Day At The Track

Greg Bond's baby and a birthday bonanza

05:51 PM 03 Oct 2010 NZDT
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Grant Williams Motu Treasure
Grant Williams - And connections of Puhinui Rainbow
Motu Treasure

Forrestdale harness racing owner-trainer Greg Bond is celebrating in style. Eight days after his wife Skye presented him with a bouncing baby boy Jett William and two days before his 49th birthday, he landed Motu Treasure a thrilling winner of the $20,500 Pat Cranley Memorial Sprint at Gloucester Park on Friday night.

And so impressive was Motu Treasure in unleashing a paralysing finishing burst to snatch a dramatic last-stride nose victory over the pacemaking Grinjaro that Bond plans to give him the task of tackling star pacer Has The Answers in the $35,000 Fremantle Harness Racing Club's Members Sprint next Friday night.

Colin Brown, who drove Motu Treasure patiently on the pegs behind the speedy Grinjaro, predicts a bright future for the five-year-old, describing him as the perfect racehorse with all the qualities required to develop into a champion.

Motu Treasure, a big, magnificent-looking New Zealand-bred gelding, graduated from metropolitan maiden class with his superb victory on Friday night. Bond and Brown are confident he will be a worthy runner in the major summer carnival events, including the Fremantle Cup and WA Pacing Cup.

Motu Treasure has been most impressive at his eight WA starts, with six wins and a second placing to take his career record to 27 starts for 12 wins and nine placings for earnings of $82,728.

He is owned by Bond, Kevin, Rob and John Gartrell, Craig Hampson and Andrew Foster, who had the shattering disappointment last Monday of losing their talented New Zealand-bred five-year-old Dominating Diomedes, who had to be put down after finishing seventh behind Clancy Maguire in a race at Pinjarra.

Dominating Diomedes suffered severe damage to a hind suspensory ligament and had other injuries. He raced ten times in WA for four wins and three placings for a career record of 42 starts for 12 wins, nine placings and stakes of $87,994.

Hopes had been held that he would have developed into a star performer like his dam The Sparks A Flyin, who earned $510,133 from her 21 victories, which included the New South Wales Oaks at Harold Park and the Breeders Crown for fillies at Moonee Valley in 2001.

Rob Gartrell described Motu Treasure as "pretty exciting" and said he possessed the high speed so vital for success in major sprint events.

Grinjaro, favourite at 5/4 on, began well from the No. 1 barrier and he easily withstood a strong early challenge for the lead from Scruncher. Motu Treasure (5/2) was under lock and key behind Grinjaro, with Scruncher in the breeze and Falcons Medley in the breeze.

Morgan Woodley dashed Grinjaro away on the home turn to a two-length lead. Motu Treasure then got into the clear and thundered home. He was still a length behind Grinjaro with 50m to travel before getting up in the final stride.

"It was a great effort by Motu Treasure," Woodley declared. "Grinjaro was flying on the home turn and I let him go because Scruncher was beginning to drop off in the breeze."

Motu Treasure rated 1.57.4 over the 1730m, with the final 800m being covered in 56.7sec. and the last 400m in 27.1sec. The first two placegetters finished four lengths ahead of Mr Clancy, who sustained a strong three-wide burst from 11th at the bell to take third spot by a head from Scruncher. Motu Treasure gave Brown his second success in the Cranley Sprint. He won with Can Return Fire in 2008.

Albert Jaccka completes treble for Hall and Prentice

Seasoned veteran Albert Jaccka gave further proof that he should be prominent in summer carnival feature events when he overcame the back mark of 40m to win the $20,500 Garrard's Horse and Hound BOTRA Cup at Gloucester Park on Friday night.

Albert Jaccka's victory completed a winning treble for leading trainer Gary Hall sen. and Boyanup reinsman Kim Prentice, who deputised in marvellous style for suspended driver Gary Hall jun.

Earlier, Hall and Prentice had combined to win with Black N Bettor and Aussie Reactor.

Prentice drove flawlessly to win with his only three drives on the nine-event program and he timed Albert Jaccka's finishing burst to perfection to get the Victorian-bred eight-year-old home by 1m from the pacemaker Jordangarry, rating 2.0.2 over the 250m journey.

