Day At The Track

Another high five for the Candyman

03:17 PM 01 Jan 2020 NZDT
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Greg Sugars and Jess Tubbs
Greg Sugars and Jess Tubbs made a rare but rewarding road trip to Mildura
Brilliant Victorian reinsman Greg "Candyman" Sugars brushed aside sweltering hot conditions for the long trip to the most recent Mildura harness racing meeting and stamped his authority at the far north west Victorian circuit.

Sugars, based at Larajay Farm, Myrniong, with his wife Jess Tubbs, made the gruelling six hour trip with a team of five pacers.

It was a near perfect result trainer Tubbs going home with four wins - Sugars handling three and rising star Michelle Phillips, now based at Romsey, getting the gig on the other one.

Sugars also landed the money on two catch drives -- Soho Crucio (Matt Maguire) and Tale Of The Dragon (Laurie Callick) giving him a "fab five" - and actually weighed in on each of the eight charges he handled throughout the fixture.

It was only the fourth time in an awesome career that Sugars has achieved five winners. He did it at Maryborough on January 23, 2013, then repeated the dose three months later at a Melton metropolitan meeting. His other bag of five winners was at Shepparton on July 23 late last season.

Sugars comes from a strong harness racing family--his father Ross was a household name in South Australian harness racing circles for many years before shifting to Victoria, while Grandfather Len was a legend in the early days on the Adelaide city circuit at Wayville.

Ross Sugars landed five winners on two occasions--the first at Gawler on August 12, 1980, and then the following year on June 27 at Adelaide's Globe Derby Park.
The Mildura victories for the Sugars/Tubbs team were Hector Macray (Shadow Play-Schonbrunn (Albert Albert); The Hervey Bay (Somebeachsomewhere-Bold Opera (Armbro Operative); and Joe Nien (Shadow Play-Riverside Oakes (Art Major). Michelle Phillips landed Lenard Ess (Village Jolt-Kano Phoebe (Troublemaker) for Tubbs.
Five-year-old gelding Lenard Ess continues a fairytale return to racing for the stable.

"Len" sliced his tendon running around a paddock in what could have been a career-ending injury.

However, thanks to the Ballarat Equine Clinic and stable staff, who were "guided through an often- tedious rehab process", the horse is back and winning. The Mildura success was his third since returning.

He ran fifth at Ballarat on October 4--390 days after suffering the tendon injury--and has continued to show improvement, winning at his next start at Echuca and then later at Stawell. But the Tubbs stable makes no secret that if "Len" shows any signs of lameness, that will be it.

Sugars, who booted home 262 winners and 398 placegetters for $2.3 million last season, continues to be up there with the best again, while Tubbs, with 70 last season, is already close to half that tally with just four months into the current calendar.
Hoofnote: Bolinda-based champion Chris Alford put his foot on the accelerator at the Cranbourne meeting on Sunday afternoon. Alford had five wins and two placings at the seven-event fixture.

His winners were Lady Majestic, Amazing Daisy, Madena Bay, Misschanel and Heavens Showgirl.

Terry Gange
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