KAHDON SMASHES THEM
Several boom Kiwi trotters have crossed the Tasman in recent years and not lived up to the hype, but Kahdon spared herself a spot on that list with a stunning win in the Group 1 Dallas Building Victoria Trotters Oaks at Melton on Friday, June 11.
The impressive filly proved a class above a team of rivals that included Group 1-winning locals Good Thanks and Elusive Charm in the $A50,000 event at Melton’s Tabcorp Park.
She made it 6 wins and 4 minor placings from 13 starts. The Sundon filly had won the time-honoured Northern Trotting Derby and finished second in last weekend’s Harness Jewels final at her previous two starts.
Winning reinsman Mark Jones, who inherited the training responsibility of Kahdon from Paul Nairn, was thrilled with the effort from the filly, who had her first start on Boxing Day last year.
“She’s raced all season but only really come on the last couple months, which makes it a good time to come over here because most of the other ones (in New Zealand) have had a long season and are on the way down,” Jones said.
“It was a big ask for her because she had a hard run last Saturday then travelled over, but she settled in great and ate and drunk all week, which made my job easy.”
Kahdon’s Tabcorp Australasian Breeders Crown rivals will be wondering whether they can beat her in August after she sat three-wide without cover for the last half of the 2240m event but still proved too good.
After being patiently driven early, she served it up to Good Thanks from the 800m and when the $3.40 second favourite was a spent force at the 250m the $1.60 hot pot then had to repel a challenge from Jingling Silver.
Favourite backers only had a moment’s cause for concern rounding the bend and Kahdon had seen off Jingling Silver’s challenge at the 150m.
She pulled away in the straight for a seven-metre win over Jingling Silver ($24) with Shes Commando ($18) a further five metres away in third spot in a 2:03.5 mile rate.
Jones was thrilled to see her justify the hype and confirm her status a leading Breeders Crown contender.
“She had to be the best filly to win that race and she was,” Jones said. “She’s got a lot of stamina and always showed good staying quality back home, so the longer distance was always going to suit.”
Kahdon will remain in Victoria for the Victoria Trotters Derby, which culminates with a $75,000 Group 1 final at Maryborough on July 18, ahead of the Tabcorp Australasian Breeders Crown.
Bold Cruiser’s Comeback A Success
It wasn’t quite a return to rival Popular Alm’s comeback from a broken leg, but Bold Cruiser won the Del-Re National Food Group Italian Cup in a comeback of sorts at Melton’s Tabcorp Park last Friday.
Glenn Douglas’s underrated gelding added his name to an honour roll that includes the incomparable “Poppy”, My Lightning Blue, Tailamade Lombo and Sokyola when he prevailed at his first run for exactly six months.
The hardy 8YO hadn’t been seen at the races since running sixth behind Bettor’s Strike in the SEW-Eurodrive Victoria Cup in December.
He’d been fitted out for his return with three trials, which enabled him to outlast a quality field in the 2240m event.
The gelding was driven aggressively early by Daryl Douglas, but once he found the front Douglas backed off to a 63.7-second first half of the last mile.
After a 29s third quarter the $3.60 favourite zipped home in 27.1s for a 2:00.2 win. At the line he had a head to spare over the fast-finishing Coastal ($6.80) with stablemate Megasam ($20) 3.5m away in third spot.
Bold Cruiser’s 24th win of his 138-start career, which elevated his earnings beyond $523,000, completed a memorable night for comeback performers.
(Footnote: Mark Jones drove Bold Cruiser several times for Invercargill trainer Wayne Adams in NZ, winning once with him)
Chateau Secures Eventful Tatlow
Days Of Our Lives scriptwriters would have been proud of themselves had they come up with what transpired in Friday night’s Swift Signs Tatlow Stakes 2YO Trotters Final at Melton’s Tabcorp Park.
The $A30,000 Group 2 had just about every imaginable aspect of a harness race. The only thing missing was a protest.
The action started when Our Flash Girl broke then fell passing the winning post the first time in the 2240m event, bringing down Baggy Boots and interfering with several others.
But that was just the start of the trouble. The biggest problem came when Our Flash Girl was tangled in her gear, unable to find her feet before the field entered the straight the second time, leaving drivers with no option to pull up their horses.
Stewards then decided to re-run the race 30 minutes later, after the vet had his chance to run the rule over all starters. Our Flash Girl, who eventually got to her feet, was the only late scratching.
Favourite punters were soon wishing regally-bred Kaptin Bly had also been a late withdrawal as the son of former champion three-year-old Zesta was not on his best behaviour.
The $1.50 favourite, who was just about to take control of the initial running when it was abandoned, galloped twice during take two.
The gelding galloped shortly after the start, losing about 50 metres, and while he quickly made up the ground and led with 600m to go, he broke again when challenged by Chateau De Ville 450m from home.
That left Chateau De Ville 12m clear and while Waikare Aristocrat loomed at the 200m, his run ended not long after, enabling the Alex Douglas-trained-and-driven son of Conch De Ville to coast home by 6.3m in a 2:07.2 mile rate.
Waikare Aristocrat ($35) held on for second, 5.6m in advance of another longshot, Djasker ($24), who did his best work late.
Kaptin Bly got going again after his second mistake but finished sixth, almost 50m from the winner.
The win capped a tumultuous week for Sebastopol-based Douglas, who seven days earlier copped an eight-week suspension for his drive aboard Machieve in the Vicbred Super Series 3YO Final.
Douglas has appealed the suspension, which will be heard next Friday.
Courtesy of Brad Bishop, HRV Media Manager