Caveman is making his mark
Wilma Giumelli was a fan of the animated television series The Flintstones in the 1960s in which the stars were Fred and Wilma Flintstone who lived in a cave in the town of Bedrock, and she fell in love, at first sight, with a handsome colt at the 2018 APG Perth yearling sale.
She and her husband Jim outlaid $47,500 to purchase the Somebeachsomewhere colt, who is developing into a smart performer and caused an upset as a $16.70 chance by finishing powerfully to win the $51,000 Rock N Roll World at Allwood Stud Four-Year-Old APG Consolation final at Gloucester Park on Friday night.
Mrs Giumelli was happy to name the colt Caveman, who has now won ten races for earnings of $67,032 and has the stable name of Fred.
Caveman was the first yearling that Mrs Giumelli saw at the sale. “This is the one for me,” she informed her husband.
“But I said ‘come on Willie, you have got to look at a few others,’” said Mr Giumelli. However, Mrs Giumelli was adamant, declaring that she really liked the colt’s conformation.
Caveman is the first yearling purchased by the Giumellis, and the second horse (after Angel of Harlem) that they have bought. He was bred by the Howie family and is the first foal out of Our Copper Art, who raced 39 times for three wins, 11 placings and stakes of $20,239. Caveman is also closely related to Copper Beach Girl (84 starts for 14 wins, 24 placings and $156,851) and Copagrin (101 starts for 19 wins, 20 placings and $241,352).
Astute trainer Mike Reed said that he was not surprised by Caveman’s victory in Friday night’s group 2 feature in which he trailed the pacemaker Poisedtopounce before Mark Reed eased the stallion off the pegs with 420m to travel, took him three wide on the home turn and burst to the front 120m from home before winning by 4m from $18 chance The Code Breaker, who finished strongly from sixth and last at the bell. The final quarters were run in 27.7sec. and 28.6sec. and the winner rated 1.55.4 over the 1730m sprint.
Hesty ($31) finished gamely to be third, with the $2.10 favourite Mirragon in fourth place and Poisedtopounce fading to finish fifth. Valentines Brook ($7) was last home after racing in the one-out, one-back position. Valentines Brook met with interference and broke into a gallop when Caveman moved off the pegs in the final lap. The stewards suspended Mark Reed from driving for 13 days for causing interference.
Mirragon made an unsuccessful challenge for the early lead and was hailed as the winner when Chris Lewis sent him past Poisedtopounce and into the lead 300m from home. But he wilted in the home straight.
Mike Reed predicted that Caveman would continue to improve, saying: “He is the sort of horse who will get better. He’s tough and the quicker they run, the better he likes it. Mark said that he was unlucky at his previous start (in a qualifying heat of Friday night’s event) when Caveman was bolting in the late stages but was unable to get a clear run.”
Jim and Wilma Giumelli are looking forward to their brilliant three-year-old Ragazzo Mach coming to Perth to join the Reed stable next month after having his final race in New Zealand, in the rich Jewels event for three-year-olds at Cambridge on June 6.
Ragazzo Mach was most impressive in scoring an effortless victory in the group 2 $38,400 Southern Supremacy Stakes at Invercargill on Sunday of last week. The colt settled in fifth position, dashed to the front after a lap and was not extended in beating Yorokobi by just over five lengths, rating 1.57.8 over the 2700m journey after covering the final 800m in 56.8sec. and the last 400m in 26.9sec. Ragazzo Mach now has had eleven starts for six wins, three placings and stakes of $68,212.
Alta Intrigue’s first win for three years
Alta Intrigue, a seven-year-old New Zealand-bred gelding who has been plagued by injury, made a successful return to racing at Gloucester Park on Friday night when he set the pace and held on grimly to win the 2130m Budget Stockfeeds In Oakford Pace.
Starting favourite at $2.20 and driven assertively by Callan Suvaljko, Alta Intrigue, trained by Gary Hall snr, rated 1.56.4 in beating the $4.20 second fancy Plutonium by a half-head at his first appearance after a 24-week absence.
