Congupna-trained mare Nica Macdonon joined the $100 000 winners club when she upstaged more fancied runners to take the $10 000 Shepparton Golf Club Trotters Handicap last Friday night at Shepparton.
The Peter Hornsby-bred seven-year-old mare, now being prepared by Mark Lee and driven by Stacey Towers, made a brilliant getaway from her 10 m handicap and led for most of the 2190 m trip.
Opia and Whistlejacket chased Nica Macdonon to the wire without ever looking a chance to run her down.
The daughter of Eilean Donon had 14 starts previously away from the winner’s circle, but with three second placings at her previous four starts she deserved her win — and at the juicy odds of more than 20/1.
Nica Macdonon has now posted 11 wins and 24 minor placings from 84 starts for more than $104 000 in prizemoney.
Shez All Rock dictates win
She was the good thing of the night — and she won like it.
Recent NSW Oaks winner Shez All Rock was a prohibited $1.10 favourite when she stepped out against the older pacers in a C1 Only class race at Shepparton on Friday night.
While sold to American interests after her NSW Oaks win she will remain in Australia under the care of her Shepparton trainer Mark Pitt for some feature events, possibly the New Zealand Oaks and the Breeders Crown, before heading across the Pacific.
In her Shepparton win Pitt took the daughter of Rock N Roll Heaven to the front from barrier three and dictated terms before clearing out on her rivals to win by more than 16 m.
The in-form Ross McKellar-trained and Kima Frenning-driven roughie Crookwell Jack ran another bold race to finish second with Mango Pride third.
A 26.2 last quarter was the reason Shez All Rock left her rivals legless in the final stages.
Shez All Rock’s six trips to the races have produced five wins and a second and a handy $171 000 in prizemoney.
Jack in sublime form
Euroa horseman David Jack can do no wrong at the moment.
A win by Major Kiss in the $100 000 Gold Tiara final at Bathurst has been the highlight of several winners Jack has produced in recent times and he continued his winning streak at Shepparton with his talented three-year-old trotter Princess Mila.
Despite taking on the older and more seasoned trotters Princess Mila was sent out a $1.90 favourite and duly got the job done in style, beating the runner-up A Nip Will Do and the third placegetter Showmeyourmuscles with more than 23 m to spare.
The daughter of Majestic Son, who won the Gold Coronet for three-year-old trotters at Bathurst at her previous start, has now won four races from 17 starts and more than $33 000 in stakemoney.
The Rochester-trained Coolarama took the final race on the card for her trainerdriver Garry Coghill which gave Goulburn Valley trainers the honour of winning the last four races on the program.
Model struts his stuff
The Male Model put on a f lashy display to win at Menangle last week.
The Laura Crossland-trained trotter posted a blistering PB 1:56.2 mile rate winning over the 1609 m trip on the Tuesday.
After the favourite Moment In The Sun galloped when tracking The Male Model in the concluding stages of the race, the Shepparton-trained trotter was left clear of the field and had 18 m to spare over the runner-up at the finishing post.
‘‘We took him up there because they race a lot over the mile (1609 m) trip up there and that’s his best distance,’’ Crossland said.
The Male Model, who is for sale, accompanied other Crossland runners Share The Road and Hashtag to Menangle last week.
Crossland blamed herself for Share The Road’s unplaced run the day she won with The Male Model, but said Hashtag had no luck in finishing third on Saturday night at Menangle and probably should have won the race.
‘‘He (Hashtag) is staying up there with Luke McCarthy and he likes the big (Menangle) track,’’ Crossland said.
Maiden victory for Rothko
Shepparton trainer Steve Duffy produced another impressive pacer for his maiden win at Bendigo last Sunday night.
In winning Rothko overcame a wide front row barrier draw and thwarted a solid betting plunge on Will I Rocknroll in a race over the 1650 m trip for three-year-olds.
Rothko was stepping out for the seventh time, but had shown he was a pacer with a lot of promise although a little headstrong.
