By Adam Hamilton
Top young driver Cam Hart thinks former Kiwi pacer Fire Fox could be a Miracle Mile contender.
It was only a support race on Inter Dominion heats night at Geelong, but Fire Fox blazed home in 54.6sec to win the second-last race and showed he was back on song.
It was a boost for trainer Jason Grimson, who earlier had his stable star Majestic Cruiser miss qualifying for the Inter Dominion final.
Grimson, who won last year’s pacing final with Boncel Benjamin, will still have a runner with I Cast No Shadow qualifying.
“It was disappointing Majestic Cruiser didn’t get through, but he’ll head home now and get ready for the big Menangle races early next year,” Hart said.
“Jason’s always had a big opinion of Fire Fox, he’s such a fast horse. He’s said he’s a Miracle Mile horse if he keeps improving.
“He’s still a bit of work in progress, but he relaxed well once he led tonight and did it easily.”
Fire Fox won four of his first five Aussie starts for Grimson before going winless in his next six starts. He’s now won two on end.
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A brilliant Trent Wheeler drive helped Pinny Tiger score an upset win in the Group 1 4YO Classic (2130m) at Gloucester Park last Friday night.
It’s not often we see the Collie-based driver come to the big smoke, but he produced a gem on Pinny Tiger from inside the back row.
After burrowing through the back of leader El Chema, Wheeler then escaped a tricky spot when the leader tired on the home bend and hooked four-wide and stormed over the top of his rivals to win the $125,000 race for trainer Michael “Mouse” Brennan.
Favourite Jumpingjackmac was a brave second after doing all the three-wide grunt work from the back row, while Machnificent charged home out wide from near last for third.
The other class runner, Lavra Joe, just battled into fifth spot.
Earlier, the veteran beat the young buck when Gambit easily held-off buzz stablemate Prince Of Pleasure to win the free-for-all.
It was a huge effort given Gambit made a three-wide run without cover from the 1200m with Prince Of Pleasure stalking him, but held-on to win easily by 2.7m.
It was Prince Of Pleasure’s first defeat in eight runs for Gary Hall Sr, but his first test in free-for-all grade.
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Cran Dalgety has a smart filly on his hands.
Dalgety part-owns Always B Miki filly Joyful, who has turned heads with two terrific wins from as many starts since joining the Emma Stewart and Clayton Tonkin stable.
Joyful had to work to hold the front, but still cruised home at the finish in a 1min55.9sec mile rate for 1720m and 26.5sec closing quarter to win the Youthful Stakes for 2YO fillies at Melton last Friday night.
Kiwi-bred Blazing Home won the colts and geldings’ equivalent for visiting Riverina pair David Kennedy and Jackson Painting.
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While the Inter Dominion continued to unfold in Victoria, two-time winner Jimmy Rattray snared the free-for-all 1000kms at Menangle.
Rattray, who won back-to-back finals with Beautide, dominated the Menangle fast-class race in a sparkling 1min49.8sec mile.
It continued Whereyabinboppin’s terrific form with five wins from his past eight starts.
It was also a career-best mile time.
Whereyabinboppin just held-off former classy Kiwi pacer Mach Shard for Team McCarthy to win by a head.
The feature of the night, the Group 3 Teeny Teeny for mares’ with former Kiwi Be My Rose in a slick 1min51.8sec mile.
Be My Rose is trained by Paul Fitzpatrick, was driven by former Kiwi reinsman Sean Grayling and raced by Barry and Katrina Purdon.
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Veteran former Kiwi pacer Northview Hustler posted his 22rd career win in the free-for-all at Albion Park last night.
Trained and driven by Brendan Barnes, the rising nine-year-old led throughout to beat another former Kiwi, Tommy Lincoln, in a cosy 1min54.5sec mile rate for 1660m.
Northview Hustler has raced 126 times for his 22 wins, 28 placings and banked $339,747.
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Former top South Australian horseman Geoff Webster had a successful trip back home to Globe Derby last Friday night.
Webster, now based in Victoria, won two of the SA Southern Cross finals with his talented three-year-olds Elegant and Cobber.
The filly Elegant was first out and she simply outclassed her rivals to win by 14m in a 1min57.7sec mile rate for 2230m with top driver Danielle Hill aboard.
The highlight of the night was Cobber’s epic win in the 3YO colts and geldings’ final after a titanic battle with leader and main danger Jawsoflincoln.
Hill lifted Cobber to snatch victory on the line by a half-head in a blistering 1min55.4sec mile.