SHEPPARTON-TRAINED STAR PUTS NAME UP WITH LEGENDS WITH BRILLIANT AND TOUGH CRANBOURNE VICTORY
Garry Rowan, Gammalite, Paleface Adios, Koala King, Master Musician, Golden Reign, Tailamade Lombo, Im Themightyquinn and Mr Feelgood.
Picture: Stuart McCormack
One of the greats: San Carlo, driven by Rebecca Bartley, has joined an illustrious club with his Cranbourne Cup win.
All legendary names in Australian harness racing through the ages.
And all Cranbourne Pacing Cup winners.
After last Saturday night, Shepparton-trained pacer San Carlo can be added to that illustrious list.
The Steve O’Donoghue-trained and Bec Bartley-driven San Carlo claimed the time-honoured race, beating some of Australia’s best pacers, including recent Victoria Cup winner Tiger Tara.
Bartley drove another confident race on the eight-year-old gelding, pushing on at the start to find the front running with the pacer who then bravely fought off all challengers in the long straight in one of his greatest wins.
San Carlo had a half neck to spare over the runner-up, Tiger Tara, with the defending champion Shadow Sax a close-up third.
‘‘The plan was always to try and keep in front of the other two (Tiger Tara and Shadow Sax) and it worked out well,’’ Bartley said.
‘‘He pulled up well from the run and at this stage we will be tackling the Yarra Valley Cup with him next Thursday.’’
It was San Carlo’s 23rd win from 35 starts and with only five minor placings he is building a remarkable win strike rate history.
The $28 500 winner’s cheque also took his prize money earnings to more than $275 000.
After the Yarra Glen Cup, the holy grail of trotting, the Melbourne Inter Dominion, beckons for San Carlo who was a heat winner and a finalist in Perth last year.
Major prize for Jade
Some consistent form was rewarded when Jade Theresa saluted at Shepparton last Sunday.
The five-year-old Art Major mare had not finished further back than fourth in seven tries before tackling the R0 2190 m event at Shepparton where she delivered her maiden win with a bit up her sleeve.
Ace reinsman Nathan Jack made full use of her barrier two draw to make the front running and the Wayne Potter-trained pacer cruised to the line with nearly 6 m to spare over the Greg Albert-trained and driven One For Granny with Lady Flora filling the minor placings.
Jade Therese is one of only three foals to race from the extra-smart Camluck racemare Twin B Goddess and the only winner so far.
Twin B Goddess saluted 23 times in a 109-start career with prizemoney earnings topping $191 000.
Tick, tick, boom
When you’re hot, you’re hot the saying goes and Bec Bartley was smoking last weekend.
Fresh from her memorable win in the Cranbourne Pacing Cup the previous night, Bartley took the drive on the Gary Pekin-trained Like Clockwork at Shepparton on Sunday.
A winner of only one of his 26 previous starts — also on the Shepparton track — Like Clockwork ran his rivals ragged over the 2190 m trip in a daring front running Bartley drive.
Despite drawing barrier five Bartley ushered the five-year-old son of Shadow Play to the front and he fended off all challengers in the home stretch to beat comeback pacer Blazing Orion and Hayjoshandco in a district trifecta.
A 20-1 shot, Like Clockwork posted a PB mile rate of 1:58.6 which included a 58.1 last half.
Like Clockwork’s only other win was seven starts earlier at Shepparton on August 3, but he had not finished worse than sixth in six starts leading into his latest success which was a good tonic for his Stanhope trainer.
Better with age
Grand old mare Tennaya is starting to believe she is what she thinks she is — and that’s still able to run fast.
The Donna Castles-trained nineyear-old daughter of Lombo Mandingo posted her 14th win she dug deep to fend off the second favourite Imapest in a heat for C1 pacers at Shepparton last Sunday in what was a two-horse war to the wire.
Tennaya had led from barrier three and once she is in front she is hard to run down as her rivals discovered yet again.
Imapest looked as if he would run past Tennaya, a 5-1 shot, in the home straight, but the veteran mare dug deep right to the finishing line to prevail in one of her gutsiest wins.
