then dropped back to be three back on the pegs when Brad Stampalia manoeuvred Sneakyn Down Under to the pegs to follow the leader 700m after the start. Prentice made a brilliant split-second decision to ease Im Victorious off the pegs with a lap to travel, as Adda Paternal Suit moved forward to the outside of the leader and an instant before Passion Stride was about to move into the one-out, one-back position to keep Im Victorious locked up. Im Victorious then was one-out and one-back and Prentice waited until switching the gelding three wide 550m from home. Then, at the 400m mark, Prentice switched Im Victorious to the pegs, behind the flying Im Themightyquinn. Then, with 230m to travel, Prentice eased Im Victorious off the pegs to issue a powerful challenge to Im Themightyquinn on the home turn. Im Victorious sprinted brilliantly and surged past the champion 110m from the post to record a notable triumph by 4m, with Passion Stride, a 90/1 outsider at his first appearance in Western Australia, 15m away in third place. Im Victorious rated a smart 1.53.5 which was a race record, lowering the 1.54.5 recorded by Albert Jaccka when he charged home to score narrowly from Has The Answers in 2010. This fast time was set up when Sneakyn Down Under, an 11/1 chance from the No. 2 barrier, challenged Im Themightyquinn strongly for about the first 600m. The first 400m section of the final mile was covered in a sizzling 27.4sec. before the pace slackened with a 30.6sec. second quarter. And then the final two quarters whizzed by in 28.3sec. and 27.7sec. Gary Hall jun. got Im Themightyquinn away to a flying start from the No. 1 barrier and easily held out Sneakyn Down Under to the first turn. Stampalia continued to apply the pressure with Sneakyn Down Under, but the 11-year-old was unable to get past Im Themightyquinn. Chairman of stewards Bill Delaney reported that he had opened an inquiry into Stampalia’s driving tactics. Sneakyn Down Under faded to finish seventh, more than ten lengths from the winner. Brennan and Prentice were thrilled at the performance of Im Victorious, with the win boosting his record to 18 wins and two placings from 25 starts for stakes of $451,164. Brennan said that Im Victorious would contest the $35,000 Navy Cup over 2536m next Friday week and would probably have a couple more starts in Perth before travelling to Melbourne to run in the Victoria Cup. “After that he will return to Perth to be prepared for the WA Pacing Cup and Fremantle Cup and then we’ll look at the Hunter Cup in Melbourne in February,” Brennan said. Prentice said that Im Victorious appeared to be getting better with age and he was looking forward to further improvement. “He hit the line really strongly and then in the warm-down lap he was hard on the bit and I think he wanted to keep going,” he said. “I thought that the way Sneakyn Down Under made Quinny burn out of the gate that if Quinny, first-up, was ever going to not finish off a race like he normally does, it was going to be tonight. So I decided to get on to his back (leaving the back straight the final time) to give Im Victorious a bit of a breather, because we had sprinted pretty hard down the back. “And turning for home I was pretty confident that I had him. It feels pretty good just to drive a horse who can race in the same race as Quinny.” IM THEMIGHTYQUINN IS LAME AND NEW ZEALAND TRIP IS SCRAPPED Champion pacer Im Themightyquinn is lame and plans for him to contest the $650,000 New Zealand Cup at Addington next month have been scrapped. It was feared that his magnificent career had come to a dramatic end on Friday night when he was a sad and sorrowful sight in his stall at Gloucester Park after his fighting second to Im Victorious in the Brear And Doonan Members’ Sprint. The nine-year-old superstar, winner of the past three interdominion championships and $4,377,016 in prizemoney, was standing on three legs as he was in pain and lifting his off hind leg off the ground. Champion trainer Gary Hall sen. was distraught and feared that Im Themightyquinn was suffering from a fracture in his hind leg or had torn a muscle. However, a veterinary examination early on Saturday morning revealed that Im Themightyquinn was not suffering any serious structural or muscular damage. “He has got very, very badly damaged feet,” Hall said. “He’s got soft soles from the wet paddocks and the vet has nerve-blocked all his feet. But the good news is that he is sound. “However, the trip to New Zealand is definitely off. He can probably resume working in a week’s time, but it might be three or four weeks before he can fast work again.” Hall had planned to start Im Themightyquinn in the $35,000 Stratton Cup at Gloucester Park next Friday night before travelling with him by air to Melbourne on the following Wednesday and continuing with a flight to Auckland the next day. The plans were to fly to Christchurch where Im Themightyquinn was going to contest the $50,000 Kaikoura Cup on Monday, November 4 before running in the rich New Zealand Cup eight days later. Then Im Themightyquinn was to have travelled to Sydney to run in the Miracle Mile before returning to Perth for the WA Pacing Cup and Fremantle Cup. “I had a sleepless night on Friday, but I’m very relieved now and am pretty happy,” Hall said. “Quinny hasn’t got anything permanent, and that’s the good news. Maybe he will be able to go to Sydney for the Miracle Mile and hopefully he will be able to run in the Fremantle Cup and WA Pacing Cup. The interdominions in Sydney in March could still be a chance. “All his four feet are affected, but the worst is his off hind. If a horse’s hooves get soft they bruise easily, and that’s what has happened. He really pounds his feet down when he’s racing. “He is quite happy today and I don’t think it will be a long-term problem. My gut feeling is that he will get over it and be able to return to racing pretty soon. It could have been something like a hairline fracture or ligament, suspensory or sesamoid damage. But it is nothing serious like that.” Hall said that he was jogging Im