This was Alta Intrigue’s first win for three years --- since Gary Hall jnr drove him to victory at Gloucester Park on May 22, 2018.
“He has had three bowed tendons,” said Hall snr. “Every time he has come back (after a spell) he has gone sore after three or four runs. However, he is now actually looking better than he ever has.
“I was a little concerned in running tonight with the quick quarters he was running in the middle stages, and I thought he could be found wanting in the final stages. I’m glad he was able to hold on. He is a day-by-bay proposition.
“But I’m hoping for the best. The Falcon Strike stood up and raced for four or five years after bowing a tendon. I bought Alta Intrigue from New Zealand in 2017, but he has managed only a few runs here (13 WA starts for four wins and five placings).”
Alta Intrigue won at only four of his 26 starts in New Zealand but showed good promise. As a two-year-old he finished fourth behind More the Better in the group 1 $100,000 Cardigan Bay Stakes, and as a three-year-old he finished third behind Raukapuka and Ultimate Machete in the $250,000 Northern Derby at Alexandra Park.
Brown’s 3000 milestone
Outstanding trainer-reinsman Colin Brown, a master at preparing juvenile pacers, notched his 3000TH success in the sulky when he drove $1.10 favourite Joelene to victory in the 2130m Fly Like an Eagle Is Flying Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night.
Much water has flowed under the bridge for the 62-year-old Brown since he landed his first winner, the Jim Schrader-trained New South Wales-bred gelding Go to It at York as an 18-year-old in October 1976. A consummate professional, he has maintained a wonderful standard as a horseman of the highest calibre for the past 44 and a half years.
In his early days in harness racing Brown drove his first double, with Donna Way and Know Me at Collie. He can’t remember the first of many trebles, but still has fond memories of his first quartet of winners, at Merredin, and reckons he has driven five winners on a program three times.
Joelene, a three-year-old filly bred and owned by Colleen Lindsay, started from barrier five on Friday night and Brown dashed her to the front after 100 metres. She was not extended in front and still had plenty in reserve as she dashed over the final 400m in 28.6sec. and won by just under a length from $26 chance Star Lilly.
The win ended Joelene’s losing sequence of 12 and took her record to 15 starts for two wins, six placings and $31,169 in prizemoney. Joelene, by American stallion Roll with Joe, is the fourth foal out of Tiffany Twisted, a Righteous Hanover mare who won at three of her eight starts, including a Gloucester Park win with Brown in the sulky in April 2010.
Joelene is a half-sister to Bettor Twisted (161 starts for 12 wins, 39 placings and $101,207), Tiffany Twirl (53 starts for five wins, 19 placings and $54,075) and Typhoon Tiff, who has been trained and driven by Brown for all her 24 starts for 11 wins, five placings and stakes of $205,673. Typhoon Tiff’s victories have included the group 2 Daintys Daughter Classic and the group 1 Westbred Classic as a three-year-old, and the group 3 Schrader Pace last August.
Back in Twenty’s purple patch
Three months ago, Back In Twenty had a worrying losing sequence of 19, but Boyanup trainer Justin Prentice has worked wonders with the Sportswriter gelding who has struck a purple patch with four wins from his past nine starts, including victories at three of his past four appearances.
The five-year-old boosted his earnings past the $100,000 mark when Maddison Brown drove him with supreme confidence to score a runaway victory at a 1.55.6 rate in the 2130m Milne Feeds Made In WA For WA Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night.
Back In Twenty was a warm favourite at $1.80 and Brown gave the gelding’s supporters little cause for concern when she dashed him to the front 80 metres after the start. She then rated him perfectly with smart quarters of 29.8sec., 29.5sec., 28.1sec. and 28.4sec. to score an effortless victory by five and a half lengths from Cavalry Call, who battled on after trailing the leader all the way.
Back In Twenty, who is closely related to former star pacers Mon Poppy Day and Amongst Royalty, has now had 56 starts for eleven wins and 13 placings and looks set for further successes.
Four in a row for Hampton Banner
Up-and-coming four-year-old Hampton Banner was not extended in scoring an easy victory over his seven older and more experienced rivals in the 2536m Pacing WA Supports WA Bred Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night.
