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Shepp News 23/07/2021

Creating a bit of pub talk


Shepparton trots tragic John Scott reckons history should be preserved and that’s why Mooroopna’s Royal Mail Hotel is now boasting a splendid trophy to honour champion pacer Lochinvar Art.

Scotty, as he is affectionately known, snapped up a pair of shoes from Lochinvar Art the day after the pacing superstar won one of Australia’s most prestigious races, the Hunter Cup, at Melton earlier this year.

Scotty then got the shoes mounted and presented them to Royal Mail publican Trevor Forsyth to display in his hotel.

Forsyth is also a keen trots fan, an owner and former president of the historic Mooroopna Harness Racing Club, who didn’t hesitate to accept Scotty’s offer to display the shoes in his popular pub.

Lochinvar Art, currently recovering from injury, is the greatest pacer to be trained in Shepparton with his resume boasting 28 wins and 19 places from 50 starts which have netted $1,368,456 million in prizemoney.

Trainer-driver of Lochinvar Art, Shepparton’s David Moran, was on hand to witness the handover and was stoked at Scotty’s and Forsyth’s initiative to honour the champion pacer.

Like mum, like son

The Crosslands have been at it again in the past week.

Laura Crossland enjoyed a couple of fruitful days last week with winners at Melton on Friday night and Geelong on Saturday night, while son Cody produced his first driving double at Wednesday night’s Shepparton meeting.

Laura produced Delightful Nicky for the Melton win and completed a hat-trick of wins with Cool Rocking Daddy at Geelong.

Laura was in the sulky for Delightful Nicky’s win and a patient drive three back on the pegs was rewarded with a sprint lane passage to victory in the home straight in PB 1:56.6 mile rate time.

It was the Bettor Delight threeyear-old filly’s second win from 18 tries with a second at her previous start at Shepparton indicating she was ready to return to the winning list.

Cool Rocking Daddy completed the hat-trick with his win at Geelong.

The four-year-old Rocknroll Dance gelding had won at Maryborough and Yarra Valley at his previous two starts and at Geelong was lining up for his eighth win.

Driven by Laura’s partner Damian Wilson, Cool Rocking Daddy sat three back on the pegs until the home turn and once into clear running wore down the favourite and pacemaker La Puddie right on the finishing post.

He has had three different drivers — Abby Sanderson, the trainer and Wilson — in completing the hattrick.

As well as his eight wins Cool Rocking Daddy has also been placed 16 times in 40 starts, including 10 second placings.

Cody Crossland celebrated his first double as a reinsman at Shepparton.

He guided the David Aikentrained Letsrockletsroll to another

emphatic win and also partnered Bee Gee Cee, trained by his grandfather Brian Crossland, to complete wins in the last two races.

Ironically Bee Gee Cee’s dam Suffolk Star provided Laura a leg of her first double as a driver at Mildura, as Laura put it, many years ago.

Spencer sprints home

Merrigum horseman Brett Bunfield was one of three Goulburn Valley trainers to taste success at Shepparton.

Bunfield prepares Spencer who notched his second win from nine starts.

He settled three back on the pegs and was able to round up his rivals via the sprint lane.

Spencer’s previous eight runs had produced six top five finishes and his slick winning mile rate of 1:55.9 for the 1690m trip was the quickest on the program.

Drinks on Walsh

Shepparton horsewoman Isabel Walsh got the win she deserved with trotter Count Bacardi at Melton on Friday night.

The seven-year-old son of Bacardi Lindy was given the run of the race in the one-one sit by reinsman Leigh Sutton and finished strongly to beat Scruffy Doolan and Zarem at tote odds of nearly 18/1.

Count Bacardi had had a run of 14 starts out of the winner’s circle, but had eight top four finishes in that period, so had been still paying his way.

He has now won seven races and been placed 15 times in his 48 starts which have yielded more than $36,000 in stakemoney.

Potter checks in

Avenel trainer Wayne Potter has wasted no time in returning former Sydney-trained pacer Check In to the winners’ list.

The seven-year-old Mach Three gelding, driven by Josh Duggan, was stepping out for the first time for Potter at Geelong on Saturday night and recorded an impressive all-the-way win in beating Sahara Sirocco and the outsider Struve.

The former Kiwi had 10 starts in NSW for a win at Menangle for trainer Darren Hancock after coming from New Zealand where he had a record of seven wins from his first nine starts.

He now boasts 12 wins and 28 minor placings from 98 starts which have netted more than $240,000 in prizemoney.

Hunter captures two

Trainer Susan Hunter produced a double on her home track last week at Echuca.

She won the trotters handicap with Partytime and then produced Lethal Lover for her first win at her 29th try.

Both winners were driven by Rodney Lakey.

It was a well overdue win for Lethal Lover who had had 10 top five finishes in her previous 11 starts before Echuca.