Themightyquinn at his Serpentine property on Thursday morning when the gelding stumbled and knuckled down. “I got the vet to look at him and he was okay.” ASKMENOW WARMS UP FOR RICH FEATURE EVENTS FOR MARES “She’s moving in the right direction, that’s for sure,” said Gary Hall jun. after driving Askmenow to an effortless victory over older and more experienced rivals in the Harriet Horsfall Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Askmenow, a New Zealand-bred four-year-old trained by Gary Hall sen., won with such authority that she looks certain to develop into a leading candidate for the $40,000 Norm’s Daughter Classic over 1730m next Friday week and the $100,000 Nepean Conveyors Mares Classic over 21230m the following week. Askmenow, favourite at 10/1 on after easy wins at her first two starts after resuming from a spell, surged to the front (from barrier three) after 250m and coasted through the first two 400m sections of the final mile in 30.7sec. and 30.5sec. before sprinting over the final quarters in 29.2sec. and 27.7sec. She won by four lengths from 12/1 chance Hoylakes First Lady, who trailed her throughout. Terra Into The West (16/1) ran on from three back on the pegs to be third. Askmenow rated 1.58.3 and took her record to 28 starts for nine wins and nine placings for earnings of $87,905. It was her seventh win from only nine starts in WA for the Hall camp after she was placed twice from seven starts as a two-year-old in New Zealand and had four starts in New South Wales for one win and eight starts in Victoria for one win and seven placings. “She looked the winner on paper and it worked out that way,” Hall jun. said. “It was a soft win and there’s plenty in store. She’s a pretty nice mare and is not far behind in ability the best mares I have driven. She probably lacks a bit in manners at this stage and is a bit of a work in progress. “She’s got a bit of a funny mouth and can get overracing at certain stages. But this time in she’s been a lot better.” Askmenow, by Washington VC, is the seventh foal out of Holmes Hanover mare Coming Up Roses (who failed to win a race from 14 starts). Regal Dash, the first foal out of Coming Up Roses, won at his first eight starts as a two and three-year-old in Victoria and South Australia and he had 45 starts for 21 wins, 14 placings and $152,824. His biggest win was in the group 3 Bendigo Cup in 2006. Askmenow is closely related to former champion mare Foreal, a Washington VC mare whose dam Krystie is a half-sister to Coming Up Roses. Foreal amassed $664,800 from 18 wins and 19 placings from 57 starts. Foreal’s wins included two group 2 events for fillies and the group 1 Great Northern Oaks in Auckland before travelling to Australia where she won the group 1 New South Wales Oaks at Harold Park in February 2005, the group 1 Ladyship Mile at Harold Park in November 2005 and a heat of the 2006 interdominion championship in Hobart. WESTERN CULLEN RETURNS TO THE WINNING LIST Matt White freely admitted that he was overjoyed when Western Cullen drew the prized No. 1 barrier for the 2130m Leading Trotter Tuhimata Glass Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night and his joy was not ill-founded when he drove the New Zealand-bred five-year-old to a stylish win. “He had put the writing on the wall over the past couple of weeks and I had a smile on my face on Tuesday night (when he drew barrier one) and it worked out good for us,” he said. “I just let him roll through the first half (of the final mile) in a tick under a minute, and he was doing it well within himself.” Western Cullen, favourite at 10/9 on, then dashed over the final two quarters in 28.2sec. and 28.6sec. and won by just over a length from The Ragpickers Dream (7/2), with a head to the fast-finishing Some Kinda Tactics (54/1). Western Cullen rated 1.57.2 and ended a losing sequence of nine. A winner at two of his five starts as a two-year-old in New Zealand for owners Paul and Tony Poli, the Christian Cullen gelding won the $125,000 group 1 Golden Slipper from Major Catastrophe and Gracias Para Nada at his WA debut in July 2011. He now has a wonderful record of 47 starts for 17 wins, 16 placings and $434,057. The Ragpickers Dream fought on grandly after racing three wide early and then without cover. He will pay to follow. So, too, will Mighty Flying Thomas, who trailed the pacemaker and was hopelessly blocked for a clear run throughout the final circuit and finished full of running, close-up in fourth place. Western Cullen is following in the footsteps of his dam Western Dream, who earned $336,361 from 14 wins and two placings from 27 starts. She won at her first five starts as a two-year-old and later won two group 2 events and three group 1 races, including the New Zealand Oaks at Addington. NORTHVIEW PUNTER ON TARGET FOR RICH FOUR-YEAR-OLD FEATURES Northview Punter maintained his splendid form and strengthened his prospects in the rich feature events for four-year-olds in the coming months when he gave an impressive performance to win the second heat of the 2130m Nicole Pettigrew Preux Chevalier Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Second fancy at 7/4 from the outside of the back line, the New Zealand-bred gelding trained by Gary Hall sen. sustained a strong three-wide burst in the first lap to race in the breeze before overhauling the pacemaker and 6/4 favourite Kiss Chasey 250m from home. Northview Punter drew away to score by just over a length from the fast-finishing Mein Guy (11/2), with a head to Kiss Chasey. Northview Punter, a winner at one of his two New Zealand starts, now has earned $166,605 from 14 wins and six placings from 23 starts and he should perform strongly in the $50,000 Retravision Four-Year-Old Championship on November 15, the $125,000 McInerney Ford Classic the following week and the $175,000 Golden Nugget Championship on December 6. Kiss Chasey set a solid pace throughout and Northview Punter revealed excellent strength to outmuscle him in the final stages. He rated 1.57.7. “Northview Punter has been somewhat suspect from back in