Picture: Cobram Harness Racing Club
Outstanding achievement: Andrew Robinson, Debbie Youngson and Carolyn McCrae were quick to congratulate reinsman Damian Wilson and owners Norm and Joan Visca on winning the Cliff Robinson Memorial Trot.
Don’t write Shepparton pacer San Carlo off after his first race on New Zealand soil didn’t go quite to plan in Tuesday’s $750 000 New Zealand Trotting Cup.
After galloping for a few strides at his first attempt at a standing start and drifting back to eighth position on the pegs early, things turned for the better mid-race when driver Bec Bartley was able get San Carlo off the pegs and into the one-one sit behind the favourite, the Mark Purdon-driven Spankem.
But when Spankem rolled on to the front San Carlo was left leading the outside brigade for the remainder of the gruelling 3200 m trip and he tired to beat only three runners home.
But Bartley was kind to San Carlo over the final stages when he was a beaten horse, but he was less than 20 m from the winner Cruz Bromac at the finishing post.
San Carlo still picked up $14 710 for connections which all of the last eight horses home received.
On face value San Carlo’s effort may have looked a little disappointing, but considering the circumstances and particularly his first time under standing start conditions it would be premature to dismiss him for the coming Inter Dominion Championship in New Zealand later this month and early next.
Miss has the trots
The return of Miss McManus to the racetrack as a trotter with a new trainer paid instant dividends when she claimed the Cliff Robinson Memorial Trot on Monday at Cobram.
Having her first start as a trotter after 65 starts as a pacer which produced four wins and 14 placings, the eight-year-old daughter of Grinfromeartoear gave a f lawless display for new trainer Michael Watt and reinsman Damian Wilson.
Wilson camped Miss McManus on the back of the pacemaker and favourite Bacardi Wood and sprint laned to an impressive first up win over that trotter with the Mark Leetrained and driven Flippin Easy filling the minor placing.
Ironically Bacardi Wood had beaten Miss McManus by a head in a trial at Shepparton the previous week.
Miss McManus was making her debut for Tongala-based Watt and was stepping out for the first time since July when she was prepared as a pacer by Wilson.
Miss McManus is owned by Echuca-Moama trots stalwarts Norm and Joan Visca and was bred by Joan and her winning mile rate of 2.02.6 was quite slick and suggests there could be more wins in store.
Tweet home about it
Bunbartha horseman John Newberry had a big week last week, capped by a training and driving double last Friday night at Bendigo.
Newberry won with Shez Elite and Tweet About It which followed up his win with Lombo Idle Belief at Maryborough the previous Sunday.
Shannon O’Sullivan drove Lombo Idle Belief to his win, but at
Bendigo Newberry reined Shez Elite and Tweet About It to their wins.
Although failing in seven previous attempts to break her maiden status Shez Elite was sent out favourite in her race over the 1650 m trip on the strength of recent efforts that had produced four top four finishes at her previous four starts.
Shez Elite showed plenty of zip from barrier five to take up the front running and Newberry dictated terms from then on.
Shez Elite is a five-year-old mare by Village Jolt out of the unraced Village Jasper mare Shez Madam Jasper who has left six winners from six foals to race including Niquero (11 wins) and On Fire Within (12 wins).
Newberry’s second winner Tweet About It, scored her second win in her 15th trip to the races.
Punters who stuck with Tweet About It, who galloped at the start at her previous start at Shepparton, were rewarded as she paid $11.
From a second row draw, Newberry was able to settle Tweet About It on the back of the pacemaker before securing a run on the home bend when she quickly put paid to her rivals in impressive 1:56.2 mile rate time for the 1650 m trip.
By Always A Virgin, Tweet About it is the first foal out of the winning Big Tom mare Chain Of Gold.
Tweet About It is now a winner of two races with four placings.
Merrigum owners Greg and Jenny Pell also enjoyed a win at Bendigo with the David Milestrained Izzy Jolie, who was unwanted by punters, but was a runaway winner at odds of 23/1.
A four-year-old Art Major mare, Izzy Jolie has now won four races with seven placings from 24 starts.
Josh in the dosh
Talented reinsman Josh Aiken has had a good week with a win at Bendigo last Friday night and another one at Cobram on Monday.
At Bendigo Aiken partnered the Mildura-trained Winning Spirit, while at Cobram he was successful on Lunar Delight, trained by his father David.
Winning Delight was a pillar-topost winner after a speedy getaway from barrier four.
At Cobram Aiken gave Lunar Delight the run of the race and he wore down the tearaway leader, the Glenn Freeman-trained Park Life in the shadows of the post to take the Barooga Sports Club Pace final for 52-55 class pacers.
