Shepparton trainer Steve O’Donoghue says it’s a bit early yet to be judging just how far the exciting three-year-old he prepares, Wayonbye, will go.
Glittering: Rebellin Ruby broke through for her third win when she scored at Shepparton last week for Mark Lee.
Wayonbye has made a huge impression in only three trips to the races, the latest in the Three Year Old Cup final at Melton last Saturday night in which he outclassed a smart field courtesy of another perfect Bec Bartley drive.
It was only two months ago that O’Donoghue and Bartley doubted whether Wayonbye was even going to make it to the races.
‘‘He’s had his share of problems. He cross fires, but he has certainly come a long way in the last two months,’’ O’Donoghue said.
O’Donoghue said the pacer was still only ‘‘about 90 per cent’’ towards being the perfect racehorse.
‘‘He has been in almost constant work for 18 months and there have been times when we were wondering whether he’d ever get there (races), so its pleasing to be winning the battle at the moment,’’ O’Donoghue said.
O’Donoghue thinks at his rate of improvement Wayonbye can be a nice horse next season.
‘‘He’s still got some growing and filling out to do, but he will go for a spell after the Sires (Vicbred Super Series) and Breeders Crown and hopefully he will keep on improving,’’ O’Donoghue said.
A gelding by top deceased sire Mach Three, Wayonbye is out of the Christian Cullen mare Christians Ace, who is a half-sister to O’Donoghue’s current stable star San Carlo, who is now back in work preparing for another campaign at the top level of racing.
Christian Ace is also the dam of current well-performed pacers Herehecomes and She Keeps Coming who O’Donoghue also prepares.
Keep On keeps on
Isabel Walsh also dished up a winner at Melton last Saturday night.
Formerly prepared by Geoff Webster, Keep On Rocking was having his third start for Walsh who prepares the five-year-old Rocknroll Hanover gelding at Shepparton Harness Club’s Kialla training facility.
Keep On Rocking finished fifth at Cranbourne on May 11 in his first hit-out for Walsh and followed that up with a third to Animated at Bendigo on May 18.
Shepparton reinsman Mark Pitt drove the pacer hard early from a wide draw in his Melton win to find the front and Keep On Rocking kept finding in the home stretch to hold off a host of challengers in 1:55.6 mile rate time for the 1650 m trip.
Keep on Rocking’s win was some consolation for his owner Fred Crews who was in Sweden with Maori Time.
Menangle a trois
Shepparton horseman Nathan Jack made the trip to Sydney last Saturday well worthwhile, plundering two of the feature trotting events and driving three winners at Menangle.
Jack drove La Grange to win the three-year-old trotters feature and All Cashed up to win the two-yearold final.
Both winners are trained by Anton Golino, who had a heavy presence at the meeting with a total of seven horses contesting both $30 000 events.
La Grange is certainly bred to be good being by Muscle Hill out of the former champion racemare La Coocaracha.
All Cashed Up is by the French stallion Ready Cash out of the Kadabra mare Pepperell Magic.
Victorian-trained trotters scooped the three trotting features at the meeting with Red Hot Tooth taking the $30 000 four and five-yearold final.
The other Jack win for the night was achieved on the Steve Turnbull-trained 16/1 chance Cherry Mahoney in a M0 class pacers race.
It was a Goulburn Valley quinella in the two-year-old trot last week at Kilmore.
The Patrick Ryan-trained and Chris Alford-driven Shes The One broke through for her second win at only her second start for Sheron Park.
Chasing Shes The One home was the Mark Lee-trained and Stacey Towers driven Miss Tipsy who was on debut, but had some encouraging trial form.
Shes The One is certainly bred to be smart.
Her dad is top sire Muscle Hill and she is out of the Sundon mare Right Interest, a winner of 18 races who has produced other winners in Aimforthemoon and Allthemoves.
But it’s Right Interest’s dam Latewithdrawal who has been a broodmare gem with nine individual winners including National Interest, a winner of 33 races.
Another district winner at the meeting was another trotter, Aldebaran Poppy, who scored in a TRO-1 event for Echuca trainer Wayne Lear.
The four-year-old son of Skyvalley was having only his eighth start, but had been placed twice previously to show he had his share of ability.
Merrigum horseman Brett Bunfield is on a winning streak at the moment and it continued last week at Maryborough.