Despite drawing the outside of the front row reinsman Ryan Duffy was able to usher Rothko to the front early before handing up to the favourite at the bell.
Once clear in the home straight, Rothko quickly put paid to Will I Rocknroll in impressive 1:55 mile rate time.
Bred by Kevin Newbound, Rothko is owned and raced by Toolamba’s Owen and Christine Flynn and its their first venture into standardbreds.
Steve Duffy has had the pacer since day one and has an opinion of him.
‘‘He’s got high speed, but he is a bit headstrong, but he has a lot of ability and when he settles down he will be a very nice horse,’’ Duffy said.
Unfortunately Rothko showed his waywardness in lining up at Bendigo and would have missed the start badly, but luckily another pacer caused interference in the score-up and the start was aborted.
Rothko made the most of his second chance with a clean getaway although he has to go back to the trials to get the green light to race again.
‘‘We’ll do that next week with him and if everything goes okay then we will look for another suitable race for him,’’ Duffy said.
Rothko is by Artistic Fella out of the Albert Albert mare No Apology who has left four other winners including Mister Chow, a winner of 14 races and more than $100 000 in prizemoney.
Another district-trained pacer also broke through for her first win at Bendigo.
Kissing Game, a four-year-old Santanna Blue Chip mare prepared by Tatura trainer Craig Turnbull and driven by Mark Pitt won an RO Only class race in solid style after being trapped three wide but with cover over the final circuit.
It was the mare’s 10th start, but sound recent form convinced punters she was ready to win and she was sent out the favourite.
Kiwi starts with bang
Former Kiwi Executive Dash hasn’t wasted any time opening his winning Australian account.
The Nathan Jack-trained-and-driven son of Well Said had one start in New Zealand when placed fourth at Gore before heading across the Tasman to join Jack’s Shepparton stable and won on his Aussie debut last Friday night on his home track.
Jack poised Executive Dash on the back of the favourite and pacesetter Thats Perfect and proved a shade too strong for that pacer in a good duel to the wire.
The Steve Boyington-prepared Trent From Punchy ran on well at his third start to finish third.
Executive Dash posted an impressive 1:58.1 mile rate for the 2019 m trip which included a 57.2 last half.
Pow Wow for the win
Rocknroll Hanover gelding Pow Wow Bromach certainly loves the Shepparton track.
Trained by Isabel Walsh Pow Wow Bromach, the second favourite, recorded his sixth win on the track when he saluted in a $10 000 C4-C5 class race at Shepparton on Friday night.
Lisa Bartley had the driving honours and had Pow Wow Bromach perched on the back of the pacesetter Another Colony and in the run to the judge was able to hold off Willem, who was driven by Bartley’s sister Bec, with Royal Hustler filling the minor placing.
The Laura Crossland-trained Scottlyn Jack started favourite in the race, but was luckless in the run and was never a chance.
Pow Wow Bromach’s only other win was on debut in New Zealand.
District drivers on song
Kima Frenning and Nathan Jack flew the f lag for district drivers at Melton last Saturday night.
Jack produced a driving double, winning on the Emma Stewart-trained Berisari in the Westburn Grant Free-For-All and on Partyon for trainer Dean Braun in a M0-M1 class mares race.
Frenning partnered another of the Braun runners, Stars Align, to win a M1-M2 class race in effortless fashion to secure a training double for Braun.
Frenning also saluted on Royal Capone for trainer Ian Donauf at Bendigo the following night to continue wins on horses she was driving for the first time, which Stars Align and Royal Capone both were.
It’s Locksley of course
In a story in this column last week I mentioned the travelling Shepparton horseman Nathan Jack had to do to drive at three meetings in two states within 24 hours at Easter.
I mentioned how after arriving back from Bathurst, Jack caught a light plane at ‘‘Loxley’’ owned by John Nissen who f lew him to drive at the Warragul meeting.
An indignant local was not too happy with how I spelt Loxley — which should have been Locksley — and gave me a decent old earful for my mistake.
I tried diligently to convince him the sun would come up the next day, but I am not sure whether he believed me or not!