Despite narrowly winning his heat Lunar Delight was a $6.40 chance with the NSW visitor Fairy Tinkabell starting favourite, but after galloping at the start was never a winning chance when finishing fifth.
While there were a few NSWtrained raiders at Cobram on Monday only one got back over the Murray River with the major loot.
Griffith-trained Eipper upstaged more fancied runners in the opening event for 46-54 class pacers
A $5.30 chance Eipper, driven by leading Riverina reinsman Jackson Painting, finished too strongly for the Glenn Douglas-trained and driven $1.40 chance Ozzie Sunshine.
A three-year-old Village Jolt gelding, Eipper was having just his seventh start and it was the second time he has saluted.
Like mother, like daughter.
Although missing out on Park Life trainer Glenn Freeman still enjoyed major success at Cobram with the promising Starry Mac who claimed the Barooga Sports Club Pace final for 30-51 class pacers.
In a crowded finish Starry Mac scored by a neck from the Russell Jack-trained and Cameron Maggsdriven Dealmaker with the Mark Thompson-trained Ajay Breezy Rose third.
It made it three wins from five starts for Starry Mac whose mile rate of 1:55.6 for the 1670 m trip was easily the quickest on the eight-event card and included a 56.9 last half.
Starry Mac is out the former Dave Farrar-trained Iraklis mare Silkara Star who won two of her four starts.
Silkari Star is also the dam of the highly talented, but injury-prone, Attackamac, a winner of nine of his 22 starts and also My Mums A Star, a winner of 12 races.
The trainer and Mooroopna publican Trevor Forsyth who own Starry Mac should have more enjoyable moments with this promising, lightly race four-year-old pacer.
Co-trainers Steve O’Donoghue and Bec Bartley got some good news from Cobram while preparing San Carlo for his tilt at the New Zealand Trotters Cup the following day.
The Shepparton trainers prepare the John Nissen-owned pacer Rockon Locksley a dashing all the way at the meeting.
The seven-year-old gelded son of Rocknroll Hanover, driven by Ellen Tormey, led from pillar-to-post in his second start since May.
Rockon Locksley beat the Damian Wilson-trained roughie Winkn Nod with the Glenn Freeman-prepared Mister Zhivago filling the minor placing.
Lightly raced Rockon Locksley was having his seventh start which have now produced three wins and three placings, so there is still a lot of upside with this pacer.
Many punters labelled Shark Port as one of the best bets on the Cobram program on Monday and noone was disappointed.
The Ian Ward-trained Four Starzzz Shark gelding made it five wins from 15 starts when he prevailed narrowly over the Steve Duffy-prepared duo Spring Delight and Interest Me in the Charlie Foster Memorial Pace for 51-54 class pacers.
Shark Port’s career has been sidetracked through injury for four years, but since returning to racing last year he has won three races and has not missed a placing in his past seven starts.
At Cobram he was driven to victory by concession reinsman Jordan Seary who was popular with punters who sent him out a $2.40 favourite.
The Wayne Potter-trained pacer Slingshot got the win he deserved at Cobram on Monday.
The son of Bettors Delight had five top four finishes at his previous five starts and punters put their faith in him to get the job done.
He was sent out a $2.50 favourite and courtesy of a perfect drive from Ellen Tormey proved too good for his rivals.
The Isabel Walsh-trained Somedaylady finished second with the Ros Rolfe-prepared and driven Dallas Franco an eye-catching third.
Having previously campaigned in NSW, Slingshot was having his fourth start for Potter and has now won two races from 20 tries.
The win was the first of a double for reinswoman Tormey who also partnered Rockon Locksley to his win.
Hudsen fires first up
Avenel trainer David Aiken landed a winner having his first start for the stable at Melton last Saturday night.
Formerly prepared by Gavin Lang, Hudsen, driven by Kima Frenning, proved too slick for his rivals over the 1720 m trip posting a PB mile rate of 1:55.1.
Hudson had won seven of his only 13 starts under Lang’s tutelage going into the race.
The Aiken-Frenning team also combined for a winner at the Yarra Valley Cup meeting on Thursday of last week, winning with battlehardened veteran Crazy Dave in a claiming race.
Crazy Dave was lining up for his 202nd start which had produced 24 wins and 47 placings and has now saluted four times in 17 outings for Aiken.
Today: Melton (n).
Tomorrow: Cranbourne (n).
Sunday: Shepparton (d).
Monday: Melton (d).
Tuesday: Bendigo (n).
Wednesday: Mildura (d).
Thursday: Horsham (d), Echuca (n).