Category Archives: News Articles

Ponting’s pup chases a title

THE AUSTRALIAN cricket team might be struggling in England but former Test captain Ricky Ponting could end up with some gold from “the ashes” when his greyhound Rumbling Rick contests the National Sprint Championship at The Meadows on Saturday night.

Apart from his cricket career, Ponting has long been a devoted greyhound follower.

Anytime he was home in Tassie he was a regular at the Hobart meetings where he often dragged down a number of fellow cricket team-mates and visitors.

Like his owner, Rumbling Rick is Tasmanian bred but by a quirk of fate he will be representing Western Australia in the Sprint final.

After a promising start to his career in Tasmania, in May he was sent to leading WA trainer Linda Britton to contest the Mandurah and Western Australia Derbies.

Those plans were scuttled when he contracted a bout of kennel cough but since resuming he has gone from strength to strength.

He caused a bit of an upset when he won the State final at Cannington on August 10, but he has come right into calculations for the National final after an impressive trial at The Meadows last Saturday.

After his State win, Linda Britton sent Rumbling Rick across Australia for her Victorian based father Robert Britton to put a final bit of polish on for the big one.

Trialling by himself between races last Saturday night, Rumbling Rick clocked a very respectable 30.13 sec. over the championship course of 525 metres.

He is sure to be improved by that experience and as he showed in the Perth race he has the early pace to give the race an almighty shake.

Moody decision for Kesampour

LEADING trainer Peter Moody is now considering a third option for the Australian debut for his French import Kesampour.
Moody had entered the five-year-old for last week’s Group 2 Lawrence Stakes over 1400 metres at Caulfield but bypassed that race and indicated that Kesampour would first step out in the Group 1 Makybe Diva Stakes over 1600 metres at Flemington on September 7.
Moody is now contemplating a start in the preceding Saturday’s $120,000 Slickpix Stakes (1700m) on his home track.
“I’m actually tossing whether I kick him off in the 1700 or wait for the Makybe,” Moody said. “I’m not too sure.
“He’s ready to go, I’ll just see how the handicapper treats him in the 1700 Listed race next week. I might kick him off there.”
A winner at his first four starts in France before running to the front in the closing stages of the French Derby and holding on for a solid fourth.
Kesampour hasn’t started since he faded for a distant 13th in last year’s Arc De Triomphe but he is obviously a lot better than that and he is well up in the betting for the Cox Plate and Melbourne Cup.

Great season for Mr Kotter

FIVE years of hard work, a lot of planning and plenty of financial input has paid rich dividends for harness racing breeder/owner Harvey Kaplan.

When the 2012/2013 season winds up on August 31, he will find himself the owner of a remarkable three Group 1 winners who won a total of six Group 1s in four different States for the season.

Bling It On topped off Kaplan’s highly successful season at Tabcorp Park in Melton last week where he took out the 2YO C&G divison of the Breeders’ Crown.

Three months earlier, the colt by American Ideal from Kaplan’s mare  Alldatglittersisgold, scored an easy win the Group 1 Seymour Nursery Pace final at Albion Park in Queensland.

Kaplan also won the Queen Of The Pacific at Melton and the Ladyship Mile at Menangle with Our Sixpence but his biggest success came with Baby Bling who won the Miracle Mile at Menangle to accompany her Grup 1 win in the Mares Classic at Gloucester Park in Perth last November.

A half sister to Bling It On, Baby Bling clocked a stunning 1:50.5 sec. Mile Rate to take out Australia’s biggest harness event.

Kaplan said: “At the time it was just great to have a starter in the Miracle Mile, To win the race was just a dream.”

A keen student of bloodlines, since he started commercial breeding five years ago Kaplan has been building up to success but never imagined it would reach these heights so quickly.

He said: “It is so hard to explain to a non racing person the buzz you get when a horse you own wins a race but to cross the line first in a Gr. 1 is priceless, I might continue to breed for many years into the future and not get another big winner so you have to enjoy it when the opportunity comes along.”