"He's a great little horse," Hall sen. said. "He doesn't look much, but he's got a heart as big as himself, and I'd like to thank Kim for showing a lot of initiative."

Albert Jaccka, owned by Victorians Tim and Felicity Bolitho and Adrian Mathieson, came to WA earlier this year with a losing sequence of ten. He has flourished under Hall's care and his first ten starts in WA have produced five wins and a second placing. The gelding now has earned $195,828 from his 20 wins and 40 placings from 110 starts.

The lone frontmarker Surfin Superstar began slowly and Chris Lewis sent 10m runner Jordangarry (7/2) straight to the front, with Hall's No. 2 runner Ohoka Rebel (4/1) working hard without cover and Secret Interlude enjoying a perfect trail behind the leader.

Albert Jaccka settled down in seventh place in the field of eight and Prentice bided his time before sending the gelding forward, three wide, approaching the bell. Albert Jaccka sustained his strong run and hit the front 60m from the post to score in good style from Jordangarry and Secret Interlude.

Prentice also drove 17/2 chance Aussie Reactor to perfection to win the Regency Foods Pace from stablemates In The Force and Eastwood Fire.

Big Town Drive (2/1) dashed to the front after a lap and set a cracking pace, while Prentice was content to allow noted sit-and-sprinter Aussie Reactor to relax at the rear.

Eastwood Fire (6/4) came from last with a spirited three-wide dash 1450m from home, but he was kept wide by Sheer Royalty in the breeze before eventually moving to second 250m from home. But the effort told and Eastwood Fire was unable to get withstand the blistering finish of Aussie Reactor. In The Force, who followed Eastwood Fire's three-wide run, fought on determinedly to be second, while Big Town Drive faded to fourth.

Aussie Reactor was last in the field of 11 500m from home before he unwound a typical spectacular finishing burst to hit the front 40m from the post and race away and win by just over a length to complete a hat-trick of wins in the space of 15 days for owners Tony Giglietta and Brett Tottman. Aussie Reactor now has earned $181,079 from his 15 wins and seven placings from 34 starts.

Hall lavishes praise on debutant Black N Bettor

Flamboyant Hazelmere trainer Gary Hall sen. is never lost for a word and he was at his effusive and eloquent best when he declared that Black N Bettor was the best three-year-old he had trained after the New Zealand-bred gelding had made a superb debut with a commanding victory in the 2130m Remote Foods Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night.

"He's better than The Falcon Strike was as a three-year-old," he gushed.

That is a high recommendation indeed, considering that The Falcon Strike was a top-flight three-year-old, winning the Caduceus Club Classic and Western Gateway Pace before finishing eighth behind Manifold Bay in the WA Derby in 2001.

The Falcon Strike went on to greatness, amassing $1,224,094 in stakes from his 41 wins and 17 placings from 78 starts. His victories included the 2002, 2004 and 2005 WA Pacing Cups, the 2002 and 2004 Fremantle Cups, the Australian Pacing Championship in 2004 and 2005, the 2003 Easter Cup, the 2003 Celebrity Mile and the 2006 Mount Eden Sprint.

Hall prepares Black N Bettor for local owners Roy Tierney and David Muir, who raced Tai Tara with success in WA in recent years. The Bettors Delight gelding was purchased from New Zealand for $45,000. He is a half-brother to Lavros Butler, who won twice in South Australia, three times in Victoria and four times in WA a decade ago (all in moderate company) and earned $38,232.

Tierney and Muir bought Black N Bettor after the gelding had competed in trials there as a two-year-old. His race debut was delayed because he fractured his pelvis when rolling in his yard and had to be sent for a lengthy spell.

Hall said that Black N Bettor was still very green, but he predicted he would develop into a good stayer who would be ideally suited to the 2536m WA Derby.

Black N Bettor was driven with great assurance by Kim Prentice, who gained the drive because Gary Hall jun. is serving a term of suspension. The gelding was a solid 2/1 chance behind 7/4 on favourite Shipwreck, who had won impressively at five of his ten starts.

Prentice had to drive Black N Bettor hard to get past Drews Angel and into the lead after 250m, leaving Shipwreck in the breeze after he had started out wide at barrier seven.