the field and from bad draws,” said reinsman Gary Hall jun. “He has turned the corner a bit this time in and has matured a bit. He was always a smart three-year-old and he looks like he’s going to improve and develop into a class four-year-old. He put the writing on the wall at his previous start when he held of Bettors Fire.” THE BACK MARK DOESN’T WORYY SHARDONS ROCKET For the past decade veteran Byford trainer Tony Svilicich has had the uncanny knack of racing his pacers week in and week out for month after month after month. Veteran Shardons Rocket is no exception and the hardy nine-year-old continued to prove to be a wonderful moneyspinner for owners Ashley and Gavin McPhail when he made light of the back mark of 30 metres to win the 2503m Electrical Distributors Handicap at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Good value at 9/2, Shardons Rocket did all the work in the race, racing outside the pacemaker To Transcend for more than two laps before getting to the front and fighting on grimly to defeat 13/2 chance Copagrin by a half-head. This boosted the earnings of the New Zealand-bred gelding to $266,937 from 23 wins and 40 placings from 119 starts. Shardons Rocket settled at the rear before Morgan Woodley started a three-wide move after only 450m. Gary Hall jun. then vacated the one-wide line with 3/1 favourite This Time Dylan and sent him forward, giving Shardons Rocket a trail until Shardons Rocket moved to the breeze after 700m had been covered. This Time Dylan then gained the ideal one-out, one-back trail. But he was hampered for room in the final circuit before running on late to be fourth. Shardons Rocket had got to the front 220m from home and had to fight grimly to stave off Copagrin, who finished solidly from seventh at the bell. “He thoroughly deserved that win,” said Woodley. “He does all the work in his races. And I can see no reason why he cannot continue on his winning ways.” SECOND WIN IN FIVE DAYS FOR FRONTRUNNING RAYMON JOHN Raymon John, a newcomer to the Darling Downs stables of Aldo Cortopassi, scored his second effortless all-the-way win in the space of five days when he proved far too good for his rivals in the 2130m TABtouch Western Bonanza Westbred Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. After he defeated Conniving Major Dave by three lengths at Pinjarra on Monday afternoon, Raymon John appeared a certainty from the prized No. 1 barrier on Friday night. The five-year-old resisted an early challenge from Equivocate and then was able to stroll through the first two 400m sections of the final mile in 30.8sec. and 31.4sec. before Cortopassi gave him more rein and he sped over the final 800m in 58.8sec. to win by 4m from Big And Smooth, who fought on gamely after working hard without cover. Nitro Norrie followed the pacemaker and was blocked for a clear run in finishing third. Raymon John has been lightly raced and has earned $58,003 from ten wins and five placings from 33 starts. By Northern Luck, he is the first foal out of Chilli Waters, who won once (at Bunbury in June 2004) from seven starts. Chilli Waters is out of Cool Waters, the dam of three winners, including Village Hero, who earned $182,133 from 16 wins and 20 placings from 136 starts. Village Hero finished fourth behind Mr Yankee in the 2006 Golden Nugget Championship before winning the Pinjarra Cup and August Cup at Gloucester Park the following year. INJURY-PLAGUED TORETTO SHOWS HIS CLASS The career of promising New Zealand-bred gelding Toretto has always been clouded with considerable doubt. A tendon injury has kept him out of action for long periods and at Gloucester Park on Friday night the five-year-old was having just his sixth start in a race and his second after an 11-month absence. From barrier two on the back line in the 1730m Leading Junior Driver Shane Butcher Pathway Pace he was a 6/1 chance in a race in which his stablemate Rowchester dominated betting and started at 10/9 on. But Rowchester had a horror run and was trapped out three wide until wilting and finishing ninth. Toretto, trained by Gary Hall sen. and driven by his elder son Clint, settled in ninth position in the field of ten before he moved forward approaching the bell to get the three-wide trail behind Rowchester. Polemarker Franco Nasser (7/1) set the pace, with 54/1 chance Caesars Cloud in the breeze. Gary Hall jun. sent Rowchester (who started from the outside of the front line) forward from the outset, but the four-year-old was trapped three wide and was unable to get to the breeze, with the first two 400m sections of the final mile being covered in 28.4sec. and 28.9sec. Chairman of stewards Bill Delaney reported that the stewards had opened an inquiry into the tactics adopted by Chris Brew with Caesars Cloud. Toretto moved to sixth at the bell and he went four wide at the 500m mark before sweeping to the front 380m from home. He won in good style by just over two lengths from 4/1 chance Turnpike Cruiser, who finished determinedly from ninth at the bell. The winner rated a slick 1.55.9 and looks set for many more wins. He has raced only six times for four wins and one placing and stakes of $19,855. “He’s not the nicest horse to drive, so I went for home a little earlier than I normally would,” said Clint Hall. “He probably would go to fast class if we could straighten him out. He’s a little bit stubborn, but we’ll keep trying.” EL MACHINE IS PROVING TO BE A SPLENDID MONEY MACHINE Up-and-coming WA-bred five-year-old El Machine maintained his sparkling form and completed a hat-trick when he proved too strong for the opposition in the 2130m Paul Andrews Memorial Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. This was El Machine’s fifth win from his past eight starts and part-owner and trainer-reinsman Kade Howson said that the gelding would keep on racing while he was showing such enthusiasm. El Machine, purchased as a yearling for $5000 by Howson and Michael George, has now earned $118,164 from 15 wins and 12 placings from 39 starts. El Machine started from barrier two on the back line and he