BIG NIGHT FOR STEPHEN REED
Talented young reinsman Stephen Reed landed his biggest winner in harness racing when he drove Silver Tail Adda to a runaway victory in the $100,000 DBC Tender Ridge State Sires Series final for two-year-old colts and geldings at Gloucester Park on Friday night.
And that superb victory was the highlight of his most successful night in the sport. He also won with Chilli Dawn and finished second with Our Mac Attack, Shellstar and Troublescene.
“It was a surreal feeling coming down the straight having a $100,000 race in the bag,” an elated Reed said after Silver Tail Adda had triumphed by 17m over Adda Vincente, with another outsider Parsons Class another length away, third.
The Sires final was a notable triumph for Albany businessman Harry Capararo, who landed the long-priced quinella and collected $75,000 in prizemoney.
Capararo, who bred Silver Tail Adda, includes the word Adda in the name of most of his pacers. Capararo is proud of his Italian heritage and Adda is the name of the river that flows through the northern Italian city of Sondrio.
Silver Tail Adda is trained at Bunbury by Frank Bonnett, who has met Capararo only once. Capararo was not at Gloucester Park to watch his smart two-year-olds land the quinella.
Bonnett’s regular stable driver, Aaron Beckett, was not in the sulky behind Silver Tail Adda because he has retired from driving, at least temporarily, to concentrate on his football career in the South-West.
The 23-year-old Reed, who had driven Silver Tail Adda only once before, for a win at Bunbury five weeks ago, did not bustle the gelding early from his wide barrier at No. 7.
Silver Tail Adda, a 9/1 chance who paid $13.60 on the tote, settled down in seventh position before Reed started a three-wide move approaching the bell where the 5/2 favourite On All Fours was leading from the 11/4 second favourite Mon Gee.
“Going into the back the last time I had a handful of horse,” Reed said. Callan (Suvaljko) was niggling at On All Fours and I thought I had him covered.
“I was a bit worried about something with a soft trip back on the fence getting out. But my horse just kept on running.”
Silver Tail Adda hit the front 300m from home and raced simply careered away from his rivals to win at a 2.1.4 rate. On All Fours, who went very fast early to get to the front from Cosmo Comet, faded to finish sixth and Mon Gee stopped to a walk and was a distant last.
Mon Gee, who had responded well to treatment for a lung infection, has been stood down to complete a satisfactory trial. The course veterinary surgeon was unable to find anything amiss with the colt. Trainer Neil Lloyd will get his vet. to further examine the colt.
Appladay, third favourite at 13/4, was trapped wide early before being restrained to the rear. When he moved forward at the bell he was forced four wide and did not threaten danger at any stage, finishing seventh.
Silver Tail Adda and Adda Vincente are by former star pacer Rich And Spoilt. Silver Tail Adda is the third foal, and the first winner, out of the Walton Hanover mare Walton Matilda, who was retired after eight starts that produced two seconds at Albany in March 1999.
Reed again played a waiting game to complete his double with 10/1 chance Chilli Dawn in the DBC junior drivers’ Stakes.
After bringing Chilli Dawn with a well-timed run from tenth at the bell, Reed said that trainer Ross Olivieri had given him great confidence before the event.
“Ross told me three weeks ago that he had a horse who would go really well in the junior drivers’ race,” Reed said. “Obviously he set Chilli Dawn for this race and she’s done the job.”
Chilli Dawn sustained a spirited burst to overhaul the pacemaker Jasper County with only 50m to travel. It was Reed’s first drive behind the mare, who now has won ten races and has been placed 18 times from 55 starts.
McRAES MATE BACK TO HIS BEST
Exciting four-year-old McRaes Mate bounced back to his best form with a stylish all-the-way victory in the DBC Ever Tender Stakes at Gloucester Park on Friday night and reinsman Gary Hall jun. predicted the gelding would go on to become a good winner in top-class company.
McRaes Mate’s easy win over the consistent Twice The Pleasure and Trial By Jury gave Hall and his father Gary the second leg of a driving and training treble.
They also combined to win with Roseworthy Lad and Vintage Concerto.
After starting from barrier one, McRaes Mate was never in any danger as he bowled along after a slick lead time of 36.2sec.
“I’d say he’d be better off in stronger company, sitting up” said Hall jun. who was driving the gelding for the first time in a race. “Hopefully, his best form will come when he gets up in top class and can sit up.
“He went good tonight. He’s such a genuine racehorse that he backs right off when he knows you want him to settle. He’s a pretty good little package. He drops the bit when you want him to and he fires up when you need him to.”
McRaes Mate now has won at five of his eight WA starts and he now boasts a record of 16 wins and eight placings from 31 starts for earnings of $252,539.
He was an outstanding juvenile in Victoria and New South Wales. As a three-year-old he won the $100,000 Vicbred Super Series for colts and geldings at Moonee Valley and the $35,000 Bathurst Gold Chalice as well as finishing second to Divisive in the NSW Derby at Harold Park.
Roseworthy Lad (9/4) produced a fighting effort to win the Easy For Me With DBC Stakes by a nose from Evening All.
Blackansweet led until the final 35m before he was overhauled by Roseworthy Lad, who then just held on to win from Evening All, who flew home along the pegs.
“He’s a funny horse and he’s got some lurks and perks,” Hall jun. said. Roseworthy Lad settled in ninth place before Hall dashed him forward after a lap and then had him in third place, three wide, at the bell. But he took almost the entire final lap to get up and win.
“Coming to the bell when he passed the post, he thought that was enough and I had to rate him up again,” Hall said. “And every time we hit a straight he runs out. He’s just an old horse with some tricks.”
Roseworthy Lad, a five-year-old is raced by South Australian harness racing racecaller John Jacques.
