Patience is a necessary virtue when it comes to training horses and veteran Shepparton horseman Tony Barca isn’t lacking any.
That’s why he was quietly celebrating after the first race on Tuesday night at Swan Hill after Hypervigilant had won the Alabar Vicbed Platinum Country Series D final.
The reason for the joy was because Barca trains Hypervigilant who returned to the winner’s circle after a break of 30 months and 55 starts. .
But that record didn’t deter punters who supported the eight-yearold Badlands Hanover mare into a $3.30 second favourite.
This was no surprise though as Hypervigilant had run third in her heat of the series at the recent Gunbower Cup meeting and also had been placed in her two starts prior to that.
Shepparton reinswoman Laura Crossland drove aggressively at the start to take up the front running on Hypervigilant and from then on dictated terms in an all-the-way win in PB best mile rate time of 1:58 over the 2240 m trip.
Hypervigilant’s previous win was in June of 2016 when successful at Echuca.
She is a warhorse of 89 starts that have now produced three wins and 17 placings.
And on what she did at Swan Hill suggests Barca won’t have to wait another 55 starts for Hypervigilant to win again.
Moama north trainer Tony Peacock also produced a well deserved winner at the meeting in Art Major mare Majadore.
Driven by Shannon O’Sullivan Majadore, who had run three seconds at her past four starts, put in a career best 1:55.1 mile rate effort in her eighth win.
On his wrong leg
There was no fairytale finish to San Carlo’s Inter Dominion campaign with the Shepparton pacer fading over the concluding stages to finish among the tailenders.
But competing in and making three successive Inter finals is a feat in itself and which co-trainers Steve O’Donoghue and Bec Bartley are justifiably proud of.
‘‘Bec gave San Carlo every chance in the final and, although he beat only one home, he finished less than 12 m from the winner, Ultimate Sniper, who went through the series undefeated,’’ O’Donoghue said.
‘‘He did struggle in the final, but he was never really comfortable with that (right-handed) way of going over there.’’
He said San Carlo arrived back in Australia from New Zealand on Wednesday night.
All going well next on the radar for San Carlo will be his home cup, the Shepparton Gold Cup on January 11 and the Hunter Cup on February 1.
The other Victorian-owned pacer in the Inter Dominion final with district interest, Sicario, finished seventh, 5 m from the winner in a sound performance.
In the Trotters Inter Dominion final, the David Aiken-trained Big Jack Hammer ran a creditable race to finish seventh, beaten less than 8 m by the winner, Winterfell, after being given every chance by reinsman Josh Aiken.
Family Friday fun
The Aiken team was well to the fore at Yarra Valley last Friday.
Trainer David Aiken and reinsman son Josh combined for a winning double with pacers Major Delico and Trendy Bromac.
Art Major four-year-old gelding Major Delico notched his first win in a 46-51 class race with a pillar to post victory.
Major Delico was having his first start since July, but was the only one punters wanted and started at $1.04.
He was bursting to win a race with his previous 13 outings producing four runners-up and three third place finishes.
Smart pacer Trendy Bromac completed the Aiken double in his first start since early October.
Josh Aiken camped on the pace and Trendy Bromac was too strong for his rivals at the finish, winning his fifth race in 19 Victorian starts since joining the Aiken stable from New Zealand.
How Tweet it is
Talented mare Tweet About It scored her second straight win on the track and her third win on the circuit in her past five outings at Bendigo last Friday night.
Bunbartha trainer-driver John Newberry made his move on the four-year-old Always A Virgin mare at the bell, working her to the lead in the back straight.
She then produced her toughness to hold challengers at bay in the run to the judge.
Jolly good Lassie
Yarrawonga Lassie put in a top run to break her maiden status at her sixth start last week at Echuca.
The Heston Blue Chip filly was driven confidently by her Avenel trainer-driver Juanita Breen and beat the Mark Watson-trained Esterna and the Keith Cotchinprepared favourite Kennys Killer in a blanket finish.
Yarrawonga Lassie rated a slick 1:57.9 for the 1755 m trip, including a 58.2 last half.
Having only her third start as a three-year-old Yarrawonga Lassie had one minor placing — as a two year old — to her credit.
Yarrawonga Lassie is Out of the Million To One mare Leading Lady Lombo who was an extra smart youngster who won four races and was placed three times from 14 starts.
Yarrawonga Lassie is the third winner out of four foals to race from the mare, including Tutu Bene Lombo who was a 14 times winner with 20 placings.
Cobie collects cash
Byrneside-trained pacer Cobie Hall capitalised on a slick getaway to break a string of 26 runs without a win at Echuca last week. With the scratchings of the poleliner The Analyzer and Real Dutchess, who had drawn barrier two, Cobie Hall, originally drawn in barrier three got the inside alley and immediately took up the front running where his trainer-driver Damian Wilson dictated terms. Cobie Hall had plenty in the tank at the business end of the race and beat the runner-up Cyriliscious by more than 10 m with Highland Major filling the minor placing.
