Melton Review – 18 May

May 28, 2024 BY


GLEN Craven appeared set for a big night on paper, and duly headed home with a personal best winning quartet at Melton on Saturday night.

The 34-year-old Craven took the reins behind five favorites and saluted on four commencing with short course specialist Jillibyjacksparrow ($3.20 fav) who led all the way in the Hyland Racing Colours Pace.

Talented mare Aldebaran Vera ($3.40 fav) scored a tough first up win in the Prydes Easifeed Trot after sitting parked outside Aldebaran Miley.

Later in the night Craven played his role in the run of the night when Imperial Monarch scored a last stride win in the Aldebaran Park Trot.

Sent out a $2.20 favorite, Imperial Monarch galloped out settling more than 50 metres off the lead and was still second last on turning for home.

When pulled to the outside, the son of Trixton stormed home and got the verdict by half a head as five horses crossed the line locked together with only a head separating the quintet.

Lightly raced four-year-old mare Isthisjustfantasy capped off Craven’s memorable evening when she led all the way in the COGS Pace.

“It was a good night on paper so it’s great when a night like this comes off,” Craven said.

“I’ve had some good Group 1 nights but tonight’s one of my best nights as I haven’t driven four down here,” he said.

Champion racemare Ladies In Red restored rightful order of proceedings after taking out the Richmond Lass Mares Free For All.

The Emma Stewart trained mare suffered a rare defeat at her previous start when narrowly beaten by Aardies Express in the Group 1 Queen Elizabeth 11 Mile at Menangle.

Sent out a $1.22 favorite, Ladies In Red assumed the front running from her main danger Rakero Rebel inside the final lap of the race and was untroubled to score by three metres from that mare with First Dance a metre away third in a mile rate of 1:52.3.

Driver David Moran said Ladies In Red is inclined to conserve her energy on the racetrack.

“She’s pretty casual in front and she doesn’t really run away from them at electric speed and just does what she needs to do,” Moran said.

“And she didn’t have a complete gut buster first time back from Sydney which is good, she did it pretty easily and could have gone a lot quicker,” he said.

Ladies In Red is likely to head north for next month’s The Queensland Constellations where she will contest 150,000 Garrards The Golden Girl.

She will be at long odds on to maintain her unbeaten status at Albion Park having beaten the boys in the Group 1 The Rising Sun two years ago at her only start in the track.

Emerging young reinswoman Ewa Justice heeded some fatherly advice as she headed out onto the track behind Helluva in the Lennytheshark Free For All.

“You just drive this horse right and rate him well and you will win,” were the words of wisdom John Justice imparted to his daughter prior to the race.

And Ewa carried out the instructions to the letter.

Justice urged the six-year-old out of the pole and was able to retain the front running as she took the field through a 60.4 first half of the last mile followed up by a 28.4 back straight quarter.

The race then developed into a frantic dash to the line with Helluva ($4.40) reeling off a 26.9 last 400 metres to hold off noted sit sprinter Triple Eight by a head with Tango Tara a gallant third after sitting parked.

Justice acknowledged she was able to make full use of a favorable barrier with Triple Eight awaiting use of the sprint lane.

“I just wanted to wait as long as possible knowing Triple Eight was on my back and I am super happy that he was able to sprint hard enough and it shows what a good barrier draw can do for a horse like him,” she said.

“The whole way Greg (Sugars) was hitting me on the helmet trying to get me to go faster.”

The win was Helluva’s fifth metropolitan success and took his stake earnings to more than $170,000.

Enigmatic trotter One Over All was on his best behavior when he rounded up his rivals in the I Didn’t Do It Free For All.

Greg Sugars made a three wide move on his own behind One Over All and the son of Angus Hall loomed up three wide around the home turn before reeling in the $2.50 favorite Ollivici down the straight with Hephaestus Phoenix in third place.

The winner finished off the race with an impressive 27.9 last 400 metres.

Sugars was relieved One Over All produced his best racing manners on the night.

“He’s a real handful of a horse as we know and can mix his form on certain days when he is not in the right mood, but thankfully he returned back to his good self tonight and got the job done,” Sugars said.

“He’s a very strong animal as we know through a lot of the country cups that he has been able to win and he’s also very fast when he is sat up for one run, so it is no surprise to see him run time like he has tonight,” he said.

Sugars said One Over All may have raced himself out of future standing start country cups.

“We’ve tried to target the country cups and stand start races but he’s getting a lot stronger nowadays and the handicaps are getting pretty hard for him,” he said.

“Hopefully we can focus on these types of races for him if we can get him to behave from the mobile.”