His all-the-way victory as the $1.50 favourite over $8 equal second fancy Machlani extended his winning streak to four for trainer Debra Lewis and master reinsman Chris Lewis.
The son of champion sire Bettors Delight is well and truly on the path to developing into a candidate for the rich summer carnival feature events at Gloucester Park. He has raced only 17 times for seven wins and two placings for earnings of $73,339.
Tellmetoattack’s quick return
Tree lopper Dave Simmonds made a wise decision five weeks ago to buy Tellmetoattack for $10,000. The five-year-old WA-bred gelding then entered the Gnangara stables of Luke Edwards and he gave a strong frontrunning display to win the 2130m Larkhill Vets Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night.
Shannon Suvaljko dashed the $1.30 favourite straight to the front from the No. 3 barrier and the Advance Attack gelding coasted to an effortless win, beating C C Chevron ($15) by two lengths, rating 1.57.5.
Tellmetoattack won 11 races for Capel trainer-reinsman Aiden de Campo, including the 2597m Bridgetown Cup on March 21, before the gelding’s eight owners advertised him for sale. Tellmetoattack, raced by Simmonds and his sister Kellie (the first horse she has been involved with), earned $10,277 for his victory on Friday night to take his earnings for his new connections to $12,516.
“Aiden told us that Tellmetoattack was ready for a spell, and now he’s going out for a rest,” said Edwards. “That was always the plan, win, lose or draw tonight.”
Tellmetoattack is the sixth and last foal out of Falcon Seelster mare Tell A Franco, who was a winner of five country races in Victoria.
The Miki Taker set for the Pearl
The Miki Taker impressed with a smart last-to-first victory in the 2130m Follow The Stars To Allwood Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night, and will be set for the $100,000 Pearl Classic on June 11.
“He will head for the heats of the Pearl and hopefully will qualify for the final,” said Capel trainer-reinsman Aiden de Campo after the two-year-old gelding, the third favourite at $3.50, had surged home from last at the bell in the field of six to burst to the front 100m from the post and win by two lengths from $2.90 second fancy Whataretheodds.
The Miki Taker rated 1.58.8, with the final 800m being covered in 57.4sec. His three starts have produced two wins and a fast-finishing close second to Whataretheodds at Bunbury.
“He had a good run and his main danger Whataretheodds had to do a bit of work (in the breeze),” said de Campo. “Hopefully, after the Pearl he will be able to run in the Westbred Classic and the Golden Slipper.”
The Miki Taker is related to the de Campo-trained Bettor Be Oscar, who has earned $154,899 from 14 wins and 33 placings from 70 starts.
Bushwacked, the $2.45 favourite, set the pace in Friday night’s event before wilting to finish a well-beaten fourth.
Extradite snatches victory
Six-year-old New Zealand-bred pacer Extradite, who managed only three placings on country tracks from his first 12 starts, is blossoming under the care of Oldbury trainer Kim Prentice, and his past 13 starts have produced six wins, two seconds and two third placings.
A noted frontrunner, Extradite, a $17.50 chance, started from the inside of the back line and Corey Peterson was content to trail the pacemaker and $2.35 favourite Will I Rocknroll before he eased the Washington VC gelding off the pegs 250m from home. Extradite then surged home and snatched a last-stride victory by a nose over $13 chance As Happy As Larry, with Rakasinc ($21), tenth at the bell, flashing home out five wide to be third, ahead of Will I Rocknroll.
As Happy As Larry raced in ninth position before Robbie Williams sent him forward at the bell to take the lead with 270m to travel.
Extradite is racing with commendable spirit and looks capable of performing well at the top level and could develop into a contender for the rich feature events at the summer carnival this year. He has now had 64 starts for 14 wins, 16 placings and $132,0904 in prizemoney.
Peterson continued his recent run of successes when he trained and drove a double at Kellerberrin on Sunday afternoon, scoring with Osaka ($1.40) and Smooth Rye ($3.40).
Medieval Man is more mature
Four-year-old gelding Medieval Man was highly strung as a young horse and wrecked his chances by running his races before he started in them.