The two leaders careered away from their rivals in the final circuit, with Black N Bettor and Shipwreck six lengths in front their nearest rival with 650m to travel. Shipwreck got his nose in front at the 450m mark and he was a neck away in second place with 300m to go when he veered out and lost two lengths.

This enabled Black N Bettor to dash away and win by one and a half lengths from Shipwreck, with The Terrorizer running on well into third place. The winner rated 1.58.6.

Morgan Woodley, who drove Shipwreck, said that the gelding had lost his focus and had wobbled up the track, losing all his momentum. He did not break into a gallop and did well to regain his composure and fight on to finish second.

A sad end for James Matthew's half-brother

Hot favourite Shipwreck's defeat at the hands of Black N Bettor in the Remote Foods Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night ended a sad day for Bickley trainer Peter Anderson.

Shortly before leaving for Gloucester Park, Anderson received a phone call informing him that one of his young pacers spelling at Pinjarra had become entangled in a fence and had suffered serious injuries to a hind leg.

The injured pacer was a two-year-old half-brother to Anderson's former champion juvenile James Matthew. The two-year-old, by Dr Drew, was so badly injured that he had to be put down.

The Dr Drew youngster was purchased for $25,000 as a yearling by Anderson and a couple of stable clients, including Ian Brandon, who raced the ill-fated James Matthew with his wife Hazel.

The Dr Drew two-year-old, who was in a 50-acre paddock with another four horses, was due to resume training in preparation for two-year-old classic events in the summer. He had shown tremendous promise for Anderson in his first preparation before being sent for a spell.

James Matthew had his wonderful 11-month career cut short when he succumbed to the intestinal infection Colitis-X and died in February 2009.

James Matthew, by Parsons Den from Golden Child, won brilliantly at his first ten starts as a two-year-old. He won twice as a three-year-old and died after having had only 17 starts for 12 wins and three seconds for earnings of $240,981.

Puhinui Rainbow ends losing sequence of 27

Honest performer Puhinui Rainbow ended a frustrating losing sequence of 27 in devastating style when he set the pace, defied four challenges for the lead and careered away to beat rank outsider Rinzetsu by seven lengths in the 2503m Force Equipment and Hire Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night.

Produced in wonderful condition by Mt Helena trainer Ray Williams, Puhinui Rainbow, favourite at 2/1 after some excellent efforts over the previous few weeks, was driven with the utmost confidence by the trainer's son Grant.

Puhinui Rain stepped away smoothly from barrier one and held off an early challenge from Big Jedd before withstanding other challenges for the lead from Shoab, Mighty McDana and Barnetts Secret.

And just when some of his supporters feared that he would be a sitting shot for the swoopers, Puhinui Rainbow burst clear of his rivals 400m from home and cleared away to win in effortless fashion, sprinting the final 400m in 28.7sec.

Rinzetsu, a 58/1 tote outsider, raced in sixth position on the pegs before finishing gamely to be second, with Blissful Snag finishing boldly from last at the bell to be third.

Puhinui Rainbow, an eight-year-old son of Knight Rainbow, won seven times from 49 starts in New Zealand before he made a successful Australian debut, winning at Northam in February 2009. But he was unsuccessful at his next 27 starts, which included five seconds and seven thirds.

Touch Me Toes gives Charles a quick profit

South Australian-bred nine-year-old Touch Me Toes is proving to be a bargain for Hopeland trainer Kody Charles.

The veteran was an 11/1 chance when Grant Williams brought him home with a powerful burst from the rear to win the Slater Gartrell Sports Claiming Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night.

Charles, who will celebrate his 24th birthday on Thursday, outlaid $9750 to claim Touch Me Toes on June 25, and now the veteran pacer has had ten starts for his new owner-trainer for one win, four placings and stakes of $12,455. He is racing so keenly that further wins are in store.

Charles claimed Touch Me Toes from Nathan Turvey, who claimed the gelding for $10,000 last April. In nine starts for Turvey, Touch Me Toes earned $19,360 from two wins and four seconds. He now boasts a career record of 148 starts for 22 wins, 49 placings and $205,190 in prizemoney.

