Picture: Megan Fisher
Big Mamas house: Mamas Gold Charm was the first leg of a winning training double at Shepparton for Laura Crossland.
Lochinvar Art’s hard luck story in the Shepparton Gold Cup could have been a lot worse.
Shepparton trainer-driver of the emerging top-liner David Moran said he thought he was going to be kicked out of the sulky before the time honoured feature had even started.
‘‘He jammed his tail when we were scoring up and I thought he was going to kick me out. He has done it a couple of times now,’’ Moran said.
Somewhat wary then about trying to send Lochinvar Art to the front from his poleline draw left Moran convinced it was the slow start that cost his pacer the race.
‘‘If we had settled one back or two back he still would have won I believe, but we had to count on a lot luck from four back on the pegs and we never got it,’’ he said.
‘‘When you consider how much he ended up getting beaten by it was a huge run.’’
Moran said Lochinvar Art’s immediate aim was the lucrative Chariots Of Fire next month at Menangle.
‘‘The two qualifying heats are on February 8 and 15 and so we are heading there.’’
Moran has bypassed the rich Ballarat Cup tomorrow night with Lochinvar Art, but said he would be looking for a suitable race between now and Chariots Of Fire heats to keep his four-year-old star ticking over.
‘‘He pulled up really well from his Shepparton run and is feeling really good at the moment,’’ Moran said.
The heat is on
Arcadia horseman Patrick Ryan and Wahring mentor Daniel Jack are taking on the big guns in heats of the Victoria Oaks and Derby at a mega Ballarat Cup meeting tomorrow night.
Ryan lines up Stars by the beach in the second heat of the Oaks, but the Somebeachsomewhere filly has to contend with an outside back row draw in a hot field.
In the second heat of the Victoria Derby Ryan again hasn’t been helped with the draw with his hope Hesty who also comes from a second row draw.
Anthony Butt will drive Stars by the beach and Kima Frenning Hesty.
Jack has been a bit more fortunate in the draws for the Oaks heats.
He has Im Delightful coming from barrier two and La La Bron from gate five in the first two heats respectively.
He will drive both fillies. The Ballarat Cup has some high profile New Zealand invaders taking on the locals.
The all conquering Purdon Rasmussen team will be represented by Chase Auckland and the boom pacer Self Assured, while recent Inter Dominion heat winner A Gs White Socks is another Kiwi hope in the $110 000 feature.
Last Saturday night’s Shepparton Cup winner Phoenix Prince and runner-up Our Uncle Sam are also taking their place in the super cup field.
An Imperial reign
Trotter Imperial Countess com- pleted successive wins for local trainer Clive Dalton when she saluted at Shepparton on Saturday night.
Driven by top reinsman Chris Alford Imperial Countless made a steady progression around the field in the final circuit to beat the Damian Wilson-trained and driven Kalarney Heidi and Turtle in a solid trotting display in a 2:02.2 mile rate over the 1690 m.
Imperial Countess had won at her previous start at Kilmore on January 2 and has had just 11 starts.
By the Angus Hall stallion Imperial Count, Imperial Countess is out of the unraced Bacardi Lindy mare Bacardi Jade.
Wink gets the nod
Smart pacer Wink and its over is heading towards $100 000 in prizemoney after chalking up his 12th win at Shepparton.
Trained by Shepparton horseman Steve Duffy and driven by Ryan Duffy, Wink and its over prevailed in a 67-85 class race over the 2190 m trip.
Ryan Duffy made a winning move a circuit out, whipping the eight-year-old son of Pass master Hanover around the field from second last to the front running spot where he defied all efforts to be run down.
The win has taken Wink and its over’s earnings to more than $91 000, so he has been good to his Kyabram owners, sporting identities Tony Hansen, Peter Hall, Rob Whitford and John Lilford.
Can’t stop Pekin
Stanhope horseman Gary Pekin was a winner on a good night for district-trained horses when he won with Cresco Threepeat at Shepparton.
It was also a good week for the Stanhope horseman who had driven a 94/1 winner — Cresco Goldigger — at Boort the previous Monday.
At Shepparton he produced Cresco Threepeat for an all-theway win with a dashing front running drive.
In winning the Blissfull Hall fouryear-old rig upset the hot favourite, the Amanda Turnbull-trained and David Moran-driven Life of brian and the Steve Boyington-trained and driven Im jolly good in a district trifecta.
Cresco Threepeat’s only other win from his 19 starts was also at Shepparton in October.
Jang just goes bang
Five-year-old Art Major gelding Jang Pel broke a run of nine outs from the winners’ list and completed a big night for district trainers at Shepparton.
The Steve O’Donoghue-Bec Bartley-trained and Bartley-driven pacer had savoured his previous win in July, but has been threatening another win for some time.
Punters sent him out a $2.50 second favourite and when the favourite Blast Away blew his chances by going off stride during the race the scene was set for Jang Pel to salute — and he duly obliged.
Jang Pel, named presumably after his breeders Greg and Jenny Pell of Merrigum, has had four wins and five placings in 27 starts.
No jumping at Shadow
Talented pacer Shadow Chevron was back in the good books with punters and was one of two winners prepared by local horsewoman Laura Crossland at Shepparton last Saturday night.
The previous Sunday at Cobram Shadow Chevron had an unbeatable lead in the home straight, but broke stride and threw away a certain win.
But at Shepparton he was on his best behaviour and was just too good for his rivals when Crossland popped the question, beating the Justin Torney-trained Mister Joe Major and Rocky Creed in a 50-55 class race.
A five-year-old gelding by Shadow Play, Shadow Chevron looks a pacer going places with his high speed and has now won four races from 14 starts.
Crossland has had the pacer for only three of these starts for two wins and a second.
Crossland’s other win at was achieved with Mamas Gold Charm who was making her debut for the stable.
The four-year-old Mach Three mare, who was a $2 favourite and driven by Damian Wilson, had to work hard to shake off the Albury trained pacer Luvtoo in a twohorse war to the finishing post.
Mamas Gold Charm is out of the Muckalee Strike mare Gold Sarn, who has produced four other winners including Shake It Mama, a winner of 15 races and more than $257 000 in earnings and Fususi, a 12 times winner and more than $180 000 in prizemoney.
Two by two with Noah
Elmore horseman Keith Cotchin and reinsman Ryan Duffy landed a winning double on Tuesday night at Bendigo.
Cotchin produced Juniper and Rocknroll Noah for wins with both pacers were driven by Duffy.
Former Taswegian Juniper was having her third start for the Cotchin stable and has a record of two wins and a third since crossing Bass Strait.
The four-year-old Bettors Delight mare won at Elmore on Boxing Day on debut in Victoria and at her next outing was third at Echuca to Beyond A Shadow.
Juniper secured inside runs from three back on the pegs in the run at the business end of the race to win, posting a PB mile rate of 1:57.6 for the 2150 m trip from four wins in 21 starts.
Rocknroll Noah stormed over his rivals in a crowded finish at nice tote odds of 12/1 in chalking his ninth win and third for Cotchin from 53 tries.
Echuca trainer Fay McEwan also had a winner at the meeting, producing the well-bred Wanda to win a maiden trot in nice style.
Today: Cobram (d), Melton (n).
Tomorrow: Ballarat (n).
Sunday: Wedderburn (d).
Monday: Melton (d).
Tuesday: Ararat (n).
Wednesday: Geelong (n).
Thursday: Mildura (n).