Goulburn Valley horsemen Nathan Jack and Brett Bunfield will be in the spotlight tomorrow night at Globe Derby Park in South Australia.
On a hot trot: Laura Crossland’s team is on fire and her stable star captured the Tatlow Stakes at Melton on Saturday.
Star Shepparton trainer-driver Jack has qualified two pacers and Bunfield one for $50 000 finals of the Southern Cross Series.
Jack will make a dual assault on the two-year-old colts and geldings final with Animal and Young Rooster, while Merrigum’s Bunfield has Saphirique contesting the threeyear-old fillies final.
The draw has not been kind to the trio who all won their heats of the series with pillar-to-post wins last weekend.
Animal, who will driven by Amanda Turnbull, has drawn the outside of the front row, while Young Rooster, who will partnered by Jack, will come from gate four off the second row in the 1800 m showdown.
Animal was easily the quickest heat winner with a 1:57.4 mile rate, while Young Rooster rated 1:59.2 in winning his heat.
Saphirique, who will be driven by star local reinswoman Danielle Hill, also comes from outside the front row in her final.
Bushi back in town
Veteran pacer Bushi had not had a top three finish in 30 starts before he saluted in runaway fashion last Sunday at Wedderburn.
Trained and driven by Byrneside horseman Damian Wilson, Bushi took up the front running early and ran his rivals ragged over the 2150 m trip for C1 class pacers.
The Live Or Die nine-year-old had not finished any closer than fourth in his 30 previous runs, 20 of these since joining Wilson.
But one of those fourths was an eye-catcher at his previous outing at Echuca on July 10.
And on the strength of that effort and ignoring his recent form punters warmed to his chances at Wedderburn, sending him out the $2.80 favourite.
It was his first win since saluting at Cranbourne in December 2015 when he was being trained by Lance Justice.
But he has paid his way during his career , winning eight races and running 17 places prior his Wedderburn win.
Col is dancing
The upset win of veteran pacer Lights And Music last Friday night at Bendigo didn’t surprise his Nanneella trainer Col Godden. But his price did. The 10-year-old son of Jet Laag, who ran down the $1.50 favourite and pacesetter Vandanta in 1:56.5 mile rate time over the 1650 m trip, was a 50/1 shot.
‘‘He shouldn’t have been that price. He had no luck in his previous two starts at Swan Hill and Mildura and I gave him a chance,’’ Godden said.
Godden, who has been in the industry for 40 years as a hobby trainer and has had his share of success, said Lights And Music was the longest priced winner he had trained.
‘‘When I get him fit and start racing him all I do is swim him between runs in a 300 m long dam I’ve got,’’ Godden said.
And in his current form Godden has no plans to retire the veteran.
Lights And Music has had 194 starts for 21 wins and 51 minor placings for more than $126 000 in prizemoney.
Exciting young pacer Lochinvar Art has gone to the spelling paddock after claiming the timehonoured $50 000 Tatlow Stakes for two-year-old colts and gelding at Melton last Saturday night.
Shepparton trainer Laura Crossland said paying a late fee to allow Lochinvar Art to run in the approaching Breeders Crown series had never been an option with her star pacer.
‘‘He has deserved a spell and he won’t be back until he is a threeyear-old. We want to look after him. He’s been very good to us,’’ Crossland said.
Driven by Crossland’s partner David Moran, Lochinvar Art toyed with his rivals in his latest win, cruising to the wire with more than 20 m to spare over the runner-up Messerati in sizzling 1:55.7 mile rate for the 2240 m mobile event.
The win took Lochinvar Art’s record to six wins and three placings in nine starts.
The $28 000 first prize he picked up for the win took his prizemoney to more than $100 000 and as Crossland remarked he hasn’t even won a Group One race yet.
Week ends well
The Crossland-Moran team struck again — twice — at this week’s Shepparton meeting.
They scored with former NSWtrained pacers Sheltonschoice and The Weekend.
Both pacers were having their first start for Crossland, who was entrusted to train them to secure the Vicbred bonus.
Sheltonschoice was no stranger to the Shepparton track having run successive placings on the circuit last year.
He outclassed his rivals from a front running position, beating the runner-up, the Scott Stewarttrained and driven a Abitmorebliss, by more than 10 m.
The Steve O’Donoghue-trained and Bec Bartley-driven Mongiana filled the minor placing in a local trifecta.
Sheltonschoice was having his ninth start and has won three of them with three placings.
The Weekend, who is owned by leading NSW horseman Luke McCarthy, scrambled home by a short half-head from the favourite, the Craig Turnbull-trained and Nathan Jack-driven La Player in a three-year-old event.
