GOULBURN VALLEY TRAINERS AND THEIR GUNS AFTER GROUP ONE GLORY ON MENANGLE’S BIGGEST NIGHT
Goulburn Valley-trained pacers have again come up with visitors’ draws at tomorrow night’s mega Miracle Mile meeting at Menangle.
The Little Master: Legendary reinsman Brian Gath was seen at his best on Sunday at Gunbower winning on Repeat After Me.
Last Saturday’s impressive Shepparton-trained heat winner Lochinvar Art again drew a raw straw in the $200 000 NSW Derby in barrier 10, but with the likelihood of coming from gate eight with two emergencies drawn inside him.
Avenel trainer David Aiken’s luck hasn’t been any better in the same race, drawing barrier seven with Malcolms Rhythm and barrier nine with Max Delight.
Crossland also has a horror draw in the $200 000 Ladyship Mile with Share The Road who has drawn barrier 11, but will come into barrier nine if the two emergencies don’t get a run.
Aiken has one of the emergencies in this race in Makes Every Scents.
Crossland also had no luck in the $50 000 Sapling Stakes with her hopeful, The Tiger Army, drawn in alley eight.
Wahring horseman Daniel Jack also copped a visitors’ draw in this feature with his hopeful Im Delightful drawn barrier nine.
It was slightly better news for Shepparton trainer Steve O’Donoghue with San Carlo, who has drawn barrier five in the Free For All, but it is still a tricky draw.
Another GV-trained pacer Buster Brady was also on the outer when the marbles came out in this race, coming up with barrier eight with one emergency inside him.
The only GV trainer making the trip to Menangle and well satisfied with his lot in the draw is Undera horseman Justin Torney.
He has the rising star Enforce The Law coming from barrier one in the $50 000 Trotters Mile.
Money in pockets
And what a night it was for Victorian and Goulburn Valley trainers at Miracle Mile qualifying night at Menangle last Saturday night.
Shepparton trainer Laura Crossland headlined some top performance by Goulburn Valley-trained pacers at the meeting with her superstar youngster Lochinvar Art.
Lochinvar Art won his heat of the NSW Derby in which Max Delight ran second for Avenel trainer David Aiken.
Aiken also had the runner-up Malcolms Rhythm in another of the Derby heats which was won by fellow Victorian Centenario.
Crossland also had the third placegetter Share The Road in the Group Two $50 000 Robin Dundee Stakes for mares, while another of her runners, Vena May, finished a creditable fifth in an Oaks heat, beaten less than 7 m.
Top NSW reinsman Luke McCarthy partnered Lochinvar Art and Share The Road in their races and will be on the pacers again tomorrow night.
GV-trained pin-up pacers San Carlo and Buster Brady missed out on gaining a Miracle Mile start, but performed a lot better than their placings suggested.
San Carlo never got into his qualifying heat from an impossible barrier draw and finished last, but only 8 m from the winner, the New Zealander Thefixer.
Buster Brady only beat one home, but was only 7 m from the winner, Spankem, in his qualifier.
Big odds glee for Lee
Tallygaroopna horseman Mark Lee landed a training double last Sunday at Gunbower, including the longest priced winner he has geared up and driven.
Five-year-old Art Official mare Rebellen Ruby was a 57/1 chance on the tote, but went like an even money chance in a C1 Only class race.
Lee made his move just before the bell lap to take advantage of the slow pace to get to outside the pacemaker.
He then kicked Rebellen Ruby away around the home turn and she held off the odds-on, fast finishing, favourite Jayedar to notch her fourth win in 39 tries.
‘‘She has no early speed and has had trouble getting into her races over the shorter trips, but she is a big mare and the big Gunbower track suits her,’’ Lee said.
In the previous race Lee and partner Stacey Towers combined to win with talented trotter Col Du Galibier.
Towers got cover on the back of the odds-on favourite Regal Assassin with Col Du Galibier over the final lap and he finished strongly to beat roughie Lofty Success and Tiber to notch his third win.
Lee wasn’t the only trainer to produce a double at the meeting.
Danny Curran also doubled up with Sunrose Master, who was a $1.70 chance and the Ryan Duffydriven Mia From Memphis, who was a $12 chance in the final two races.
The Boy can run
Kyabram trainer Mark Watson has struck twice with promising pacer Prosecco Boy in the past two weeks.