Bunfield was successful with new stable addition Saphirique who put up a tough run to knock over the odds-on favourite My Harmony Blue after racing in the death seat for the final 1000 m.
A three-year-old filly by top sire Bettors Delight, Saphirique was formerly prepared by Nicole Mollander and was having her first start for Bunfield and for nearly a year.
The pacer had won successive races at Globe Derby in July — a heat and final of the Southern Cross series for two-year-old fillies — so had form on the board for a winning return to the track as a three-yearold.
No Pitt-falls here
Gifted Shepparton horseman Mark Pitt enjoyed two wins with outside drives to take the driving honours last week at Shepparton.
Pitt, who scored on the Barry Quigley-trained Sixty in a C4-C5 class race, buttered up with a win on Im Joey Jones for Tatura trainer Craig Turnbull in the final event.
Pitt was able to urge the threeyear-old son of Village Jolt to the front in the 1690 m dash and he kicked clear turning for home to deprive the Peter Romero-Cameron Maggs combination of a winning double. They had combined to win earlier with Saving Major Percy.
Josh rocks and rolls
A dashing front running drive by Josh Aiken provided a welldeserved win for four-year-old Lets rock lets roll last week at Shepparton.
Aiken ushered the four-year-old son of Rock N Roll Heaven to the front over the 1690 m trip and maintained a solid 1:57.7 mile rate pace for the 1690 m trip which left his rivals struggling at the finish.
He had more than 8 m to spare at the finishing line over the John Newberry-trained and driven Village Encounter who just nudged out Better than a jeep for second place.
Percy not punters’ pal
Euroa horseman Cameron Maggs knocked a lot of main quaddie punters for six when he reined the Chiltern-trained Saving Major Percy to victory in a three-year-old race at Shepparton last week.
Having only his sixth start the son of premier sire Art Major finished strongly to beat the Steve Duffy-trained and Ryan Duffy driven pacemaker Rothko and the Isabel Walsh-trained Our Charlie Bromac in the 2190 m event.
Trained by Peter Romero, Saving Major Percy, was also a winner on debut at Echuca in December and was having his first start since finishing second on the track in February.
Ruby rises again
Congupna horseman Mark Lee upset the two most fancied runners when he produced Rebellin Ruby for a win in a C1 Only class race last week at Shepparton.
In winning Rebellin Ruby, an 8/1 shot, accounted for the 3/1 shot Kellys Beach and the $1.90 favourite and pacemaker Dearest after a well-timed Lee drive.
A four-year-old daughter of Art Official, Rebellin Ruby was having her 20th start and brought up her third win.
Wish comes true
Geoff Martin is a bit of master of getting winners up at nice odds and he did it again at Shepparton last week.
The Shepparton horseman had Major Wish coming from a poleline draw and gave the pacer the run of the race on the back of the pacemaker Harry Turbo before zipping to victory along the sprint lane.
A six-year-old son of Major In Art, Major Wish was a handsome 15/1 shot in landing only his second win in 97 tries.
A fruitful holiday
For a pacer who was sent to Shepparton trainer Laura Crossland on a one race mission — to secure a breeders bonus — Seeuinnashville is certainly making the most of his longer than expected stay down south.
The Mach Three three-year-old gained the bonus at his first outing for Crossland at Shepparton on April 28.
But connections decided to leave the pacer with Crossland for the time being and he has won two more races, one a final at Melton and then again last week at Shepparton.
A $1.60 chance in his latest win there were some anxious moments for those who took the short odds.
But concession reinsman Jack Laugher was able to get Seeuinnashville up for a strong win against the older pacers in a C1 Only class event.
Seeuinnashville had to pull out a 56.6 last half to get the better of the second favourite Carla Clare in a two-horse battle to the wire with the third placegetter, the Shane Gilligan-trained Grey Maverick, more than 10 m away in third place.
Crossland had a good night at Shepparton, driving the Bunbartha-trained trotter Starlight Storm to an all-the-way win.
A six-year-old by Yankee Spider trained by Brian Bourke Starlight Storm has been racing in good form with a win on the same track three starts earlier and consecutive minor placings leading into the race.
It’s all roads to Cobram on Sunday for the Community Pink Ladies Day fundraiser meeting.
The Cobram club has gone to a lot of trouble to make the day a success with plenty of off-track activities.