Tennaya is a veteran of 128 starts and has accumulated more than $75 000 in prize money from her 14 wins and 37 placings, but is racing as well as ever.
Cashing in Change
Former Kiwi pacer Some Change has returned from a brief spell in sparkling form as he demonstrated at Shepparton last Sunday.
The five-year-old son of Somebeachsomewhere was having his fourth Australian start and had put the writing on the wall for a win with a third placing at Cobram the previous week when resuming.
Some Change has some owners of Brallos Pass and also Cobram publican Don Rudd in the syndicate that races the pacer whose winning mile rate of 1:56.2 in the 1690 m trip was the quickest on the program and a PB. It included a 56.7 last half.
Some Change has faced the starter only 20 times for five wins and three minor placings.
Crocodile Kid rocks
Five-year-old pacer Crocodile Kid made a winning return to racing at nice odds last Sunday at Shepparton.
But Shepparton trial goers could have enjoyed some of the $18 he paid for winning a C1 Only heat.
Crocodile Kid prepared for his return to racing with a trial win at Shepparton the previous Thursday night, so did have form going into the race although it was the first time he had stepped out since early June.
It was a satisfying win for Nathalia horseman Noel Tyndall who bred, owns, trains and drives Crocodile Kid.
Tyndall worked Crocodile Kid to the front before handing up and then was able to run down Give Me The Night who had hit the front and had looked the winner on the home turn.
Crocodile Kid is a son of Armbro Operative and has now won four races and been placed nine times in his 31 starts.
Turning form on head
Not too many pacers who campaign in South Australia can mix it with the strength and depth of the Victorian trotting ranks, but two pacers Zozo Ma Gogo and Miss McManus defied this trend last Sunday at Shepparton.
Miss McManus, who was having her first start back in Victoria and had to share the honours with Art Finest, had not had a top three finish in her previous 16 starts in South Australia and had saluted once in 40 starts.
But Byrneside horseman Damian Wilson produced her for a barnstorming finish in which she got to deadheat with Art Finest in her return to racing in Victoria.
Its not the first time Wilson has been able to revitalise a pacer back into winning form of late with Leakys Smokin and Bushie other winners he has persuaded to return to the winners’ list under his care.
Katandra horseman Jeff Gledhill has managed to win three races with Zozo Ma Gogo since taking over the training of the now six-year-old mare, who started her racing career in Crow Eaters territory.
With the trainer’s son Ben in the sulky Zozo Ma Gogo was pushed out to take the lead mid-race and then defied all rivals to be run down, beating the Daniel Jack-driven roughie Harry Turbo by a head and another Jeff Gledhill-runner Slice Of Life.
Zozo Ma Gogo produced a 1:56.6 PB mile rate for the 1690 m trip to make the win even more satisfying.
Shepparton Harness Racing Club will acknowledge its 2017-18 award winners at a function this Sunday night at the Shepparton raceway.
There have been some home town victories with Laura Crossland taking the Trainer of the Year honours and Nathan Jack the Driver of the Year.
Josh Aiken claimed the Concession Driver of the Year award.
The Horse of the Year award went to Pow Wow Bromac, while the Trotter of the Year was won by the Brian Bourke-prepared Starlight Storm.
The popular country band Denva will be performing on the night and anyone who would like to attend the evening can contact Colleen Boyington at the club.
Trot turns back time
The clock was turned back to another era at Menangle last Sunday when some 16 runners faced the starter in the Jill McGrath Australian Franco Group Two Trotters Cup.
Fields of that size were common years ago, but rare today for a variety of reasons.
The race was won by the Joe Rando-trained and Todd McCarthy-driven Kowhai Monarch who paid $18 for the win despite having won at his previous start on the track.
One of the other features on the Menangle program, the Indigenous Drivers Plate. proved a triumph for trainer Amanda Turnbull who produced Heza Bromac who was driven to victory by another familiar Goulburn Valley name Josh Aiken.