Kyabram trainer Mark Watson had a sweet-bitter trip to Swan Hill on Tuesday night.
Watson kept his winning streak going with the hot favourite Recork, who was driven to victory by Nathan Jack, but in the following race another of his runners Scarborough Flow snapped a pastern early in his race and had to be put down.
A three-year-old son of Sportswriter, Scarborough Flow had won at his previous start at Bendigo on October 31 and was having just his fifth trip to the races.
Watson said he was gutted by the loss and thought the pacer had a bright future.
‘‘It was hard to take, but you have to move on as quickly as you can,’’ he said.
Recork is a five-year-old mare also by Sportswriter who is building a consistent record with her 14 starts producing four wins and five placings.
Recork and Scarborough Flow are owned by former Wyunaites Mal and Neil Lennie.
Laura Crossland can do no wrong at present.
The Shepparton horsewoman’s successful start to the season has continued during the past week with a winner at Melton last Saturday night and another at the Yarra Valley Melbourne Cup day meeting.
At Melton she produced pacer Hashtag to win a $10000 C1-C4 class race with a powerful finishing burst, while at Yarra Valley new stable addition Scotty Titian won first-up for Crossland.
Hashtag was the rank outsider in the five-horse field, starting at tote odds of nearly 18/1.
A four-year-old gelding by Shadyshark Hanover, Hashtag has had eight wins — three this season from seven starts — with six placings for stakemoney earnings of more than $47000.
In his latest win he posted a mile rate PB of 1:56.5.
Yarra Valley winner Scotty Titian formerly campaigned in NSW and had not been to the races since late May, so it was a good training feat by Crossland.
A Four Starzzz Shark four-year-old gelding Scotty Titian was having just his seventh start which have produced three wins.
He is bred to be good as his dam, the Speed King mare Bonnie Titian, who is dead, was a winner of 18 races.
Crossland’s latest victories have taken her tally of winners to 15 for the season which has her sitting in seventh spot on the Victorian trainers’ premiership.
Trial form delivers
Kyabram trial-goers who followed up on six-year-old pacing mare Rosas First were on good terms with themselves after a C0 Only race last week at Shepparton.
The Simon Turnbull-trained and driven mare had put the writing on the wall for a coming win with a second placing in a trial at Kyabram early last month.
At that trial she pushed C4 and R7 class pacer Master Mach Manus to a couple of metres in track record equalling time, so she immediately went into the trial-goers’ black book.
She then raced at Shepparton on October 26 when she ran fifth to Dangerous Woman, beaten only 10m when she was an 80/1 chance on the tote.
Last week the odds weren’t as generous, but punters who backed up were more than happy with the tote odds of 15/1 and the 20/1 offered early on the fixed odds tote.
Rosas First is by Ponder out of the Live Or Die mare First Rosa and is the only live foal from the mare to race.
Kima has the Power
Swedish reinswoman Kima Frenning has upset a few betting apple carts in her relatively short time in the sulky and she did it again last week at Shepparton.
Frenning partnered the Lance Justice-trained Seize Power, a 20/1 shot on the tote, to an upset win over the hot favourite, the Isabel Walsh-trained Iconic Valor, who was a $1.40 chance.
Seize Power, a five-year-old gelding by Real Desire, had won at his previous start at Cranbourne when driven by Justice, so it was pretty generous odds although an inside second row draw obviously had punters shying away.
At the start of this week Frenning has driven nine winners and has 20 top four finishes from 51 drives and is sitting in sixth place on the state concession drivers’ premiership.
Isabel rings with Pow
While Seize Power spoilt the Isabel Walsh party last week at Shepparton it didn’t take long for her to get back into celebratory mode.
In the next race for C2 Only class pacers the Walsh-trained Pow Wow Bromac won a stirring three-way battle to the line to beat Miss Atomic Betty and the well-backed David Aiken-trained and Gavin Lang-driven favourite Laredo Torpedo. The margins were a head by a head in a thriller.
Pow Wow Bromac, returning from a freshen up, was driven to an all-the-way win by Shepparton horseman Mark Pitt.
The 1:57.8 mile rate returned by the five-year-old Rocknroll Hanover gelding was the second quickest for the meeting.
Pow Wow Bromac has now won four races with four seconds and a third from 14 starts and looks to have a future.
One of his wins was in New Zealand where he had six starts before joining the Walsh stable at Shepparton.
A nice Encounter
For a pacer who only started racing in June Village Encounter is doing quite well for herself.
Particularly on the Shepparton track.
The four-year-old Village Jolt mare made it three wins from nine starts for Bunbartha horseman John Newberry when she saluted in a R1-R2 class race at Shepparton last week.
Village Encounter debuted with a third placing at Bendigo and at her next outing at Shepparton in July notched her first win.
Her other win also came at Shepparton on August 31.
The wins have been made sweeter by the fact that Village Encounter was bred and is owned and raced by John and his reinsman son Matthew.
Zuve zooms to 10
Hardy Echuca-trained trotter Robbie Zuve celebrated his 90th start in style with his 10th win last Sunday at Bendigo.
The nine-year-old son of Zooma made light work of a 20m handicap to work to the front inside a lap and from then on staved off all challengers.
