By Adam Hamilton
ANOTHER week, another Gloucester Park gift from the mighty Chicago Bull.
Just a week after his epic last-stride win over emerging star Handsandwheels after a titanic battle, Chicago Bull defied the odds by dropping back in distance, sitting parked and beating the same horse again.
This time it was a genuine crushing.
And, in the depths of winter and after doing all the work parked, Chicago Bull’s 1min53.2sec mile rate for 2130m was just 0.3sec outside the track record.
Handsandwheels was backed into $1.65 favourite because of a better draw, but he had to spend so petrol to get the front from Convert Denario and driver Gary Hall Jr quickly seized the moment on Chicago Bull. He was straight around the field from last to sit parked and pour the pressure on.
They went blistering 27.4sec split from the 1200-800m, then the same again from the 800-400m.
Chicago Bull raced past Handsandwheels rounding the home bend and held-off late surges from Stroke Of Luck and Convert Denario to win by 2.2m. Handsandwheels tired for fourth.
It was further evidence Chicago Bull can still be a major race force, firstly for his home town Fremantle/WA Pacing Cup double later this year and then in races like the Hunter Cup and Miracle Mile.
The rising eight-year-old’s comeback campaign reads 13 starts for eight wins, four seconds and a third. And he’s now won 51 of his 79 lifetime starts.
Another winner of note for Hall Jr and Hall Sr on the night was emerging three-year-old Alta Blues, a son of the ill-fated Alta Christiano, who did plenty of work to lead and roared clear to win by 8.9m in a 1min55.7sec mile rate for 2130m.
There was a Kiwi connection to the feature race winner at Gloucester Park. One For Dave Andme is by Cran Dalgety’s former top youngster Smiling Shard.
The gelding made the most of a top trip behind the leader for trainer-driver Corey Peterson and flashed home to beat the exciting To Fast To Serious in the John Higgins Memorial final.
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CASH N Flow’s ninth successive Menangle free-for-all win was his most scintillating yet.
The former All Stars’ pacer has enjoyed a stellar splurge through Autumn and Winter at Menangle and posted a personal best with his 1min49.2sec win at Menangle last night.
Without snaring a major, Cash N Flow has won almost $220,000 from his 12 wins (and four placings) in 19 starts so far this season.
Driver Luke McCarthy bustled out of the outside draw, Thunder Dance, Replaced Eye and Ignatius all pushed through under him, so he let them scorch through a 25.3sec first quarter.
As soon as Replaced Eye found the front, McCarthy dashed around the field to take the front and never looked in danger from there.
Cash N Flow ripped home in 54.3 and 26.2sec to win by 10.6m.
He gets next week because Cross and McCarthy will target the free-for-all with Miracle Mile winner King Of Swing, who resumes from a spell.
Cash N Flow was McCarthy’s fifth win of the night in the sulky, which also included exciting mare Bettor Enforce.
Better Enforce worked to the front and kept rolling to post her ninth win (with another seven placings) from just 19 starts this season.
She “pinched” a 30.7sec second quarter then blazed home in 54.8 and 26.8sec to beat stablemate Speak No Evil by 1.6m.
Better Enforce is being set for a Perth raid later in the year where the $125,000 Group 1 WA Mares’ Classic will be the main target.
McCarthy’s other wins were on Cross’ pair, Benicio and Our Wall Street Wolf, as well as pick-up drive for trainer Michael Hawke on About The Attitude in race four.
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TAMWORTH pacer Kid Montana gave Lola Weidemann a fittingly fantastic to a challenging week.
Weidemann, one of the truly great contributors to Queensland harness, battled back issues all week and only confirmed late she would definitely drive Kid Montana in last night’s Lucky Creed Open at Albion Park.
Kid Montana, who had been smashing the clock with his recent sectional times, did the rest when he upstaged Queensland’s best pacer, Colt Thirty One, in wet conditions but still a slick 1min56.5sec mile rate for the long 2680m trip.
Kid Montana was sent to Weidemann by her NSW connections to target the revamped Queensland Winter Carnival and he’s rewarded them with two wins and a second from four Albion Park runs so far.
Colt Thirty One lost no admirers, being held-up briefly by the tiring leader Northview Hustler, and trying hard to bridge the gap along the sprint lane in the run home.
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STILL on Albion Park and Chantal Turpin’s gelding Big Wheels completed Queensland’s big juvenile double with his Group 1 Qbred Triad win last night.
In contrast to his previous win in the Breeders final as a $15 shot, Big Wheels was crunched into a $2.20 favourite when he led throughout and just held-on in slick time to win the Triad.
Driver Pete McMullen, renowned for his front-running success, lifted Big Wheels to win by a head in a 1min54.4sec mile rate for 1660m.
Top local trainer Grant Dixon had to be content with a frustrating second, third and fourth with Dynamic Dan, Chamomix and Frontliner respectively.
Dixon didn’t have to wait long to avenge, which he did by leading throughout on his own filly Jasper to win the $100,550 Fillies’ Qbred Triad final.
“She’s a lovely filly and when she found the front I knew she’d take a lot of beating. We’ve got a lot of time for her,” he said.
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FORMER champion juvenile trotter Wobelee continued his climb towards challenging for the crown as Australia’s best trotter with another victory at Shepparton last night.
It’s been an outstanding trainer performance from Alison and Chris Alford given Wobelee had a year away from the races and so many top young trotters don’t make the transition to open-class stars.
It seems most of the quirks which Wobelee had as a youngster have gone with maturity and now he’s back in the barrier draw and has serious gate speed, he’s lethal.
Wobelee zoomed to the front last night, leaving another star McLovin to sit parked and they ran through a solid 59.9sec middle half.
Wobelee got round the final bend so much better than McLovin, pinched a 6-7 metre lead and held-on to win by half a neck.
McLovin was amazingly brave after sitting parked and bridging the gap with every stride in the last 100m.
Wobelee’s won three of his four runs this campaign and 23 of his 39 lifetime starts.
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WA Derby winner Patronus Star headlines Monday’s Pinjarra meeting.
The lightly-raced son of American Ideal won the WA Derby at just his second run for Team Bond back on April 3.
He was spelled afterwards and resumed with a soft Pinjarra win last Monday.
Patronus Star, who won two of seven NZ runs before heading to WA, oozes speed and potential and looms as one of the major players for the big WA four-year-old features in January.
No doubt Team Bond is also contemplating a Chariots Of Fire tilt with him.