Sport

Shez gone, that’s the Pitt-s

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June 08, 2018

Shez All Rock won’t be coming back to Mark Pitt’s stable after a successful trip to New Zealand, instead remaining with Mark Purdon. Picture: Stuart McCormick

Brilliant pacing filly Shez All Rock will not be returning to the Shepparton stables of Mark Pitt after her history-making win at the Harness Jewels meeting in New Zealand last Saturday.

Pitt had been told the filly would be coming back to his stable, but said yesterday he had been told by the filly’s American owner this was now not the case and Shez All Rock would remain in the Mark Purdon barn.

‘‘Yes, I was very disappointed. I was told Mark would train the mare for her two runs in New Zealand then she would return to me for the Vicbred and Breeders Crown series, but that is not happening any more,’’ Pitt said.

But Pitt said he would now treasure his time with the special filly even more.

Shez All Rock delivered the first ever Harness Jewels win for Australia at the mega meeting last Saturday, breezing to the front from her barrier five draw and never being in danger of being run down by the locals in the $150000 Diamond feature for three-year-old pacing fillies.

Mark Purdon, said he was surprised at the ease of Shez All Rock’s win.

‘‘To be honest, she really just did it on her own,’’ Purdon said.

‘‘She just rolled along and enjoyed the work. She never had any problems, I just enjoyed the ride.’’

Although there has been a change of plans on the filly’s trainer Shez All Rock will still be prepared for the lucrative upcoming Vicbred Super Series and Breeders Crown campaigns.

Pitt and family members bought Shez All Rock at the yearling sales, but sold her to American interests after winning the NSW Oaks.

Pitt continued as her trainer after the sale and she won seven of her eight Australian starts under the youthful Shepparton trainer’s guidance before heading to New Zealand.

Big double for Jack

In yet another big night for Goulburn Valley horsemen, Shepparton reinsman Nathan Jack claimed two of the feature trotters races at Melton last Saturday night.

Jack partnered Always Ready to win the $30000 time-honoured Tatlow Stakes for two-year-old trotters and then took the $30000 event for trotting mares on the outsider Aldebaran Eve.

Both winners are trained by Anton Golino for the mega Yabby Dams trotting empire.

It was a big night for owner Pat Driscoll’s Yabby Dams enterprise with another of his team Pretty Majestic claiming the $60000 Victoria Trotters Oaks.

Third home in the Oaks was the Rochester-trained Moonshine Linda, the recent winner of the NSW Trotters Oaks.

Also at the meeting Kyabram trainer Mark Watson chalked up 16th career win with his star pacer Brallos Pass who claimed the honours with an all-the-way win in a M2-M4 class race.

Driven by Ellen Tormey, Brallos Pass was able to utilise his barrier two draw and the five-year-old Major In Art gelding led throughout to beat a field of smart rivals.

Watson has his eye on the Inter Dominion in Melbourne in December with his stable star, but plans to give the pacer a let-up for the time being.

Reinsman Mark Pitt and Damian Wilson were other Goulburn Valley drivers to chalk up wins at the meeting.

Byrneside-based Wilson won on the Emma Stewart-trained Flying Moth, while Pitt scored on the Juanita McKenzie-trained Isaac in an M0 Only class event.

Wilson has driven Flying Moth to six wins in her past nine starts, while Pitt was having his second drive on the Tasmanian-trained Isaac.

Another tick for Mick

Kyabram trainer Mick Blackmore’s successful season continued when one of the trotters in his stable, Jackson Square, chalked up another win last week at Maryborough.

In his biggest test to date Jackson Square, driven by John Caldow, stormed over his rivals in the concluding stages to post his fourth win in his past five starts. He ran second in the other outing.

With some smart rivals to contend with, Jackson Square got out to generous odds of 8/1 on fixed odds. He goes around again tonight in a metropolitan class event at Melton.

Rory McHinson and Claudys Prince are other trotters Blackmore prepares who have won multiple races this season.

Maggs wheels about

It’s been a big week for Euroa’s ‘‘I’ve Been Everywhere’’ horseman Cameron Maggs — and it could get even better.

Maggs produced Art Major filly Ida Thoughtso for her maiden two-year-old win at her eighth try at the Cobram Community Pink Ladies Day meeting last Sunday.

Maggs was able to get a three-wide pull into the race with the 12/1 shot 600m from home and Ida Thoughtso finished strongly to beat rank outsider React To Beauty, who was driven by Laura Crossland and Titan Bromac in the run to the judge.

Maggs then drove and trained a winning double at Wagga on Tuesday night.

He won with Ideal Suspect, who was huge in claiming the honours in a three-year-old race and he also produced two-year-old Rollecks for his second win in just more than a week.

Ideal Suspect had to overcome an early scrimmage and was among the tailenders heading into the final lap, but was still too good for his rivals.

Maggs’ two-year-old winner Rollecks hadn’t been placed in four tries prior to winning at Shepparton on May 29 and has now two in a row.

Maggs will be hoping his winning run can continues tonight at Melton when he lines up three runners including the exciting young trotter Lunchwitharthur who takes on a strong field of three-year-old trotters in the $30000 The VHRC Holmfield.