Steve Lindberg trains and drives the diminutive trotter who returned to the winning list after a run of 11 outs.
His last win was recorded at his home track in December when he won off a 50m handicap in beating another consistent old timer, Dabbsey.
Robbie Zuve has been a good money earner for his owners as apart from his 10 wins there have also been eight seconds and two thirds which have all netted close to $70000 in prizemoney earnings.
Not so blurry for Jim
Kyvalley breeder Jim Connelly was both happy and a bit mystified with his star trotter Kyvalley Blur’s win in the $20000 Group Three Derby Royale Trotters Free For All at Melton last Saturday night.
‘‘Not one tipster in the Herald Sun tipped him in their top four selections,’’ a bemused Connelly, who acquired Kyvalley Blur at a yearling sale in America, said.
A reinsman called Chris Alford, who drove the horse for the first time, probably didn’t do him much harm either going on the amount of winners Australia’s leading reinsman is driving at present.
Now a 10-year-old Kyvalley Blur won’t be crossing the Tasman this year where he enjoyed a successful campaign last year. Instead he will be aimed at some of the major races here.
Connelly said another of the Kyvalley team, Kyvalley Barney, was soon heading to Queensland to contest a lucrative series for trotters.
Jimmy flexes muscle
Veteran Elmore trainer Jimmy Beecroft hasn’t lost his touch.
Beecroft produced the smart trotting mare Jay Bee Flex for a well deserved win in a T0-T1 trot at Bendigo last Sunday.
Jay Bee Flex was driven a treat by Ellen Tormey who was able to slot the Federal Flex mare into the one-one sit from an outside front row barrier draw.
In a slogging finish Jay Bee Flex was able to wear down the pacesetters Iona Spider and Aussie Beach Blond who went stride for stride in the lead for most of the 2150m trip.
It was Jay Bee Flex’s fourth win from 31 starts and her 2:00 mile rate was a PB.
It was a case of play it again at last week at Shepparton for Rochester trainer Mark Thompson.
Six days after Thompson produced Ideal Eagle and Weeks End for wins on the Shepparton track he repeated the feat.
Ideal Eagle and Weeks End backed up from that meeting two weeks ago to again outclass their rivals last week.
And as what happened the first time both pacers were again driven by Bendigo horseman Todd Matthews.
Ideal Eagle and Weeks End were the punters’ elect and paid $2.20 for their wins.
Ideal Eagle skipped over the 1690m in a 1:56.6 mile rate, easily the quickest on the nine-event card.
Ideal Eagle is a five-year-old American Ideal mare who has now saluted five times for Thompson since coming from New Zealand where she won once in 11 starts.
Weeks End was having her eighth trip to the races and now has three wins, two seconds and two thirds.
She is a three-year-old by Jet Laag out of the Totally Ruthless mare Orta Be Ruthless, a winner of 19 races and who has left two other winners.
It’s probably a safe bet Thompson is scanning programs to find suitable races for the two pacers; no doubt a Shepparton meeting preferred.
While it was a big night again last week at Shepparton it was even more satisfying for Matthews.
Not only did he rein the Thompson-trained pair to victories, but he also trained pacer Marine Parade to a win.
Making his debut Marine Parade, a four-year-old by top sire Art Major was driven to victory by Haydon Gray and punters were well aware of his ability as he was a $1.50 favourite.
Marine Parade is a half brother to Philtra Phella a Life Sign gelding and a winner of 20 races.
Both are from the Safely Kept mare Philtra Girl.
A sweet Dream
District trainers enjoyed their share of success at a highly successful Non-TAB meeting at Cobram on Melbourne Cup.
Despite the windy but fine conditions the meeting attracted a big crowd and produced some good racing.
Mr Consistency — pacer A Special Dream — continued his good form for Shepparton trainer Steve Duffy and reinsman son Ryan at the meeting, creating some milestones in the process in taking the honours in a supplementary race.
A Special Dream’s winning mile rate of 1:56.9 for the 2170m trip was a PB in his 126th trip to the races and with the win — the ninth of his career — took his prizemoney earnings to more than $50000.
The win was also a good tonic for part owner Lorraine Duffy who couldn’t make the meeting due to a back ailment.
Letsrockletsroll was another popular local winner for trainer Russ Thomson and reinsman Craig Turnbull.
The gelded four-year-old son of Rock N Roll Heaven, who is raced by Marilyn Dixon who bred the horse with her late husband Col, was having his eighth start and was crying out to break his maiden status.
The Doc Wilson-Donna Castles team also savoured success with Eliska who broke a run of 25 outs to post her ninth win in which stablemate Tennaya finished third.
Shepparton trainer Steve O’Donoghue and reinswoman Bec Bartley combined for a well-deserved all-the-way win with She Keeps Coming, while in-form Rochester trainer Mark Thompson was also in the winner’s circle, this time with Ruthless Armbro who was driven by Mark Pitt.
Today: Bendigo (n).
Tomorrow: Melton (n),
Sunday: St Arnaud Cup (d).
Monday: Cobram (d).
Tuesday: Ararat (n).
Wednesday: Kilmore (d), Mildura (n).
Thursday: Ballarat (n).