After winning at a recent Bendigo meeting the son of Betterthancheddar prevailed again last Sunday at Gunbower.
Driven by Ellen Tormey the three-year-old put in a huge run in his latest win, circling the field in the final lap and running down the tearaway leader Gone And Forgotten on the finishing line.
Prosecco Boy has had seven starts for two wins and four placings and Watson believes the pacer has a future.
Finally he’s a Player
It’s been a while coming, but Tatura-trained pacer La Player finally cracked it for his first win when he scored at Gunbower.
The four-year-old Shadow Star gelding had racked up 13 minor placings, including seven seconds, in 30 starts leading into the race.
But punters thought it would be the day to break his duck and sent him out a $1.70 favourite.
Trainer-driver Craig Turnbull put the handle bars down early to take up the front running on La Player who just staved off the Glenn Freeman-trained Illawong Achilles by a head in a two-horse war to the finishing wire.
The third placegetter Montana McLeod finished more than 40 m from the winner.
La Player ran some time over the 2030 m trip with his 1:57.9 mile rate the third quickest for the meeting.
La Player was to contest the final at last night’s Shepparton meeting, but got no favours in the draw.
The life of Brian
Bendigo horseman Brian Gath might be in his mid 70s and isn’t in demand these days by trainers as much as he once was.
But he gave a reminder at Gunbower he can still drive a winner.
One of the premier front running drivers of all time, Gath drove Repeat After Me to win in a C5 or better 2030 m event.
Gath had Repeat After Me unavoidably parked outside the pacemaker before hitting the front 600 m from the judge and from then was able to stall off all challengers in the home straight, including the odds-on favourite Resurgent Spirit.
It was his first win in his past 11 outings, the last win coming at Bathurst on October 24 during his time with Menangle trainer Tim Butt.
A Modern Art seven-year-old gelding Repeat After Me’s win made him a member of the $100 000 prizemoney earnings club with 14 wins and 17 placings from 63 starts.
Go, go Sicario
Echuca’s Rob Owen and former Seymourites Gary Dowlng and John Wilkinson will be looking to savour another feature race win in the space of a week tonight at Cranbourne.
They are part-owners of recent New Zealand import Sicario who tackles tonight’s Eastern Challenge from a barrier one draw for trainer Brent Lilley and reinsman Gavin Lang.
The trio is also owners of Stress Factor, winner of the Ararat Trotters Cup last Friday night when second up from a spell.
Winners rolling in
Goulburn Valley trainers had a good day last week at Cobram with five winners on the eightrace card.
Apart from the wins by the Steve Duffy-trained Interest Me and the Amanda Turnbull-prepared Blissfull Abbey, Fay McEwan and Wayne Potter were also in the winner’s circle at the meeting.
McEwan produced in-form trotter Majestic Time for his third successive win and the Aiken-trained and Kima Frenning-driven Shelby Bromac hoisted his fifth Aussie win in succession.
Potter enjoyed his win with the Ellen Tormey-driven Roll Along Styx who was overdue for his second win with some good recent efforts.
Roll Along Styx followed up his Cobram win with a win on Monday at Kilmore.
Big tick for Nic race
Some locally-based drivers will be in action when Shepparton hosts two races in the Nic Dewar Memorial Drivers Championship series at its meeting on Tuesday night.
Abbey Turnbull, Mitchell Frost and Marika Eriksson will join Brad Chisolm and Taylah French in the series.
Shepparton will host penaltyfree races for C1 Only and C0 Four-Year-Olds and Older in the series in which the two other races in the series are being staged at Young in NSW.
Dewar was killed in a car accident returning to his home town of Young from a Shepparton meeting on February 23 last year.
Going fast tracking
The second test meeting at Wagga’s new Riverina Paceway on Monday gave further proof it will be producing some lightning times when it further consolidates.
All but one of the nine races were run in sub two-minute mile rate times including five in sub 1:56 time and three in sub 1:58 time.
The Steve Maguire-trained and driven Major Pole set the quickest time of the meeting at 1:54.7.
This was just 0.1 of second outside the quickest run at the track so far returned by Neil Daytrained El Aguila at the first test meeting the previous week.
The official opening meeting of the new track takes place on Sunday week, March 10.