enjoyed a good trip in sixth place in the one-wide line before Howson sent him forward, three wide, 1100m from home after an extremely slow lead time of 39.3sec. and slow first sectionals of 32.6sec. and 30.4sec. Polemarker Sir Swanky set the dawdling pace, with Wrongly Accused in the breeze, Talk It Up behind the leader and Bronze Seeker in the one-out, one-back position. El Machine swept to the front with 370m to travel and he won by 4m from the fast-finishing Bronze Seeker. El Machine rated rated a slow 2.0.1, even after the final two quarters went by in 28.78sec. and 28sec. “He’s going great guns,” said Howson. “He’s a lovely little horse who tries his heart out every time he comes out to race.” ARNOUX RELISHES THE No. 1 BARRIER New Zealand-bred seven-year-old Arnoux gave further proof that the No. 1 barrier at Gloucester Park is a massive advantage when he bowled along in front and held on to win the 2130m Leading Pacer Mysta Magical Mach Pace on Friday night. Arnoux, unplaced at his five previous starts from less favourable barriers, was a heavily-supported 7/4 on favourite. After a brisk lead time of 36.9sec., Shane Butcher was able to get Arnoux to relax and cover the first two 400m sections of the final mile in 31sec. and 30.9sec. before he lifted the tempo with final quarters of 29.8sec. and 29.8sec. Heisbackinblack (12/1) finished strongly from the one-out, one-back position to be second, a half-length from the winner, with 70/1 outsider Belhelvie fighting on to be a good third after doing all the work in the breeze. “We had to burn early to hold the front and then we were lucky enough to get away with a soft half,” said Butcher. The win gave leading trainer Gary Hall sen. four winners and a second placing in the first five events on the ten-race program. Arnoux, who had 42 starts in New Zealand for seven wins and seven placings, has raced 28 times in WA for six wins and two placings. He has earned $115,336. HOT HOLIDAY BREAKS A LOSING SEQUENCE OF 12 Honest square gaiter Hot Holiday was rewarded for his consistency with an overdue victory in the 2130m Corey Mills Memorial Trot at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Favourite at 5/4, the Natalie Duffy-trained New Zealand-bred seven-year-old ended a losing sequence of 12 when Aaron Skalecki drove him to an all-the-way win over Xenon (12/1) and Don Guerrero (10/1). The race was marred as a spectacle when Idle Maple, a stablemate of the winner, galloped in the score-up and was left 50m and Sandakan Lombo also broke in the score-up. Don Guerrero was slow to begin and the well-fancied Backas Cobber broke into a bad gallop soon after the start. “He doesn’t have the speed of the top ones, but he’s a real tough horse who keeps grinding away,” Skalecki said. Hot Holiday has earned $115,234 from 13 wins and 16 placings from 56 starts. He has had 29 starts in WA for ten wins and seven placings. by Ken Casellas
Saratoga’s defending Aged Pacer of the Year, Silent Swing, reached the two million dollar mark in career earnings behind an Open Pace victory on Saturday night at the Spa. The Mark Ford trained pacer set a track record for eleven-year-olds as he went wire-to-wire in 1:53 on a beautiful early Fall night in Saratoga. Billy Dobson piloted Silent Swing (Northern Luck) to the score in the $18,000 Open. Twin B Hollister (Brandon Simpson) sat the pocket to the winner and finished second, winning a place photo with A Place In History (Joe Bongiorno) who earned the show spot. Silent Swing now has lifetime earnings of $2,005,452 over his sensational career after recording the 71st win of his long career. Live racing continues on Sunday at the Spa with a matinee beginning at 12:15pm. by MIke Sardella for Saratoga Raceway
It may have only been a Monday afternoon C5 plus race over 1800 meters worth just $3500 at Betezy Park Globe Derby but South Australia may just have found themselves a new super start in the form of seven year old Elsu gelding Remember El. A new edition to the Les Harding stable from West Australia where his form was around such pacers as David Hercules, Mysta Magical Mach, Lombo Navigator the later two both placed in inter-domion grand final and the champ himself I’m The Mighty Quinn. Remember El started from the outside gate in the small six horse field driver David Harding followed star mare Repelem over to race outside that mare going into the back straight the first time Harding declared it on running their first quarter in 28.5 from there Harding never let Repelem and her driver Ryan Hryhorec get a breather Remember El pulled away going past the 600 meter mark to and in the end won by 7 meters clocking an amazing 1.55.8. Repelem was game in defeat but last season’s Ian Duff Memorial & Jobies Babe winner at Melton was simply no match for SA’s new star. Remember El, is owned by Victorians Tony Prochilo, Angelo and Albert Cammaroto and Patrick de Krester, was formerly trained by Gary Hall he was bred by leading breeder Peter Gleeson by Elsu his dam Mindful earned $147,625 from 13 wins and five placings from 30 starts. Mindful is a full-sister to Ottway (101 starts for eight wins, 25 placings and $59,307) and a half-sister to Bakerandthefatman (160 starts for 24 wins, 34 placings and $185,039). Also impressive on the card was the second up run of Welcome To Vegas for Aaron Brown and Ryan Hryhorec team, the form Victorian, who improved many lengths from his first up run in South Australia when he beat only two runners home, sat outside the leader taking the lead on the home turn to win by 2.3 meters from leader Village Flyer. Smart Northern Luck mare Closure won her third race in a row when she came from last going into the back straight the final time driver Mark Webster let the classy mare go and she went from last to first within 300 meters Gary Newton