And she got no favours breaking her duck, racing outside the pacemaker for the first half of the race then easing into a three-back slot on the pegs before launching a winning run in the back straight.

While it was the four-year-old Pet Rock mare’s first win she had 11 top three finishes from 28 tries in her resume going into the race.

Partytime repeated his win from his previous start with a dashing front running display.

He ran his rivals ragged at Kilmore at his previous start, winning by more than 20m in a dashing front running display and repeated the dose on his home track with more than 12 metres to spare over the runner-up One Muscle Hill at the finishing post.

Plenty to Barac for

Elmore trainer Frank Barac also struck a blow for district trainers at Echuca, winning with Madam Reactor.

The four-year-old Auckland Reactor mare was crying out for another win with two second placings and a fourth at her previous three outings which prompted punters to send her out favourite.

She didn’t disappoint, although she gave her supporters a scare shortly after the start when she went off stride when vying for the lead.

But she quickly regained her momentum before going on to a runaway win with nearly 17m to the runner-up and last start winner Presidents last lady.

It was her third win from 32 starts which have also produced 10 minor placings.

Seizing the Chance

Murchison trainer Shaun Kittel kept a recent winning streak going with a win at Echuca with The Last Chance.

And promising young concession reinsman Cody Crossland made sure his second drive on the pacer was a winner.

Crossland partnered The Last Chance when he was second at Shepparton on June 2 before the pacer went on to win at Mildura at his next outing when driven by Michael Bellman.

Suited by a slow pace in the Echuca race Crossland was able to sit outside the pacesetter Speed Dating in the run and then hold out the Bec Bartley-driven Changeover Girl in the dash to the judge.

Kittel has now won six races with The Last Chance who has faced the starter 40 times for eight wins and 14 minor placings.

It’s yay for Nay

Consistent mare No Nay Never posted her third win for trainer Craig Turnbull when she claimed the Central Echuca Pace Final at Echuca.

Heats were run at Shepparton the previous Sunday when No Nay Never finished a close-up fourth to Lara Bay in her heat.

Turnbull’s daughter Abbey settled No Nay Never three back on the pegs and got her into clear running on the home turn, going on to beat the favourite Rock The Nation and outsider Crossroader in the drive to the wire.

Abbey has been in the sulky for all three wins her father has achieved with the pacer, who formerly campaigned in the Bathurst area for Bernie Hewitt, who won four races with four-year-old Heston Blue Chip mare.

Headbanger rocks

It’s not too often David Aiken takes only one horse to a meeting, so when he does punters are on the alert.

So when Aiken’s son Josh headed to Echuca with that sole runner, Headbanger, last week they were ready.

The three-year-old Rocknroll Dance was having only his second start and his first outing since debuting with a fifth at Kilmore in October, but punters sent him out a $1.60 favourite.

And they weren’t disappointed with Headbanger sitting outside the pacemaker Major Zone in the 1755m event and drawing away to beat the fast finishing Niki Nah Nah.

Headbanger is out of the Art Major mare Real Bonus, a winner of 12 races and more than $125,000, and is the only foal to race from the mare.

Headbanger again proved too good for his rivals on Wednesday night at Shepparton with another impressive pillar-to-post win.

Aiken scored a training double at the meeting with Letsrockletsroll completing successive wins on the track driven by Cody Crossland.

A happy holiday

A trip to Queensland has been paying off for Nanneella horseman Col Godden.

Godden is campaigning with three pacers — Sport Mental, Ajay Breezy Rose and Miss Victoria — in the Sunshine State and is enjoying his share of success with the pacers.

After a first-up seventh at Redcliffe, Ajay Breezy Rose has won her past two starts on the track — the latest win on Monday night.

Godden is the caretaker trainer for Ajay Breezy Rose, on loan from Rochester trainer Mark Thompson.

Miss Victoria, whom Godden purchased a few days before heading north, has also been paying her way with two seconds from three starts on the Redcliffe track.

Sport Mental has clocked up a second and third placing at Redcliffe and looked unlucky in both runs.

Ajay Breezy Rose will be attempting the hat-trick tomorrow night at Albion Park, while Miss Victoria goes around on the same track tonight.

Another local with an interstate winner this week was David Aiken who produced Divine Diva for a win at Menangle on Tuesday.

Dan sails home

Captaintreacherous colt Captain Dan made it two wins in four starts when he prevailed in a three-yearold race at Cranbourne last Sunday.

The Russell Jack-trained pacer had two runner-up finishes at his previous two starts after winning on debut at Cobram in December and was returning to the racetrack after a seven-month lay-off.

Driven by Leigh Sutton Captain Dan lost the lead early, but quickly regained it and held off a small field of rivals with a 28.3 final quarter.

Captain Dan is the first foal out of the Bettors Delight mare Delightful Sheila, but her second dam Shakeilah has left six other winners.


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