A six-year-old son of Blissfull Hall Cobie Hall’s previous win was in April of last year at Albury.
In his next 26 outings he had just the two placings, so it was a good training feat to get him back in the winner’s circle.
He has now had 36 starts for four wins and two placings.
Wood be good
Stanhope-trained trotter Bacardi Wood continued his recent vein of good form to claim the trotters handicap at the Echuca meeting.
It is the third time the Ken Covington-trained six-year-old son of Bacardi Lindy has saluted in his past six starts which have also included three top four finishes.
Reinsman Gary Pekin pushed on early to get the front running position on Bacardi Wood and he determinedly held off all challengers in the home straight to get the money and record his fourth win.
Two of these wins have been on the Frank Ryan Raceway.
Prettylilangus showed she has her hoof on the till for trainer Russ Thomson with a fast finishing second, while Damian Wilson completed the district trifecta by filling the minor placing with Kalarney Heidi.
Just 2.9 m separated the placegetters with a long gap to the fourth trotter home Artzen who was taking on the older trotters.
Covington has been patient with Bacardi Wood who had his problems as a young horse, but is now repaying the faith of his trainer.
Russ is on Roll
While trainer Russ Thomson had to be content with a close-up second placing in the trot at Echuca, it didn’t take him long to strike a winning blow at the meeting.
In the next race he produced pacer Lets rock lets roll for a strong win in a 55-64 class pacers race.
Driven by Abbey Turnbull, Lets rock lets roll had to do his share of work over the final lap after coming from midfield, but was more than up to the challenge, overpowering the the Tony Peacock-trained Majadore and The Hervey Bay in the run to the judge.
Raced by the trust of the late Colin Dixon a neighbour, client and close friend of the trainer, Lets rock lets roll has been a consistent money earner with his 29 starts producing six wins and 12 placings, including eight seconds.
Kialla horseman Clive Dalton completed successive wins with trotter Allwoods Sunbeam who saluted at Yarra Valley last Friday.
A brilliant getaway had the fouryear-old daughter of top sire Majestic Son, driven by Chris Alford, clear the field from barrier seven to lead all the way over the 2150 m trip.
Allwoods Sunbeam had also won her previous start at Kilmore on December 5 with a similar front running performance.
In a her latest win, the third of her 25 starts, Allwoods Sunbeam rated a PB 2:02.8 including a 58.2 last half.
Allwoods Sunbeam is out of the Royden Boy mare Sunbeam Song who was a three times winner from limited starts and who has also left the talented trotter Outpunch Enchanter, who won nine races and was placed 47 times in 232 starts.
A Bonus for Dallas
Echuca horseman Dallas McIntyre produced his second Melton winner when Sarah Bonus claimed a $10 000 46-51 class race for pacers last Saturday night.
And it completed a 100 per cent strike rate at Melton for McIntyre whose only other trip to Melton with a pacer also resulted in a win.
Sarah Bonus contested the last race on a 12-race program and the five-year-old daughter of Artistic Fella was first home after successive seconds at her previous three starts.
Sarah Bonus was fittingly driven John Caldow, a former Echucaite, who settled the mare behind the pacesetter.
Once she got into some clear running turning for home Sarah Bonus had her head out at the right time — at the finishing post.
An extra reason for McIntyre to remember the win will be the fact he beat the Emma Stewart-trained favourite in the race, Be My Baby — a feat which is pretty hard to do these days as Stewart is so dominant.
Sarah Bonus is out of the Armbro Fella mare, Mini Bonus, a dual winner who has left five winners, including Franks A Legend and Coolncalm.
Sarah Bonus rated a slick PB 1:55.5 over the 1720 m trip in recording her second win in 13 starts.
The mare had not won a race in eight tries on Riverina tracks before McIntyre took over her training and in five starts Sarah Bonus has now won twice with three runner-up placings.
Sweet night for Tubbs
Trainer Jess Tubbs was the star last week at Echuca with a training treble.
All were driven by her reinsman husband Greg Sugars.
Tubbs started her big night with the $2.70 favourite Bao Nien in race four and then struck in the next race on Joe Nien and then took the last race with Lenard Ess.
Lining up winners
There were four district winners on Wednesday night at Shepparton.
Shepparton trainer Steve Boyington scored a popular win with the Kima Frenning-driven Im Jollygood, David Aiken drove one of the pacers he trains Jimmy Locke to victory, Wahring horseman Daniel Jack got the money with the Roma Pocock-trained The Brooklyn Brawler and Donna Castles piloted the Wangaratta-trained Staresss to her second win on the track in her past four starts.
Today: Charlton (d), Geelong (n).
Tomorrow: Melton (n).
Sunday: Warragul (d).
Monday: Maryborough (d).
Tuesday: Shepparton (n).
Thursday: Elmore (d), Ballarat (n).