CAMPBELLVILLE, August 21 – With the 2013 yearling sales quickly approaching, one man who has had tremendous success at the auctions over the years is Jack Darling. Darling, who has over $16 million in purse earnings as a trainer, has a terrific reputation for transforming yearlings into champions on the racetrack. The Cambridge resident has had stunning success over the years developing young horses including the likes of Gothic Dream, who captured the 1996 Metro Pace, which will have it’s 26th edition on August 31 at Mohawk. The sixty-year-old has also campaigned the likes of Northern Luck, Ticket To Rock, Northern Sky, JR Mint, Twin B Champ, St Lads Popcorn, Apprentice Hanover and Big Mcdeal, just to name a few. “About the only good thing about getting older is that you gain more experience. I’ve been doing this for a lot of years now and I’ve learned a lot each and every year,” Darling said. “I look at a lot of yearlings and a lot of people go for the pedigree more than the individual. I go for the horse more than the pedigree. I will give up a little pedigree for more of the individual’s conformation. I’ve had great luck with that and noticed that I’ve also had success with sounder horses because of that. I can’t remember the last time I’ve had a horse with a broken bone or chip or one that broke down on me.” After purchasing his group of yearlings each year, usually around eight, Darling admits he notices very early, which horses stands out. “When we break them in the fall and get them going, I have a pretty good idea which horse or horses are going to be successful,” he said. “It’s just the way they conduct themselves and their natural talent. I’m sure most trainers are like that as well.” Last year, Darling started off with eight babies and all made it to the races. This season, eight of 10 did the same. Once again, Darling’s trainees are making their mark on the racetrack this season with the likes of top Ontario Sires Stakes performers Nefertiti Blue Chip, Alibi Seelster, Cluster Hanover and Shadowbriand. Darling's Take That Hanover also will begin in the Shes A Great Lady eliminations this Saturday at Mohawk in hopes to captures this year's $430,000 final on Saturday, August 31. “I certainly can’t argue with the group that I have this year,” he said. “They all seem to be racing well and the year is still early for two-year-olds. We’ll find out what they’re really made of in the coming months.” Darling, who ventures to Florida each winter for three months, leaves his stable behind in Ontario at Classy Lane Training Center near Puslinch. “We get them broke and jogging and my wife and I will travel to Florida for a few months every winter. My son, Justin, works for me, which is great and my other help do a great job of putting the jog miles into the horses and slowely bring them down until I get back. Actually, this past year I sent a few yearlings to Jack Warner, George Zirnis and Gary Payne, because we ran out of stalls.” When Darling returns at the first of April, speed of his babies is not an issue. “Where they’re at time wise doesn’t really bother me, it’s if they’re doing it right and being sound,” he said. “They’re usually between 2:20-2:30 and we go from there. We have a routine that we go by and been successful doing it.” It was quite the opposite in Darling’s early career in Windsor where he focused solely on claiming horses. “When I first began training, I wouldn’t even consider buying yearlings,” Darling said. “That’s just how I made my living at the time, because that horse had to immediately make money and make a return on my investment. The thought of buying a yearling and not having any income for six months due to training down was something that had no appeal to me.” Darling’s operation shifted to purchasing yearlings with driver Trevor Ritchie then Darling teamed up with owner Dan Smith in the early-mid 1990’s. The pair found success with horses like North America Cup winner Gothic Dream and Northern Luck. Smith and Darling’s partnership ended years ago and since then Darling has owned alone each yearling he’s purchased. “It’s been about eight years since I’ve been owning horses solely by myself and I like it that way. I can train them accordingly and just do things my way and we’ve had success.” With the state of the industry in flux, many trainers have engaged in purchasing yearlings outside of the province, but Darling seized the opportunity. This past year, he purchased 10 yearlings with seven of them sired in Ontario. “The only thing I was really concerned about with the program was the purse structure for the major stakes races at Woodbine and Mohawk,” Darling said. “I was optimistic about our sires stakes program with the government and I happened to find Ontario-sired yearlings that I liked and was able to get them bought at very fair prices.” Darling also notes that first-crop sires isn’t something that “scares” him away at the auction. “It’s not something that scares me away or anything,” Darling said. “Again, I go more for the horse than the pedigree page and I’ve had good luck in the past with first-crop sires, so it’s not something that bothers me.” Darling, who has 831 career wins as a trainer, believes that a key ingredient to run a successful stable is to run it like any other business. “The one piece of advice that I would suggest to a young trainer or anybody really is to run your stable like a business and not a hobby,” he said. “Don’t fall in love with your horses because there are times where you have to buy them and times where you have to sell them.” Business or hobby, expect Darling to make his mark once again at this years yearling sales in hopes of his second Metro Pace winner in 2014. by Greg Gangle
