By Adam Hamilton
THE Frisby clan love a Queensland raid.
And there latest trip north with a team has quickly gathered momentum with Jenden Strike’s fighting win in last night’s Group 2 South-East Oaks (2138m) at Albion Park.
Anthony Frisby, driving for his father Chris, snared the one-one early on the Bathurst filly and must have been giggling as star local Pelosi drifted back to last from a wide draw and effectively took no part.
Jenden Strike fought-off challenges from all angles in the last 100m to win by a neck and get a deserved big race win after being so competitive in the Victoria and NSW Oaks series’ earlier this season.
Given they ran home in 57.2 and 28.6sec, Pelosi’s effort to come five and six-wide around the field and get within 4.4m in fifth spot was monstrous.
Jenden Strike and Pelosi could back-up against the boys in the South-East Derby next Saturday night.
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WHAT a marvellous horse Replaced Eye has been for Craig Cross and his team.
The rising eight-year-old looked to have a done a good job making his way through to open-class, but since getting there he’s just kept improving.
His gate speed is a weapon and it won him another free-for-all, this time beating star stablemate Alta Orlando, at Menangle last night.
While Replaced Eye led and dictated through a 56.2sec first half, Alta Orlando drifted back to a second-last from an outside draw and had an impossible task.
Todd McCarthy dashed away around the home bend and Replaced Eye ran his last half in 54.5sec to win by 9.3m over Alta Orlando, who must have broken 53sec for his last half to snare second spot.
Alta Orlando was first-up since his Miracle Mile placing in early March and connections would’ve been thrilled with his racetrack return.
Back to Replaced Eye and a great trivia question would be who trained him at his first start? It was Victoria’s Peter Manning, but he had just the one run before going a miss and having more than two years off the track.
Cross is his third trainer since then and he’s now won 19 of his 81 starts and gone past $200,000 in earnings.
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CHAMPION driver Gary Hall Jr pulled a surprise to help star pacer Chicago Bull return to winning form at Gloucester Park on Friday.
Few expected it, but Hall Jr unleashed Chicago Bull from the outside draw (gate seven) at the start and rushed across to take the lead in the free-for-all.
The race was effectively over when he found the pegs.
Chicago Bull cruised around and dashed home in 54.5sec to make it six wins, four seconds and a third from his 11 starts on the comeback trail.
The other class runner, Handsandwheels, settled back and made some late ground without even being a factor to finish fifth.
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ALMOST weekly we get reminders what a tragedy the premature death of Alta Christiano has been.
Cut short in his prime on the racetrack with 13 wins from just 18 starts and almost $310,000 in earnings, the Kiwi-bred WA Derby winner was just starting to make his mark at stud when he died of a colic attack in late March.
Alta Christiano only has three crops racing and landed another major win when Mighty Ronaldo (Alta Christiano-Millwoods Delight) won WA’s biggest juvenile race, the $100,000 Group 1 Golden Slipper, at Gloucester Park Friday night.
Trained and driven by Justin Prentice, Mighty Ronaldo enjoyed the hotly-contested affair and caused a major upset as a $26 shot in beating Give Us A Wave by 4.4m in a slick 1min55.5sec mile rate for 2130m.
Prentice doesn’t drive too often these days, but he was at his best, escaping a four pegs pocket to gradually to work to the outside then storm around them on the home bend to win easily.
Team Bond’s Give Us A Wave was brave in second spot after working to lead and carving out slick fractions through the middle stages.
Alta Christiano sired a double on the night with four-year-old While They Pray running a slick 1min54.7sec for 2130m to win the third event.
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COULD C K Spur be the next great “find” out of NZ for the Norm Jenkin/Team Gath combination?
Jenkin has an imposing list of trotting success with Kiwi purchases and the immediate signs were most encouraging with C K Spur winning his first run for Andy and Kate Gath at Bendigo last night.
The Pegasus Spur gelding, who contested the Auckland Inter Dominion late last year for trainer Arna Donnelly, was first-up since a fifth at Cambridge on January 11.
And he did it the hard way at Bendigo, making a midrace move to park outside main danger Emerald Stride and proving too strong and classy in a brisk 1min59.3sec mile rate for 2150m.
“He won nine races over there, but got in really in the handicapping system here. In saying that, it was actually a strong first-up test for him the way the field came together,” Andy Gath said.
The six-year-old pulled clear late to win by 3.4m and should quickly march through the grades.
In the fast-class trot of the night, exciting three-year-old filly Pink Galahs underlined her potential by whizzing home along the sprint lane to beat favourite and classy former Kiwi Robbie Royale.
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HE is still a work in progress, but Whereyabinboppin oozes potential.
The big-striding gelding made it 11 wins from just 16 starts when he scorched a 53.5sec closing half at the end of a 1min50.5sec mile and won by as far as he liked in the Group 3 Farmer Joes Outlet final at Menangle last night.
In contrast to recent runs when he’s had to sit parked or work hard in the early and middle stages, this time he waltzed to the front and always looked in control.
It was an armchair drive for Cameron Hart as Whereyabinboppin coasted to a 10.1m win.
Victoria and NSW Derby placegetter Perfect Stride only beat two home, but he covered ground off the pegs and tried to make ground in that scorching last half
Anthony Butt is still expected to push ahead with a Queensland trip for the Group 2 South-East Derby against One Change and some classy locals next Saturday night at Albion Park.
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ONE-TIME buzz pacer Ignatius kick-started a campaign Jimmy Rattray hopes will take him back to the top with a win at Menangle last night.
The former star two, three and early four-year-old is yet to make his mark in open-class, but he’s still just five.
Rattray drove a gem of a race to land the one-one trail from a wide draw, hit the front at the top of the straight and just staved-off a late lunge from Our Wall Street Wolf to win in a 1min51sec mile.It was only Ignatius’ two win from 10 runs this season, but took his career record to 20 wins from 37 starts and almost $440,000 in earnings.