Despite that note of pessimism Kaplan’s run of success doesn’t look like ending soon.

Apart from his multiple Group 1 successes, Kaplan’s team of horses have won dozens of races all around Australia, across the Tasman in New Zealand and even quite a few in America and there are more possible young stars ready to emerge.

Kaplan has a rising two year old half brother to Baby Bling and Bling It On by Grinfromeartoear and he is excited about his future as well.

He said: “Rickie Alchin broke in Bling It On and has broken in the Grinfromeartoear one as well and he reported back that this one does everything like his older brother and is a dead ringer for him but is a little bit more fizzy and has been gelded.”

“Then there is an Art Major colt and at this stage he might be going to the yearling sales but I will be having further discussions with Peter O’Shea who is a partner in Baby Bling and Bling It On because he has expressed some interest in him.”

Foul weather fortune for Monty

MELBOURNE’s famously fickle weather has presented novice jumper Montgomery with the chance to pick up a feature race at only his second start over the obstacles.

Currently he is rated as one of the early favourites to win the Australian Hurdle at Sandown on August 28, a race that should already have been run and won.

Montgomery was still running around in flat races when the Australian Hurdle was scheduled to be contested at Sandown on June 1, but after a true Melbourne downpour that meeting was washed out.

Unable to squeeze it in between the other jump races programmed for the season, the race was put back to the end of the jumps season.

In the meantime Montgomery, who had been struggling on the flat, won a jump’s trial at Traralgon by 15 lengths and a fortnight ago he won his hurdle debut by seven lengths at Sandown.

Robert Smerdon who trains Westsouthwest who ran second in that Sandown race is doubtful his horse can turn the tables on Montgomery.
“We’re hoping Montgomery’s rating has jumped up significantly so that they will be a lot closer in weights,” Smerdon said.
“Our bloke made a jumping error at the top of the hill that cost him but I don’t see that there’s enough there to say we’ll beat him.
“If we jump cleanly it might bring us closer to him.”
Smerdon may have a team of contenders for the race with champion jumper Black And Bent and 2012 Grand National winner Brungle Cry possible contenders.

Punter’s puzzle at the Valley

PUNTERS will only be guessing at Moonee Valley on Saturday as leviathan owner Lloyd Williams launches two more imports into his quest to win another Melbourne Cup. 

The lightly raced but well performed duet of Thought Worthy and Massiyn will begin their Australian careers in the SAJ Catercare Group Handicap over 1500 metres, a questionable distance for both horses.

American bred Thought Worthy did win over 1611 metres at his race debut in a 2YO C&G Maiden at Newbury in October 2011, but none of his six starts since then has been under 2000 metres.

Those six starts include a Listed race win over 2012 at Newmarket and a Group 2 win over 2424 metres at York a year ago last Thursday.

While the distances might be a question there is no doubt about his first up capabilities which have provided that Maiden win and a Group 2 second at his only two attempts.

The Irish bred Massiyn is just as big an enigma.

He finished sixth of 18 at his debut over 1408 metres at Leopardstown in Ireland in November 11, and like Thought Worthy, that has been his only start under 2000 metres.

He was spelled after that debut but returned with two wins over 2012 metres then ended that campaign three successive seconds, the latest a close second in the Group 1 Irish St Leger over 2816 metres.

Both horses are rated around 20-1 shots on Betfair but after the recent performances of some other imports the pair is sure to come under notice.

The Darren Weir trained Irish import Reigning Melbourne Cup favourite Puissance De Lune was an outstanding winner first up over 1400 metres at Caulfield last week and on the same program the German bred galloper Pakal scored by six lengths over 1600 metres.

Of course Thought Worthy and Massiyn are only a fraction the Williams ‘ team with 2012 Melbourne Cup winner Green Moon not far from returning to the track alongside the likes of Sea Moon, Masked Marvel, Seville and others.