Mt Helena harness racing trainer Ray Williams and Baldivis reinsman Nathan Turvey are proving a formidable combination and they continued their run of recent successes when Balleybofey set a fast pace and scored an easy victory in the $25,000 Lancaster Park Marathon Handicap at Gloucester Park on Friday night. It was their second successive triumph in a Gloucester Park feature event, following their win with Pacific Warrior in the John Higgins Memorial a fortnight earlier. Balleybofey, a 7/1 chance, got away smoothly from the inside of the front line, but Salliwood, revealing her normal brilliance from a stand, burst straight to the front after Lord Diego, second favourite at 15/4, reared as the tapes were released and galloped badly. Turvey gave Balleybofey plenty of time to get balanced before he sent the New Zealand-bred seven-year-old to the front after 400m. Nipperinghall quickly moved outside the pacemaker, giving Rodrigo the ideal trail, one-out and one-back. Gary Hall jun. kept 7/4 favourite Bettor Reason, favourite at 7/4, at the rear after starting off the 40m mark before he sent him forward, three wide, 1750m from home in the 3309m event. This was the signal for Turvey to increase the tempo and Balleybofey made life tough for Bettor Reason and co-backmarker Shardons Rocket by covering the final four 400m sections of the last mile in 29.7sec., 30sec., 29sec. and 29.2sec. Bettor Reason moved into the breeze before Shardons Rocket took over that position for much of the final two circuits. Balleybofey carried too many guns for his rivals and scored by 4m from Shardons Rocket (12/1), with Salliwood running on into third place after trailing the pacemaker. Bettor Reason wilted to finish tenth. Rodrigo, who was shuffled back to eighth in the middle stages, ran on from seventh (three wide) at the bell to be fourth. The winner rated 2.2.1 and took his record to 62 starts for 13 wins, 23 placings and stakes of $98,826. He won six times in New Zealand and has had 26 starts in Western Australia for seven wins and six placings. Friday night’s victory gave Williams (who celebrated his 68th birthday the following daty) his first success in the Marathon Handicap and enabled him to emulate the performance of his son Grant, who trained and drove Shardons Aflyin, who started off 50m and charged home to win the 2006 Marathon. Balleybofey, who started at 3/1 on and finished fifth behind Splendiferous in much weaker company in a 2130m mobile event at outer country track Kellerberrin the previous Sunday (when he faded after working hard in the breeze), is by Badlands Hanover out of the Holmes Hanover mare Kate Eileen, whose dam Heather’s Bo produced several winners, including Patches. Patches, who earned $258,741 from 25 wins and 37 placings from 154 starts, won eight times in WA, including dead-heating for first with OK Windermere in the 2006 Easter Cup at Gloucester Park. WOODLEY CELEBRATES A TRIUMPHANT REUNION WITH HAS THE ANSWERS There is little wonder that outstanding young reinsman Morgan Woodley rates evergreen champion Has The Answers as one of the best pacers he has driven. Woodley was reunited with the wonderful ten-year-old gelding at Gloucester Park on Friday night when he produced a superb exhibition in the sulky to land the veteran a dashing winner at 18/1 in the 1730m Happy Birthday Henry McManus Pace. Byford trainer Tony Svilicich nominated Chris Lewis for Has The Answers, but Lewis opted to drive the Ross Olivieri-trained Hez The Bart Man. Svilicich then engaged the 24-year-old Woodley to handle Has The Answers in a race for the first time since the oldstager was unplaced behind Lombo Navigator in the Pinjarra Cup in June 2012. It was a great reunion, with Has The Answers showing that he still has what it takes to win in top company, even though he had been successful only once from his previous 21 starts. Woodley has a tremendous record with Has The Answers, having driven the WA-bred gelding 42 times for 20 wins and nine placings. Has The Answers now has amassed $1,305,022 in stakes from 75 wins, 39 seconds and 25 thirds from 237 starts. Has The Answers started from the outside (barrier three) on the back line and Woodley got him away speedily to settle him in sixth position in the one-wide line. Sneakyn Down Under, unplaced at his previous nine starts, was a heavily-supported favourite at evens and Darren Duffy sent the ten-year-old straight to the front from No. 2 on the front line, leaving Hez The Bart Man (9/1) to work hard in the breeze, with Uppy Son (6/1) enjoyed the perfect trail, one-out and one-back. Woodley bided his time and he waited until Gary Hall sent Uppy Son forward, three wide, with 420m to travel. Has The Answers followed Uppy Son until Woodley switched him five wide approaching the home turn. Has The Answers was fifth at the 100m mark and he finished powerfully to get up in the final couple of strides to win by 1m from Sneakyn Down Under, with a neck to Uppy Son in third place. Please Release Me (5/1) battled on along the pegs to be fourth, with Can Return Fire charging home, six wide, to be a close-up fifth. The stewards fined Duffy $200 for allowing Sneakyn Down Under to shift out in the run to the post, allowing Please Release me the room to run home on the inside. The final four quarters were covered in 29.6sec., 28.8sec., 27.4sec. and 28.4sec. and Has The Answers rated a smart 1.53.8 on the rain-affected track which compares favourably with Livingontheinterest’s track record of 1.53.1. Hez The Bart Man faded to finish last in the field of ten. IM VICTORIOUS RETURNS TO ACTION IN GRAND STYLE Star four-year-old Im Victorious is well and truly on target for group 1 successes in the spring and summer of the 2013-14 season. That was the obvious conclusion after his effortless victory in the Go Quinny Pace over 2130m at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Justin Prentice dashed Im Victorious, favourite at 5/1 on, to the front after 300m and the New Zealand-bred gelding was completely unextended in strolling along in front and scoring by just over three lengths from Western Cullen and Village Steel, rating 1.57.7. Produced in great shape by Pinjarra trainer Michael Brennan for his first start for five months, Im Victorious maintained his unblemished first-up record --- four wins from four first-up appearances. Im Victorious qualified to run in a $25,000 event for M3-class pacers next Friday week, and after that Brennan will keep him racing in Perth before taking him to Melbourne to contest the $400,000 Victoria Cup at Melton in mid-December. Then he will be set for the WA Pacing Cup and Fremantle Cup. Im Victorious could have improved considerably