By Adam Hamilton
PART-OWNER Rob Gartrell has strongly hinted at a Menangle stint for exciting WA pacer Ocean Ridge.
Speaking on Perth’s TAB Radio this morning (Thursday), Gartrell said it was an attractive option to send the Kiwi-bred Ocean Ridge to race at Menangle in future.
“It’s something we’ve talked about, to give him the chance to see what sort of time he could run there. We also think the style of racing there would suit him.”
More immediately, Ocean Ridge (gate two) will try and beat Chicago Bull (five) for the third time in six starts when they clash in the Past Presidents Cup (2130m) at Gloucester Park tomorrow (Friday) night.
It’s certainly not a two-horse race with in-form veteran Our Jimmy Johnstone in gate three and Motu Premier resuming from the pole.
The Aussie TAB has Chicago Bull, who was just nosed-out by Ocean Ridge, the $1.85 favourite to atone. Ocean Ridge is $3.50, Motu Premier $4.40 and Our Jimmy Johnstone $4.60.
Gartrell also revealed a couple of the other open-class stars he races, Vampiro and Galactic Star, were also progressing well after spells.
“They’re coming up well together,” he said. “Vampiro really took the next step last campaign and that’s despite his owner drawing some bad barriers for him.”
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FORMER classy Kiwi pacer Northview Hustler looks the one to beat in Saturday night’s Redcliffe Gold Cup.
The Alistair Barnes-trained pacer returned with a terrific second to Queensland’s best pacer, Colt Thirty One, last Saturday night at Albion Park.
He will need some luck and to step well from inside the runners off a 10m handicap., but looks the class factor.
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BUDDING star The Black Prince gets his chance to snag a Menangle free-for-all with Cash N Flow staying at home this week.
The Roy Roots Jr-trained pacer won two in a row at Newcastle during NSW’s strictest regional racing then did all the work when a fighting second to Cash N Flow in a 1min50.2sec Menangle Mile last Saturday week.
He packs early speed, should be suited by the stretch to 2300m and is a $1.85 Aussie TAB favourite.
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THE time is gone where training trotters in Victoria means you can escape the dominance of Emma Stewart and Clayton Tonkin.
They won their first Group 1 trotting race with the monstrous and very talented Alpha Male in late, 2018. He’s very close to a comeback from injury.
And, according to Clayton Tonkin, he’s ready to pick-up where he left off.
More recently, they’ve unveiled the nicely-bred Majestic Son three-year-old colt Cover Of Darkness to win both runs, the most recent by a big pace at Terang on June 18.
But the best could be yet to come and soon.
Those allowed trackside for the Melton trials last Tuesday had a glimpse of why the stable thinks so much of two-year-old trotter Utopia.
The colt, by Trixton out of former talented racemare Gluteus Maximus, won his first trial by 52.5m and trotted faultlessly throughout for driver Jodi Quinlan.
Utopia trotted a 2min3.5sec mile rate for 2240m, but it was the ease with which he buzzed home in 28.5sec which most impressed.
Gluteus Maximus won 14 races and $104,855 and Utopia is only her third foal, the best of the others being Derrie Aire (seven wins and $68,730).
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AS Lauren Tritton gets ready to launch her North American driving career, her little sister Grace landed her first win at Menangle this week
Grace Panella teamed with trainer Darren Binskin and veteran trotter Scenic Sky for an upset win in the second race on Monday.
“Everyone at Team Tritton is super proud of Lauren’s sister Grace at her first win today in the sulky,” Team Tritton tweeted after the victory.
Meanwhile, Team Tritton stretched it’s awesome US start to six wins from just eight starters when old-timer Yayas Hot Spot won easily at Yonkers on Wednesday morning (NZ time).