He also has Ida Thoughtso tackling the $20000 Youthful Stakes for two-year-old fillies.

Maggs has shown he is not frightened to clock up the kilometres trying to find the right races for his horses and he is making a good fist of it at the moment.

Yeah, no worries

Another district trainer enjoying a winning streak at present is Merrigum’s Brett Bunfield.

His winning run continued at Cobram on Sunday when one of his team, Yeah Whatever, took the honours in a three-year-old race.

The win had been coming with the three-year-old by Artistic Fella, driven by Mick Bellman, having had two top three finishes and a fourth at his only three previous racetrack appearances.

In the run to the judge Yeah Whatever just held off the hard finishing Donna Castles-trained and Doc Wilson-driven Phelingood Philtra, who was an $82 chance on the tote.

The perfect Storm

Starlight Storm continued his recent consistent form to win the trotters handicap at Cobram.

The Brian Bourke-trained and Laura Crossland-driven six-year-old gave a flawless display to work to the lead early from his 20m handicap and comfortably fended off challenges from Levina and Imameance in the final stages to post his sixth win from 46 starts.

The Bunbartha-trained son of Yankee Spider has found a consistent vein of form with his past seven runs producing two wins and five top five placings.

Crossland had won the opening event at the meeting on Kellys Beach, formerly trained in the Riverina by Bruce Harpley, who was having her first start for the new stable.

Kellys Beach was a $1.30 favourite and scrambled home by a head from the Trevor Gallaway-trained Ona Safari in a district trifecta.

Princess wears crown

Bendigo and former Deniliquin trainer Wayne Gretgrix claimed the main feature at Cobram last Sunday when the mare he prepares, Poppys Princess, prevailed in the Invitation Lady Drivers’ Pace.

Driven by Monique Burnett, Poppys Princess didn’t let punters down and was the $2.70 favourite in the 2170m event.

Burnett gave Poppys Princess a midfield trip before making her move three wide in the back straight with 700m to run.

She reeled in her rivals one by one to go on to a comfortable win over the Glenn Douglas-trained and Donna Castles-driven Jayedgar with the Brad Aylett-trained and Ellen Tormey-driven Arty Guy filling the minor placing.

Poppys Princess had won only one race three starts previously from 33 tries, but now has two wins under her belt from her past three starts having also won at Swan Hill on May 20.

Her 1:58.3 mile rate at Cobram was also a PB for the five-year-old daughter of Elsu.

A Shotzzz in the arm

While Merrigum trainer Brad Aylett had to be content with a third placing with Arty Guy in the Invitation Lady Drivers’ Race at Cobram he took only one race to atone.

In the following race, which wound up the successful eight race meeting, Aylett struck with Four Shotzzz.

Bec Bartley was able to use her driving skills to get the win from a second row draw in her first drive on the four-year-old gelding.

By Four Starzzz Shark out of Aylett’s former star pacing mare Elixir — a Victoria Oaks winner who won 14 races and more than $230000 in prizemoney — Four Shotzzz posted his eighth win from 26 starts in his latest triumph.

A Sight to behold

Four-year-old Mach Three mare At First Sight notched her third win from 10 starts when she won on Monday at Charlton.

Trained at Tatura by Craig Turnbull and driven by Chis Alford, At First Sight didn’t have much to spare at the finishing line, getting home by a half head from the favourite Dynamite Rose in a slick PB 1:56.7 mile rate performance for the 1609m trip.

Alford had At First Sight perched on the back of the pacemaker in the run which turned out to be the deciding factor in the tight finish.

At First Sight is out of the Badlands Hanover mare Vista Bella, a winner of nine races, making her a half-sister of smart pacer Perspective, a winner of 14 races.

The win of At First Sight completed a good few days for Turnbull who had produced Son Of Mara for a win at Kilmore the previous Friday night.

Mooroopna’s big day

Mooroopna Harness Racing Club is geared to stage its annual cups meeting on Sunday.

The 11-race meeting will feature the Lift N Shift Mooroopna Pacing Cup and the Ashley Haynes Butchers Trotters Cup.

The Doc Wilson-Donna Castles team could make their presence felt in both cups.

Last start Melton winner Emessgee, prepared by Castles and driven by Wilson, is coming from barrier two on Sunday and from this draw is set to run a big race in the pacing cup.

The Brent Lilley-trained King Solomon and Chrissy Divinyl also should make their presence felt in the race.

Talented trotter Dark Secret would need only to bring his A-game to be a big chance in the trotters cup for the Castles-Wilson combination.

But this is also a race with many chances including the well-drawn Lilley-trained On Fast Forward.

It’s an early start to the meeting with the first race at 4.33pm and the final event to be run at 9.36pm.

Coming up

Today: Mildura (d), Melton (n).

Tomorrow: Bendigo (n).

Sunday: Mooroopna at Shepparton (t).

Monday: Hamilton (d).

Tuesday: Kilmore (n).

Wednesday: Melton (d), Swan Hill (n).

Thursday: Maryborough (d), Ballarat (n).

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