on his time on Friday night. Prentice let him able through the first two 400m sections of the final mile in 31.4sec. and 30.6sec. before giving him more rein when he sped over the final quarters in 28.8sec. and 27.6sec. Western Cullen worked hard in the breeze all the way and fought on doggedly to be second, a nose ahead of ten-year-old Village Steel, who led early and then trailed the pacemaker. Banana Dana showed a glimpse of his best form in finishing strongly from sixth at the bell to be a close-up fourth. FOUR LEGGED FRENZY UPSETS THE FRONTRUNNING JUNGLE GENIE Consistent filly Four Legged Frenzy caused an upset when she trailed the pacemaker Jungle Genie and finished strongly to snatch a last-stride victory by a nose from the even-money favourite in the 2130m Nepean Conveyors Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Trained at Northam by Lang Inwood, Four Legged Frenzy was an 11/1 chance and she impressed in sprinting over the final 400m in 28.5sec. to get up and beat Jungle Genie, who looked a certain winner when she led by almost two lengths with 100m to travel. The winner rated 1.58.1. The win gave reinsman Nathan Turvey the first leg of a double. Later, he won the Lancaster Park Marathon Handicap with 7/1 chance Baleybofey. Loving You (35/1) raced three back on the pegs before finishing gamely to be third, with a neck to Deluxe Edition (11/2) sustaining a solid run from 11th in the middle stages. Four Legged Frenzy, by Northern Luck, is out of Mystical Prince mare Heyumob, who raced 72 times for five wins, 14 placings and $37,187. Heyumob is a half-sister to former WA performer Go Worley, a winner at Globe Derby last month who won a 1609m event at Menangle in 1.55.9 last Tuesday. Go Worley has earned $51,234 from eight wins and 27 placings from 68 starts. Four Legged Frenzy has had 31 starts for six wins, 11 placings and $48,894 in prizemoney. Her next appearance is likely to be in 2536m event for three-year-old fillies at Gloucester Park next Friday week. IMTHEGUY MAKES THE MOST OF A LATE MISTAKE BY FAVOURITE Victorian-bred four-year-old Imtheguy made the most of a mistake made in the closing stages by 10/9 on favourite The Left Arm Quick to win the 1730m Ross North Homes Pathway Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. The Left Arm Quick looked set for victory when he was a length in front of Imtheguy (in the breeze) 100m from the post. But punters were dismayed when The Left Arm Quick stumbled and almost fell with 50m to go. Chris Lewis then urged Imtheguy to the front as other runners were inconvenienced behind the galloping The Left Arm Quick. Te Rauparaha, who was trailed the pacemaker, was unlucky. He broke when The Left Arm Quick galloped and Callan Suvaljko had to restrain him to enable him to regain his pacing gait. Imtheguy won by 1m from Te Rauparaha, with Extreme Bromac third and Ardens Southee fourth. Bob Mellsop, driver of Ardens Southee, lodged a protest against Extreme Bromac (Chris Playle), alleging interference with a lap to travel. The stewards upheld the protest and relegated Extreme Bromac to fourth while promoting Ardens Southee to third. The stewards ruled that Playle had switched Extreme Bromac three wide, forcing Ardens Southee wider on the track before the field had reached the candy pole, 600m from the finish. Playle had his licence suspended for 14 days. The Left Arm Quick lacked early sparkle and paced roughly from the inside barrier when the mobile barrier released the field. The Left Arm Quick was beaten out by almost two lengths by The Black Lord, Imtheguy and Soho Indianapolis, but he was able to kick up and take up the running. Imtheguy, trained by Ross Olivieri, has had five WA starts for one win after winning four races in South Australia and three in Victoria. He has had only 19 starts for eight wins, five placings and $24,809. He is related on his dam’s side to former star juvenile Jasmarilla, who won at her first nine starts in Victoria as a two and three-year-old in 1983 and 1984. She had 20 starts in Australia as a youngster for 14 wins and four placings before racing successfully in America where she was retired after having had 216 starts for 50 wins, 68 placings and stakes of $503,000. LEDA McNALLY AGAIN REVEALS HER CLASS Versatile four-year-old Leda McNally gave further proof that she will be a leading contender for feature events for mares in the new season when she unwound a spirited finishing burst to win the 2130m Happy Birthday Jaime Congerton Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Starting second favourite at 11/2, Leda McNally caused an upset when she proved too strong in the concluding stages to beat the 7/4 on favourite Pacific Warrior by one and a half lengths, with Bulldozer finishing fast into third place after trailing the pacemaker Lucie Boshier. Leda McNally, trained at Pinjarra by Chris King and driven by Chris Voak, enjoyed a perfect passage, one-out and one-back, while the polemarker Lucie Boshier set a brisk pace, with Pacific Warrior working in the breeze. Pacific Warrior got to the front approaching the home turn, but was unable to hold out the fast-finishing Leda McNally, who burst to the front 100m from the finish. She rated 1.56.7 with the final 800m being covered in 57.3sec. She has performed superbly in WA where her 12 wins and four placings have taken her career record to 35 starts for 13 wins and seven placings for earnings of $123,338. Lucie Boshier, a first-up winner at Gloucester Park at her previous outing, faded over the final stages to finish seventh. VANESIA COMPLETES SUCCESSFUL WEEK FOR SCHOFIELD AND WILLIAMS Promising two-year-old filly Vanesia completed a successful week for Bennett Springs trainer Greg Schofield and reinsman Robbie Williams when she ran home strongly to win the 2130m Del Basso Smallgoods Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Schofield started the week by training and driving First Time Rich for his all-the-way win at Gloucester Park on Tuesday. Williams was successful behind Showtime Prince at Kellerberrin on Sunday before he landed