Sulky Shorts with Gus Underwood

By Shepparton News

The Ryan clan was out in force at Tuesday night’s Shepparton meeting, cheering home two-year-old debutant pacer Hesty.

The son of Heston Blue Chip is trained by talented Arcadia horseman Patrick Ryan and raced by Ryan family members, so it was a popular win. Even more so for some owners who took the $13 about Hesty’s winning chance.

Hesty, who was driven a treat by David Moran, put up a big first-up run to salute in a 1:59.5 mile rate for the 2190m trip. Tearaway leader Allshookup opened up the race and virtually turned it into a last horse standing affair.

Much to the delight of his many first-time owners that horse was Hesty, who sat just off the frenetic pace in the run.

One of the part-owners of Hesty, former Kyabram football star Brendan Ryan, explained how members of the Ryan clan, who field a team in a yearly veterans cricket competition at Barooga, chipped in some cash to buy a pacer for professional horseman and family member Patrick to train and Hesty is that horse.

‘‘We were just excited to get him to the races for his first start, so winning was an extra bonus,’’ remarked a naturally happy Ryan, whose only regret was that he had another engagement and wasn’t in the Ryan cheer squad that willed home Hesty.

But there maybe other days to do that on what Hesty showed first-up.


Former Kiwi pacer Raptors Flight maintained his unblemished Australian record with another win at Melton last Saturday night – his fourth successive Aussie success.

The David Aiken-trained and Kima Frenning-driven five-year-old son of Bettors Delight made full use of his poleline draw to lead from pillar to post over the 1720m trip in another highly promising performance.

A 55.9 last half secured the win over Jean Luc, who tracked the winner in the run, and Be Major Threat.

Raptors Flight had won at his previous outing at Melton the previous Saturday night after wins at Cobram and Kilmore in his only Australian starts since joining Aiken from New Zealand where he had five races.


It was the same result in the final as it was in the heat when the Russell Jack-trained and Kerryn Manning-driven Three Summas finished second at Melton on Saturday night.

In his heat the previous week Three Summas had to be content with a strong second-placed finish to the Emma Stewart-trained and Chris Alford-driven Nostra Villa — and that’s how it played out again in the $30 000 final on Saturday night.

Nostra Villa, a $1.30 favourite, was able to secure the front running position at barrier rise and, while Three Summas put in a big run deep out over the final lap, he wasn’t able to catch the hot pop in the home straight.


I’m currently travelling the western coastal route from Kununurra in the north to Albany in the south and I have come to the conclusion Western Australia must the envy of all other harness racing states in Australia when it comes to media coverage.

I was pleasantly surprised to see the top selling daily newspaper in this state, the Western Australian, often gives form guide preference to harness racing over country gallops meetings, a situation that is not experienced in the eastern states.


Classy pacer Wayonbye again showed he is a young pacer with a future with another authoritative win on Tuesday night at Shepparton.

The Steve O’Donoghue-trained and Bec Bartley-driven four-year-old son of Mach Three finished strongly to account for Alba Rock and Oh Oh Noo in a last stride win.

Wayonbye has had just the 16 starts and is building an impressive record with seven wins and two minor placings with prizemoney of more than $41 000.


Undera horseman Justin Torney completed three wins in four starts with pacer Mister Joe Major at Shepparton.

The seven-year-old son of Art Major who was a $1.40 favourite and driven by Greg Sugars upstaged Reputational and the Col Godden-trained and Josh Duggan-driven Clever Cowboy to claim his third win in 10 trips to the races.

In his latest win Mister Joe Major had the early speed from barrier five to take up the front running after the mobile barrier gates had folded and led throughout over the 2190m trip.


Consistent locally-trained mare Im Monica was in the winner’s circle again on Tuesday night at Shepparton courtesy of an electric getaway from barrier five.

The Eddie Tappe-trained and driven four-year-old-daughter of Sportswriter led throughout and was too good for the Glenn Douglas-trained Saucy Dream with the Col Godden-trained and Abbey Turnbull-driven veteran Lights and Music filling the minor placing.

  It was Im Monica’s fifth win for the season from 33 trips to the races and has now chalked up seven wins and more than $44 000 in stakemoney.


Talented trotting mare Fatouche broke a 24-start drought with a dominant display to win the trotters handicap on Tuesday night at Shepparton.

Fatouche didn’t utilise the benefit of a front row handicap but her trainer-driver Donna Castles made a winning mid-race move when the daughter of Yankee Spider took up the front running and dictated terms for the remainder of the race.

Although getting a little tired at the finishing post Fatouche was able tocling on and beat the fast-finishing placegetters, the Mark Lee-trained and Stacey Towers-driven Col Du Galibier and the in-form John Newberry-trained and Matt Newberry-driven evergreen Just Call Me Earl, who was attempting a hat-trick of wins.

  It was Fatouche’s seventh win and took her prizemoney to more than $49 000. 


Gifted pacer Buster Brady resumes for trainer-driver Kima Frenning at tonight’s Melton meeting.

It will be his first hit-out since winning the Horsham Cup in late March.

Tonight the son of Real Desire is contesting the $24 000 Minuteman Free-For-All from barrier seven, so will need some luck in running in a strong field which includes Rackemup Tigerpie, Berisari and the in-form Born To Rocknroll.


Gazetted originally as a twilight program Sunday’s meeting at Shepparton has been moved to an afternoon timeslot. The opening race on the 10-event program is at 12.30pm and the final last at 5.46pm.

Racing also returns to Cobram with a day meeting on Thursday.

Meetings coming up:

Today: Mildura (d), Melton (n).

Saturday: Bendigo (n).

Sunday: Shepparton (d).

Monday: Yarra Valley (d).

Tuesday: Terang (n).

Wednesday: Maryborough (d), Swan Hill (n).

Thursday: Cobram (d), Ballarat (n).

More Sulky Shorts with Gus Underwood

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She's Jax of Jack's heart