But he has matured considerably this year and at Gloucester Park on Friday night he notched his fifth win from ten starts in his current preparation when he took the lead shortly after the start and went on to win the 2503m standing-start Go First Class With Ramsays Horse Transport Handicap.
Medieval Man, third favourite at $3, simply proved too good for Papinik ($2.90) and Louie The Horse ($2.15). Louie The Horse paced roughly for a couple of strides at the start and then had to work hard in the breeze, while Papinik, racing first-up, was not bustled early and raced in seventh position before finishing with a spirited late burst.
“Medieval Man used to pull hard early in his career, and since we have had him in our system, we have worked him pretty hard,” said trainer Michael Young. “This has taken the edge off him and he has matured along the way. He settles now. He has always had the ability but not the attitude. Now he’s got the attitude to go with the ability.
“The reason why I have raced him in stands recently is because he needs to be on the pace. He’s a leader or a breeze horse who doesn’t come from back in the field. But with the probability of starting off 10m or 20m in future stands I will have to consider returning him to mobile events.”
Medieval Man has been prepared by Young for his past ten starts for five wins and three placings. His past four starts have been in stands for three wins and a half-head second to Lawrence. Champion reinsman Gary Hall jnr has formed a wonderful association with the gelding, having driven him six times for five wins and a third placing at Williams when he was badly hampered by a punctured sulky tyre.
Medieval Man was bred by Graeme Davies, who races him in partnership with his daughters Patrice and Kiara. The gelding has earned $65,076 from ten wins and 12 placings from 51 starts. He is by Renaissance Man and is out of the Bettors Delight mare So Crimsonandclova, who raced 34 times for six wins, seven seconds and one third placing for stakes of $32,253.
Voak sees bright future for Star Of Diamonds
Chris Voak, Western Australia’s leading reinsman last season, has a splendid record in the group 1 Mares Classic, and he predicts that Star Of Diamonds will develop into a leading candidate for the rich feature event for mares next summer.
He was full of praise for Star Of Diamonds after driving her to a superb victory in the $50,000 WASBA Breeders Stakes over 2130m at Gloucester Park on Friday night.
“I have a good record in the Mares Classic, winning with Leda McNally in 2013, Frith in 2015 and Gotta Go Gabbana in 2019,” said Voak. “Now I’m associated with another nice mare in Star Of Diamonds who is capable of running a big race in the Mares Classic next summer. She is still only four and is exciting. Her form in feature events for mares is outstanding.”
In the past ten months Star Of Diamonds, trained in Busselton by Barry Howlett, has won the group 3 Golden Girls Mile at Pinjarra, the group 3 Race For Roses and Friday night’s group 2 Breeders Stakes. She also has finished a half-head second to Blockjorg in the group 3 Daintys Daughter Classic at Pinjarra, third behind Wainui Creek in the group 2 Empress Stakes and second to Savvy Bromac in the group 3 Johnson Pace.
Star Of Diamonds has certainly improved in leaps and bounds after managing only four placings from her first 16 starts. Her next 18 starts have produced eight wins and eight placings.
Star Of Diamonds was second favourite at $3.70 from barrier No. 4 in Friday night’s big race in which Heavens Showgirl, from the No. 2 barrier on the back line, was a firm $2.75 favourite.
Queen Shenandoah, racing first-up, led for the first 400m before Voak sent Star Of Diamonds to the front. Talkerup raced in the breeze, with Heavens Showgirl enjoying a perfect sit in the one-out, one-back position.
Emily Suvaljko switched Heavens Showgirl three wide with a strong burst 600m from home. But Voak had seen Heavens Showgirl enjoying a perfect trip and he gave Star Of Diamonds her head as she sprinted over the third 400m section of the final mile in a sparkling 27.3sec.
“I started to really sprint from the 800m to try to get Heavens Showgirl to make her run early and took the punt that Star Of Diamonds would hang on.”
Voak’s tactics worked out beautifully, and Star Of Diamonds, with a final quarter in 28.8sec. was not seriously challenged and she won by a length and a half from Heavens Showgirl.