Vintage Concerto completed the Hall treble when he dashed to the front after 600m, set a solid pace and held on to beat Shellstar, who led early and then trailed the pacemaker.
The five-year-old who won the WATA Pacer of the Year award last season, has the wonderful record of 29 starts for 13 wins and 12 placings and gives every indication of developing into a Fremantle Cup prospect next season.
This was only his second start after a five-month absence during which time he underwent surgery on his nearside foreleg.
He had a bad wind gall when he came back in from the paddock and he had to have an operation on the annular ligament in the fetlock joint. It was similar operation that was performed on the Hall camp’s former champion The Falcon Strike.
MELLSOP LANDS TROTTING TRIFECTA
Waroona trainer Bob Mellsop performed the outstanding feat of preparing the first three placegetters in the DBC Family Favourites Trotters Handicap at Gloucester Park on Friday night.
He drove the 2/1 favourite to victory over newcomer and 9/1 chance Drop of Gin (driven by his son Adam) and 7/1 chance Sundotcom (Colin Brown).
And for the first time in his past eight starts Mellsop had to use the whip on Sun of Zola, who fought on grandly to hold out the fast-finishing Drop of Gin by a half-length.
Mellsop was concerned when Sun of Zola, the backmarker off 30m, was in ninth place with just over 1200m to travel, with newcomer Melpark Sundown careering along in front with a 12-length lead over his nearest rival, Paparazzo.
Sun of Zola then surged forward to be third at the bell as Melpark Sundown was beginning to tire. Paparazzo got to the front at the 700m mark and Sun of Zola assumed control 530m from home.
Sundotcom loomed as a major danger on the home turn, but he broke into a gallop in the closing stages and dropped back to third behind Drop of Gin, who sustained a solid burst from eighth at the bell.
Sun of Zola has been an outstanding trotter since entering Mellsop’s stables last year. He has had 19 starts for Mellsop for 11 wins, five placings and earnings of $75,005 for owners Merv and Meg Butterworth, of Melbourne, and Murray and Sally Butterworth, of Mandurah.
The Butterworth brothers and their wives have raced only three horses (all trotters) with Mellsop.
For the Butterworths, Mellsop gave Punters Revenge 13 starts for three wins, five placings and $15,400, and Dave Star 27 starts for 12 wins, five placings and $88,040.
Mellsop is the undisputed king of trotters in WA, and his return for the Butterworths is nothing short of remarkable --- 26 wins for stakes of $178,445.
HYPOTHERMIA GIVES ELLIOTT FIRST CITY WIN
Meckering trainer Garry Elliott was rewarded for his perseverance when his five-year-old gelding Hypothermia led all the way and scored a decisive victory over outsider Our Mac Attack and smart mare Precious Maiden in the DBC Conditioned Handicap at Gloucester Park on Friday night.
This gave Elliott his first city training success. And reinsman Mark Reed said that there would be further city wins in store for Hypothermia.
“Elliott has had him for a couple of years,” Reed said. “The horse has always had ability, but he’s been a bit erratic. The penny is starting to drop and he’s starting to reap the rewards.
“Hypothermia was always going to win if he led tonight. He really deserved to win last week. He did all the work and got crunched the whole race and only got beaten a head on the line. Now he’s got a few more wins in store.”
Hypothermia is out of Richfield Lady, who won at her fifth start and at her first appearance at Gloucester Park when Scott Eyre guided her to victory on May 1, 1992.
Richfield Lady had 65 starts for five wins, 13 placings and stakes of $21,486 and her first five foals ---- A Girl Named Sue, Orange Pip, I Am Colisimo, Marcelis Wallace and Hypothermia --- have all been winners.
DE CAMPO LOOKS AT THE GOLDEN NUGGET
Consistent three-year-old Captain Bluff will continue to improve, according to Andrew De Campo after he had driven the gelding to a narrow win over Walkaway Loaded in the DBC Timber Hill Pork Stakes at Gloucester Park on Friday night.
“I hate making plans, but we’ll be aiming for the Golden Nugget next season,” he said.
“He’s a big, skinny, lightly-framed horse and I expect him to develop into a nice four-year-old. In the past ten weeks or so he has learnt what racing’s all about.”
After a succession of minor placings, Captain Bluff has blossomed and has won at four of his past six starts.
De Campo wound Captain Bluff up from barrier eight and sent him past Walkaway Loaded and into the lead 550m after the start.
Captain Bluff (5/1) dashed away to a two-length lead on the home turn and held on to beat the fast-finishing Walkaway Loaded by a head, covering the final 400m in a slick 28.6sec.
Chooks Reward, who started from the back line, sustained a strong three-wide run from ninth at the bell to finish a sound third, just ahead of Star of Dalvey.
RED HOT DATE CONTINUES TO SPARKLE
Brilliant four-year-old Red Hot Date took her stake-earnings to $89,010 when she gave a powerful frontrunning performance to win the DBC Talk About Taste Stakes for mares at Gloucester Park on Friday night.
Trainer Aiden Warwick dashed her forward from barrier eight and she assumed control after 600m before she set a brisk pace and rated 1.57.8 in winning by a nose from Jessica Jasper over 1730m.
Warwick said that the mare was still on target to contest the $100,000 Ladyship Mile at Sydney’s Harold Park on November 23.
“The plans are to aim high, and if you fall short, so be it,” Warwick said. “We’ve pencilled in the Ladyship Mile and I think she’s got the class to go there.
“She is going along in leaps and bounds. I was really happy with her win last week, but tonight’s run was even better.
“If she can keep going the way she’s going, who knows where she will go.”
Red Hot Date has all the necessary attributes to be a class pacer. She possesses sparkling speed, she is versatile and is extremely tough.
Courtesy of Ken Casellas, WATA