The Weekend is beautifully bred being by top sire Art Major out of the multi-winning Ambro Operative mare, Golden Showgirl.
It was only the fifth time he has faced the starter.
From a Jack to a King
Avenel-trained pacer Kissmelvis was rewarded for his consistency with a strong win on Tuesday night at Shepparton.
The Ian Montgomery-trained and driven four-year-old son of Rocknroll Hanover’s previous 13 outings had produced a win and nine top four finishes so his win wasn’t as surprising as the generous win tote dividend of $4.50 was.
Montgomery launched Kissmelvis from near the rear of the field coming off the back straight in the 1690 m dash and he went to the line untouched to beat the Bill Morgan-trained Amelia Holmes and the Geoff Martin-trained and driven Major Wish in 1:58.5 mile rate time.
It was Kissmelvis third win from 25 tries and there has also been nine minor placings.
Bruce enjoys a Bacardi
While Seymour horseman Bill Morgan had to settle for second placing with Amelia Holmes behind Kissmelvis at Shepparton, he still went home a winner.
Morgan prepares the lightly raced and promising Bacardi Carta who was too good for his rivals in the T1 or better class trot.
Bacardi Carta, driven by Nathan Jack, did all the work in the run and finished strongly to wear down the pacesetter and favourite Plumbers Pettycash in the concluding stages.
Bacardi Carta, whose second dam is the former smart racemare Pamelas Pet, was having just his ninth trip to the races which have produced three wins and two minor placings.
Sweet for Candyman
It was a night of doubles on Tuesday night at Shepparton.
Apart from the Crossland-Moran double, reinsman Greg Sugars also enjoyed dual success.
Sugars piloted the West Wyalongtrained pacer Hells Confession to win a C1 Only class race and also won a three-year-old event on The Hervey Bay who is trained by his father, Ross.
Hells Confession, who is trained by Paul Birks, wasn’t the only NSW visitor to win at the meeting.
Albury horseman Ian Livermore produced consistent Carla Clare for her fifth win, claiming the honours in a C2 Only class race with Euroa horseman Cameron Maggs in the sulky.
Carla Clare has won five of her 14 starts and Maggs has performed the driving honours in three of those wins.
The mare is from a winning family with her dam, the Fake Left mare Madusa Cam a prolific Western Australian winner.
All hail Matt’s dad
Bunbartha’s Matt Newberry was full of praise for his father John Newberry after trotter All Hall won at Bendigo last week.
Matt, who bred and owns All Hall, said his father had taken over the training of the horse this year when the four-year-old trotter lost the plot.
‘‘He started to do some stupid things and I was losing him a bit, so Dad took over his training to sort him out. He had always shown ability from a young horse and actually had a start as two-year-old,’’ Matt said.
John Newberry drove a patient race on the well bred son of top sire Angus Hall who was having only his ninth start when he stepped out at Bendigo.
But recent placing at Kilmore and Echuca showed he had his share of ability and was ready to enter the winner’s circle.
Newberry gave All Hall plenty of time to settle from his back row draw and made his move in the back straight, circumnavigating the field and going on to beat the Greg Lewis-trained and Ben Gledhilldriven roughie Sophies Yank who ran home strongly.
According to Matt he is in no hurry to take over All Hall’s training again.
‘‘Dad has done such a great job with him he can keep training him for the time being,’’ he said.
Happy hunting ground
Shepparton reinsman David Moran and Colbinabbin trainer Graham McDermott also savoured success at the Bendigo meeting.
Moran partnered the Emma Stewart-trained Striking Beauty to a comfortable win in 1:54.9 mile rate time, while McDermott produced his talented four-year-old trotter Garshaway, who was driven by Greg Sugars, for another win.
Plenty of Jim pickings
Kyvalley owner and breeder Jim Connelly got a big thrill last Saturday night when his old warrior Kyvalley Blur beat a top field at Melton in a $20 000 trotters free-for-all.
Driven by Chris Alford and swooping late Kyvalley Blur spoilt a bold fairytale comeback bid by milliondollar earner Keystone Del and the favourite Tornado Valley to record his 25th win.
A rising 11-year-old Kyvalley Blur, who was a generous 10/1 shot, took his stake money earnings to more than $469 000 with his win.
It was a good week for Connelly with other members of his big team in three-year-old Fields Of Kyvalley winning at Bendigo last Friday night and Kyvalley Clichy scoring in a two-year-old trotters race two nights earlier at Melton.