The buzz is turning into a boom with Shepparton pacer San Carlo.
And no wonder.
The Steve O’Donoghue-trained pacer made it 16 wins in 18 starts with another commanding winning performance in a M0 class heat at Melton last Friday night.
In what proved a huge night the O’Donoghue-trained Willem completed a winning stable double at the meeting with reinswoman Bec Bartley reining home both winners.
The double was a first at headquarters for O’Donoghue and Bartley.
O’Donoghue said this week he felt it was time for San Carlo to step up to test his exciting pacer at the highest level after he again destroyed his rivals to claim his first metropolitan class win.
At the prohibited price of $1.04 for the win San Carlo was never going to lose for those rich enough to buy money.
The dream with San Carlo is to get the rising seven-year-old to the Perth Inter Dominion in December.
But not before some serious assignments in between starting with the $30000 final tomorrow night at Melton from last week’s heats.
After that it will be San Carlo’s biggest test to date when he tackles a Free-For-All at Melton over the Breeders Crown carnival on August 25.
‘‘We’ll probably meet the likes of Hectorjayjay in that Melton race, but the dream at the moment is try and get to the Inter Dominion with him. We’ll just have to see how things go,’’ O’Donoghue said.
O’Donoghue admitted he disliked San Carlo as a young horse.
‘‘He did things wrong and he didn’t do much in his trials, but when he brought him back as a four-year-old he started improving.’’
Willem is described by O’Donoghue as a ‘‘nice little horse’’.
‘‘We are hopeful he will work through his classes,’’ he said.
Willem won at a C1 heat at Melton and is contesting a $10000 final there tomorrow night and is drawn to run a big race from barrier three.
Wilson strikes thrice
Byrneside horseman Damian Wilson has had a memorable week starting with the all-trotters Redwood carnival last weekend, with a driving double on the opening day of the two-day carnival.
Trotting Rockstar, a young trotter he also trains, notched his maiden win in the opening event of the carnival, a two-year-old trot.
A son of Pegasus Spur, Trotting Rockstar utilised his barrier one draw over the 1690m trip and ran his rivals ragged to beat the David Aiken-trained and Charlie Ewert-owned Spidereve in smart mile rate time of 2:03.9.
Wilson then completed a driving double at the meeting when he partnered the Kyabram-trained Getthenet to a decisive victory in a T1 or better class trot.
Wilson brought the Graham Lyon-trained four-year-old mare with a well timed run from a 10m handicap to win running away from her rivals in the home straight.
Getthenet was coming off an impressive win at her previous start when she won at Shepparton. She now boasts the consistent record of five wins and eight placings from 20 starts.
Wilson also partnered the Bunbartha-trained Rebel Starlight to a drought-breaking win at Kilmore on Wednesday night.
Rebel Starlight led all the way to break a run of 27starts away from the winner’s circle with her last win in April of last year at Melton.
Fatouche at her best
It was a good opening day of the Redwood carnival for Goulburn Valley trainers and drivers with Ardmona horsewoman Donna Castles producing Fatouche for a win in T0-T1 race for trotting mares.
Driven by Doc Wilson Fatouche made amends for an inglorious display at her previous start at Shepparton and never missed a beat in a runaway win after a perfect drive.
Fatouche’s win also completed a double for the Niota stud-based stallion Yankee Spider on the first day of the meeting with the promising Anton Golino-trained Kinvara Sue another impressive winner on the day by that stallion.
Locals capture two
Shepparton horsewoman Laura Crossland and reinsman Nathan Jack were the only winners on the second day of the carnival — Redwood Day — last Sunday.
Jack partnered the Corey Van Ryn-trained Chissy for a win in a two-year-old trot, while Crossland won the last event with the consistent Sky Majesty.
In six previous starts since winning at Ballarat in May, Sky Majesty had chalked up five top-five finishes with three seconds, a third and a fourth, so it was a well-deserved victory.
An 18-1 shot on the tote Sky Majesty had a ding-dong duel with the talented favourite Ball Park down the home straight, prevailing by a short half-head.
Sky Majesty has been a consistent money earner with her 36 starts producing seven wins, 10 seconds and six thirds for more than $77000 in prizemoney earnings.
While Crossland and Jack were the only northern Victoria trainers or drivers to savour a win on the second day of the Redwood carnival there were some locals placed in two of the feature events on the day.
Elmore horseman Keith Cotchin produced Regal Assassin to finish runner-up — albeit a distant second — in The Redwood Classic behind the hot favourite Wobbly, while the Mick Blackmore-trained Claudys Princess and the David Abrahams-prepared Fabrication chased home the millionaire trotter Keystone Del in track and race record time in the Free-For-All.
