One to remember: Trainer Paul Fidge with eight-year-old mare Wandanas Advice who gave him his first Victorian win at Shepparton last Friday.
Kyabram trots trainer Paul Fidge notched his first Victorian win when veteran mare Wandanas Advice claimed a pillar-to-post maiden triumph at Shepparton last Friday.
An eight-year-old daughter of Ponder, Wandanas Advice has having only her eighth start — all since March — and was driven to victory by Shepparton horsewoman Laura Crossland.
Although she had not raced since May 5 four minor placings in her first seven runs were good enough to encourage punters to send Wandanas Advice out a $3.20 chance and second favourite.
Although getting a little tired in the concluding stages she comfortably held off the fast-finishing Col Godden-trained Clever Cowboy with the Sharon Hahn-prepared roughie The Butcher finishing a cheeky third.
Wandanas Advice is owned and bred by veteran Echuca trots stalwart Brian De Bernardi and is out of the Perfect Art mare Wandanas Lombo, a winner of four races.
De Bernardi said Wandanas Advice was one of the last foals he will breed and there were a list of reasons as long as your arm as to why she had taken so long to get to the races.
‘‘She’s had a few trainers and something always went wrong. Then she broke down and had to have a pin inserted in her hock, so had to be put out in the paddock for a couple of years,’’ he said.
‘‘On vet’s advice I had to get her somewhere where she could get a lot of swimming and that’s how she ended up with Paul because he’s at Kyabram and there is a facility there to swim them.’’
Fidge moved to the Goulburn Valley just more than a year ago from Two Wells in South Australia and, while Wandanas Advice is the only horse he has racing at present, he is breaking-in some youngsters.
He trained one of South Australia’s top trotters of the past decade Pocketfullofcash whose 19 wins included the South Australian Trotters Cup in 2017.
A usual Suspect
Euroa horseman Cameron Maggs is making a habit of winning at long odds with a pacer he trains and drives.
When Ideal Suspect won last Saturday night at Bendigo it was the third win in his past seven starts he had been ignored by punters.
The run of longshot wins for the five-year-old son of American Ideal started at Shepparton on May 20 when he bobbed up at odds of nearly 40/1.
Then at Bendigo on June 10 he saluted when he was a 45/1 pop.
Last Saturday night he wasn’t quite those odds, but those who have been following him still copped a healthy $27 win payout.
Maggs was able to hold the back of the poleline horse and pacemaker Lets Went from his inside second row draw with Ideal Suspect and in a stirring finish in which only a head separated the first three placegetters he got the judge’s verdict.
In claiming his 11th win — there have also been 16 placings in his 53 starts Idea Suspect posted a PB 1:55.4 mile rate for the 1650 m trip.
A winning Mach-ine
Rochester-trained pacer Alta Mach has shown a distinct liking for the Shepparton track since leaving South Australia.
The six-year-old Shayne Eelestraind Mach Three mare made it three wins on the track when she scored an all-the-way win with Chris Alford in the sulky last Friday.
Alta Mach was originally in the Amanda Turnbull stables when first landing in Australia from New Zealand and had six starts for two wins at Junee, before making her away to South Australia where she had five starts for one placing.
But since joining Eeles she has now won three races and been placed twice from eight starts.
In her latest win she survived an early burn for the lead and then comfortably held off challenges from The Last Chance and Fletchas Roy.
It was a good week for Eeles who had produced Allshookup for an impressive win at the Monday meeting at Shepparton.
Count wide awake
The Isabel Walsh-trained Bacardi Lindy gelding Count Bacardi notched his sixth win in upsetting the hot favourite Sleepee at Shepparton last Friday.
The Alison Alford-trained and Chris Alford-driven Sleepee was a $1.70 favourite, but after enjoying the run of the race on the back of the pacemaker Aldebaran Crescent had to be content with the minor placing in a busy finish.
Walsh has had the well-travelled
Count Bacardi in her stable for five starts, but three third placings in these outings had indicated a win for the six-year-old wasn’t far away.
Count Bacardi did all his racing in South Australia prior to joining the Walsh stable, chalking up five wins — including one success at Horsham — and eight placings from 27 starts.
Good Knight for all
It was indeed a good night for the Newberry family at Shepparton last Friday.
Its pacer, A Good Knight, ensured it was a good night when he saluted in the final race with a dashing front running display.
The four-year-old son of Mr Feelgood, trained by John Newberry and driven by his son Matt, had a nice margin to spare at the finishing post over the runner-up Goodlookin Rooster and the favourite Mister Joe Major.
It was A Good Knight’s third win — there have also been eight runner-up finishes — in his 41 starts.
It was a good week last week for the Newberrys with their eightyear-old pacer Lombo Idle Belief returning to the winning list at the Cobram meeting at Shepparton the previous Monday.
Sweet by a street
Two-year-old trotting gelding Sweet On You, who spreadeagled a small field of rivals at Bendigo on Monday, is certainly bred to be good.
By top French sire Love You, Sweet On You’s dam, the Sundon mare Right Interest, was a winner of 18 races and his second dam Late Withdrawal (by Magnus Apollo) has been a broodmare gem who has left nine winners including National Interest, who had 33 wins.
Trained by Patrick Ryan for Kevin Riseley’s Sheron Park at Arcadia, Sweet On You, driven by Chris Alford, was having his second trip to the races.
He broke stride on debut at Kilmore on June 25 as favourite, but with a f lawless trotting display on Monday put his rivals to the sword, winning by more than 95 m in 2:04.1 mile rate time for the 2150 m trip.
He should be a major player in the features later in the year.
Another impressive winner with a district flavour at Bendigo was filly Aldebaran Tess who also streeted her rivals in a three-year-old trotters race.
Bred and owned by Duncan McPherson’s Aldebaran Lodge and trained by Matthew Craven, the daughter of Muscle Hill was having her fourth trip to the races, but had shown with two runner-up finishes in her previous three starts she had her share of talent.
One for Niota Stud
Girgarre’s Niota Stud owners Jan and Ken Wills put a lot into trotting, so it was good to see one of the horses they bred win last week at Ballarat.
Dawn Ofa New Day four-year-old gelding Mornings notched his ninth win when he prevailed in a 64-75 class race.
Mornings is out of the Village Jasper mare Frans Jewel who was a pretty smart pacer with 11 wins and 18 placings from 47 starts.
Carlo leader of mob
Six-year-old ex-Kiwi Mach Three gelding Carlo Gambino didn’t look like a pacer who had had only one win in 33 starts when stepping out on Wednesday night at Shepparton.
Before crossing the Tasman Carlo Gambino’s only win was at Wyndham on March 4.
But on Wednesday night with his new trainer Amanda Turnbull in the sulky he blitzed his rivals, beating the runner-up Goodlookin Rooster by more than 32 m.
Glee for Lee
Congupna horseman Mark Lee was the star of Wednesday night’s Shepparton meeting.
He drove the Sharon Hahnetrained The Butcher to a welldeserved win before gearing up the trotter he trains Bro Creed for his fourth win — all at Shepparton.
Other district trainers to enjoy a win at the meeting were Steve O’Donoghue and Bec Bartley with Rockon Locksley and Kyabram trainer Mark Watson with the Art Major three-year-old filly Esterna.
With four seconds in her previous five outings Esterna certainly deserved her win.
Abbey Turnbull also drove Regulus to victory for trainer Kari Miles.
Monday: Bendigo (n).
Tuesday: Cranbourne (n).
Wednesday: Shepparton (d), Terang (n).
Thursday: Mildura (d), Ballarat (n).