Touch Me Toes started from barrier seven and Williams allowed him to drop back to the rear before he came from last to follow a three-wide run by Parasite (Colin Brown) approaching the bell.

Gary Bromac, the favourite at evens, paced roughly and lost two lengths at the start. Outsider Next Tiger led early and Chris Voak had to drive Gary Bromac hard to get to the front 500m after the start.

Gary Bromac led until the final 100m before being swamped. Touch Me Toes burst to the front at the 100m mark and won by 4m from Sportivo, who was tenth on the pegs at the bell before Chris Lewis took him seven wide with 250m to travel. Sportivo flashed home, out wide, before wilting slightly on his run over the final 50m to finish second, with Parasite in third place and Hilton Mile High flashing home to be fourth.

Reed strikes with his only drive

Stephen Reed made the most of his only drive at Gloucester Park on Friday night by guiding New Zealand-bred nine-year-old Open Class to an all-the-way victory in the 1730m Padberg Pacing Pace.

The veteran, trained at York by Maryann White, was a 13/2 chance from the No. 1 barrier and his win ended a losing sequence of 12.

Oscar Riley made it a York quinella when he raced three wide early and then without cover before fighting on with great determination to fail by only a nose. Oscar Riley, a 52/1 tote outsider, was driven by Morgan Woodley for York trainer Jeff Bull.

This was the second of Woodley's three seconds on the nine-event program. He finished a 4.5m second with Shipwreck and a nose second with Grinjaro. Alby Albert (2/1) trailed the pacemaker until Chris Lewis got him clear and took him four wide 250m from home. Alby Albert ran home gamely into third place, with Tex Bromac (5/4) finishing fourth after racing three wide for much of the way.

Open Class won once in New Zealand and eight times in Victoria. He now has had 40 starts in WA for four wins and six placings. He is owned by Victorians Sam, Daniel and Patrick Mustica, Maurice Bloom, Walid David and Graeme White.

Open Class is by Beach Towel out of the Smooth Fella mare Class Act, whose winning progeny include Classical (five wins and ten placings from 23 starts for stakes of $291,590) and Evening Class (191 starts for 17 wins, 32 placings and $103,220).

Callan Suvaljko makes every post a winner

Callan Suvaljko made the most of a chance drive behind Talk It Up to land the six-year-old a last-stride winner in a thrilling three-way photo finish to the Red Pepper Catering Pace over 21230m at Gloucester Park on Friday night.

With Gary Hall jun. under suspension, Byford trainer Shane Moore engaged Suvaljko to drive the D M Dilinger gelding for the first time, and Suvaljko delivered the goods by bringing Talk It Up home with a well-rimed run from fifth at the bell to gain victory by a head from outsider Eedemup, with Keep Celebrating a head away in third place.

Suvaljko became the 12th driver to have handled Keep It Up in the gelding's 45-start career which has produced six wins and 16 placings for stakes of $47,182.

Talk It Up, who is raced by Shane and Gary Moore and Wade Randall, was second favourite in a race in which Ultimate Under Fire dominated betting and went out a red hot favourite at 5/1 on.

However, Ultimate Under Fire disappointed in finishing fourth. The Ross Olivieri-trained five-year-old raced wide early before crossing to the lead after 700m. Keep Celebrating raced on his outside before assuming control 500m from home.

Keep Celebrating looked the winner in the home straight, but just failed to hold out Talk It Up and Eedemup. Talk It Up is related to current smart three-year-old Blissfull Boy and former good pacers in the 1995 Australian Oaks winner Newbold Penny (21 starts for 14 wins, five placings and $175,757) and Lord Marques (144 starts for 24 wins, 50 placings and $214,830).

Keep It Up completed a double for Suvaljko, who was successful with Parsonemby in the Central Fruit Sales Pace for mares. Parsonemby (evens) dashed to the front 300m after the start and dictated terms before strolling to an easy victory over Pamper, who fought on doggedly after working hard in the breeze.

Parsonemby, trained by Amanda Suvaljko, has been a model of consistency and she boasts a wonderful record of 22 wins and 23 placings for $161,130 in stakes from 69 starts.

Ken CASELLAS

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