Turning back time
Echuca Harness Racing Club turned back the clock for its afternoon meeting at the Frank Ryan Raceway yesterday.
The meeting was postponed from the previous Thursday night which was washed out.
Unfortunately that was a 10-race card, but with new nominations and acceptors called for yesterday’s meeting only enough were received to stage a six-race program.
Club stalwart Norm Visca said he couldn’t recall when his club last staged a day meeting although in its early years meetings were all in the daytime until the club installed lights.
‘‘I know Gunbower has staged some day meetings here in recent years, but I think it would be 15 years or more since our club staged one. But I personally think day meetings in the winter are the way to go really,’’ Visca said.
Memory is good
Leeton-trained Hows The Memory found the winning post for the second time in two starts when she upset the favourite in a heat of the Breeders Crown two-year-old series at Shepparton this week.
Trained and driven by Bill Trembath Hows The Memory sat on the back of the hot favourite Nostra Beach and ran that filly down in a 27.6 last quarter split.
A Mach Three filly, Hows The Memory was coming off a win in a race dedicated to the late Kevin Newman at Bathurst on July 30 when she again produced a blistering final section of 26.7 to account for Babyitscold, who also contested a heat at Shepparton won by Nostra Villa.
The other heat winner was the New Zealand visitor Our Bettor Joy who ran down the pacemaker and odds-on favourite Molly Kelly in the concluding stages.
Proving he can fly
A pacer called He Can Fly lived up to his name with an impressive win in a C0 Only class race at Shepparton.
A four-year-old son of Bettors Delight, He Can Fly had no problems in sweeping to the front from barrier seven and from then on was never going to lose.
The Isabel Walsh-trained Pow Wow Bromac was supported into favouritism and finished well, but never looked like running down He Can Fly who was driven by Josh Aiken for his trainer father David.
He Can Fly started his racing career in New Zealand, but has been racing in NSW and Tuesday night was only the second time he had stepped out on a Victorian track.
He ran fourth at his first start at Shepparton on July 31.
In one of his four wins in NSW he went 1:52.2 in a Menangle victory.
He has now won six of 26 starts.
Those who punted Pow Wow Bromac into favouritism didn’t have to wait long to get their money back.
The Walsh-trained Tabatha Bromac saluted in the next race for C0 Only class pacers.
With Mark Pitt in the sulky Tabatha Bromac streeted her rivals downing the Wayne Potter-trained Chans Girl with the odds-on favourite Our Lady Madonna managing only third place.
A three-year-old filly by Rocknroll Hanover, Tabatha Bromac had been working up to another win — the third of her 18 career starts — with three top four finishes since winning at Echuca on June 27.
Carter crushes rivals
Easiest win on the Shepparton program on Tuesday night was recorded by the Amanda Turnbull-Nathan Jack team with Carter Bromac in a C3-C4 class race.
The four-year-old son of Courage Under Fire ran his rivals ragged, rating 1:55.6 over the 1690m and beating home his nearest rival, Another Colony, by nearly 24m.
Carter Bromac was just one of only three winners, along with Tabatha Bromac (1:59.7) and the Andy Gath-trained Out Of Character (1:59.8) on the program who produced sub two-minute mile rate wins.
A winner of five of his past nine starts, including a purple patch of four successive wins in the May-June period, Carter Bromac rattled off blistering final sectionals of 28.3 and 27.5 for a 55.8 last half in destroying his rivals in his latest win.
The Turnbull-Jack team also struck at Monday’s Charlton meeting with Auckland Reactor two-year-old You Ninety Two who notched his maiden win at his seventh try.
A Special night out
Ryan Duffy was a pretty popular young man with his trainer father Steve after the last race on Tuesday night at Shepparton.
Reason for the joy was Ryan driving the Steve-trained A Special Dream to victory in a C0-C4 class race.
It was the first time Ryan had driven a winner for his father and it was his fourth win since taking on driving four months ago.
‘‘It was nice to get the win for Dad and also Gran (Lorraine Duffy) and Bryan Johnstone and Sharon (Britten) who own him,’’ Ryan said.
A warrior of 114 starts for six wins and 19 placings for more than $42620 in prizemoney earnings, A Special Dream has paid his way.
District-trained pacers won the last two races at Shepparton with Tallygaroopna trainer-driver Shane Gilligan taking the honours in the three-year-old race with Greg Maverick.
Placed only once in 11 previous starts Grey Maverick stormed home from last to win impressively.
Cobram Harness Racing Club stages an eight-race meeting on Sunday.
Today: Mildura (d), Bendigo (n).
Tomorrow: Melton (n).
Sunday: Cobram (d).
Monday: Yarra Valley (d).
Tuesday: Terang (n),
Wednesday: Kilmore (n).
Thursday: Maryborough (d), Swan Hill (n).