a double with Ohoka Kentucky and Justlikelindt at Gloucester Park two days later. Vanesia, who had been placed at five of her nine starts, was a 13/1 chance from the inside of the back line, with Generally Outspoken favourite at 5/4 from the outside (No. 7) of the front line. Polemarker Mill Pond set the pace, with Generally Outspoken moving outside the leader after 250m. Eventually, Generally Outspoken (Gary Hall jun.) got to the front 240m from home. Williams drove Vanesia to the front at the 100m mark and the filly won by a half-length from 40/1 chance Red Hot Go, who finished fast after having raced three back on the pegs. Generally Outspoken was in third spot when she paced roughly and broke in the final couple of strides. Vanesia covered the final 800m in 59.8sec. and rated 1.59.6. She is by American stallion Life Sign and is out of the Troublemaker mare Ilona Belle, who had 18 starts for four wins, six placings and $15,823. She won at her final two starts, at Pinjarra and Gloucester Park in 2002 before being retired. LORD JOWERS RELISHES HIS FRONTRUNNING ROLE New Zealand-bred four-year-old Lord Jowers notched his eighth win in Western Australia when he gave a bold frontrunning display to score a three-length victory over Veitchy in the 2130m Happy Birthday Dorothy Cook pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Trained by Greg and Skye Bond, Lord Jowers started from barrier four on the front line and Colin Brown sent the gelding to the lead 80m after the start. After covering the first two 400m sections of the final mile in 31sec. and 30.7sec., Lord Jowers made life tough for the opposition by sprinting over the final two quarters in 28.8sec. and 28sec. He coasted to victory at a 1.57.3 rate to take his record to 48 starts for ten wins, 13 placings and stakes of $74,375. Lord Jowers started at 7/2, while 2/1 favourite Franco Torres and 11/4 second fancy Heavens Delight failed to flatter. Franco Torres raced one-out and one-back before starting a three-wide move approaching the bell. He wilted to finish tenth. Heavens Delight raced in tenth position before Gary Hall jun. sent him forward, three wide, 950m from home. The five-year-old battled on to finish a well-beaten fifth. HALLS MAINTAIN THEIR DOMINANCE Serpentine trainer Gary Hall sen. and star reinsman Gary Hall jun. maintained their dominance of the WA pacing scene when Hall jun. drove This Time Dylan to an easy all-the-way victory in the 2130m Baltic Eagle Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. This Time Dylan, favourite at 6/4, simply proved too speedy for his rivals, winning by 2m from Smooth Caesar at a 1.56.6 rate. This gave Hall jun his 223rd driving success for the season and his father his 178th winner from 634 starters. Hall jun. heads the Metropolitan reinsmen’s list with 155 winners and he leads from Chris Lewis (65). Hall sen. has trained 140 city winners and leads from Greg and Skye Bond (72). The win of This Time Dylan was his third from 13 WA starts and he now has raced 21 times for six wins, five placings and $36,200. SUVALJKO BRINGS UP HIS CENTURY IN STYLE Shannon Suvaljko brought up his century in fine style at Gloucester Park on Friday night when he drove evergreen pacer Tee Pee Village to an effortless win in the 1730m Congratulations Matt and Hayley Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. This gave Suvaljko his 100th winner from 749 starters this season. He also has driven 190 placegetters. Tee Pee Village, a runaway last-start winner, started favourite at 2/1 for trainer Peter Tilbrook and Suvaljko was content to rate the New Zealand-bred 11-year-old in the breeze on the outside of 15/1 chance Octavian. Tee Pee Village got his head in front 250m from home and then he raced away to win by more than two lengths from Talk It Up (12/1), with Death Adda (5/2) a close third. This took Tee Pee Village’s record to 93 starts for 22 wins, 24 placings and stakes of $229,607. Unplaced runners Therecomesatime and Empire Flame were claimed, each for $10,000. Seven-year-old Therecomesatime, who led early and then trailed the pacemaker Octavian before finishing fifth, was claimed by Narelle McCarthy, wife of top-flight Sydney trainer John McCarthy. Seven-year-old Empire Flame, who raced at the rear and finished sixth in a field of seven, was claimed by East Fremantle footballer Tom Howlett. by Ken Casellas
The two mandatory harness racing meetings were held in Victoria on Thursday July 11, with Shepparton racing during the afternoon and Ballarat at night.
If Redwood Day was a massive harness racing event last year when rising star Blitzthemcalder strolled into town for the feature race of the carnival, then this Sunday has to be one better.
Talented three year old filly Im Tondelayo will target the NSW Breeders Challenge after an impressive victory in Friday night's Newcastle Oaks.
Harness racing trainer John Tapp heads to Newcastle on Friday night for the $20,000 Nevele R Stud Newcastle Oaks full of confidence with his inform three year old Im Tondelayo.
The Nyah Harness Racing Club hosted the May 1 Wednesday night meeting at the Swan Hill Racing Centre which featured a thrilling fast class event - the Nevele R Stud Pace for C5 or better class over 2240 metres which saw the Bruce Rose trained Port Pirie Cup winner Have A Bender (Luke Watson) do battle with the Shayne Cramp trained Ouyen Cup winner Jamies Boy (John Caldow), with Jamies Boy the victor.
The Saturday night dominance continued this week at Saratoga Casino and Raceway for harness racing trainer Ron Burke and driver Joe Bongiorno.
Harness Racing returned to the Swan Hill Racing Centre on Tuesday April 2 when the Nyah HRC staged a neat eight event card dominated by visitors.
Harness racing driver Gary Hall jun. was over the moon after driving superstar Im Themightyquinn to a dazzling, record-breaking victory in the Western Australian heat of the Glenferrie Farm interdominion pacing championship at Gloucester Park on Saturday night and declared that the eight-year-old was spot on for the $750,000 final at Menangle on March 3.