19 January 2014 - Trotter My High Expectations is on track for another tilt at the Great Southern Star, connections hoping he can go two better than when he ran third in the inaugural running of the feature race last year. The David Aiken trained-and-driven seven-year-old, who was bred in the US, took out last Saturday night’s Group 2 Aldebaran Park Maori Mile at Bendigo, holding off heavily-backed runner-up Kyvalley Blur despite doing the bulk of work in the run. Aiken was understandably thrilled with the performance, My High Expectations forced to punch the breeze for most of the journey with Kyvalley Blur enjoying the perfect slipstream on his back. “He deserved it,” the Avenel horseman said of his trotter’s 24th career win. “I’m really happy that he’s been able to carry on from last season. “When I had Kyvalley behind me in the run I got a bit worried. “It was probably always going to end up that way, but I was able to duck down the pegs pretty quickly when I got past Junior’s (Chris Lang’s) horse at the home turn (Im Ready Set), so that helped.” My High Expectations had a neck margin on the line, with Kyvalley Blur finishing hard for second, the pair putting a 12.2m gap on the rest of the field headed by third-placed Empire Earl. The winner stopped the clock in 2:00.9, with a mile-rate of 1:57.9.
Aiken said the March 22 Great Southern Star Final remained the main aim, suggesting the week-to-week lead-up races to the big dance at Melton’s Tabcorp Park would suit his charge. “Everything rolls along one week to another with the lead-up runs, but he’s showed that’s no problem,” he said. “We’ll definitely go to Ballarat (after contesting the Group 3, $20,000 George Gath at Shepparton on Saturday night) for the Australasian Trotting Championship heats and we’ll see how he gets through that. And of course there’s the big Glenferrie Farm Challenge up in Sydney as well. “That’s the race he got a late invitation to last year and he ran a really good race (to finish fifth). Aiken’s other Maori Mile runner, Cold Sister, finished fifth after being caught wide from outside the front row at the start and having to ease back to last before copping a check from the galloping Aleppo Midas at the home corner. “Nathan (Jack) was really happy with her run. He said if she didn’t get checked at the turn she probably runs third,” he said. “It was a real shame she drew wide because those short-course races are her go.” - HRV Media
12 January 2014 - My High Expectations earned an invitation to the Great Southern Star after scoring a stirring win in Saturday night's Maori Mile at Lord's Raceway.
My High Expectations ($2 fav) eased in betting late because of the heavy support for Kyvalley Blur ($2.70).The two best performed trotters in the field didn't let punters down.They cleared out in the final 400m to fight out the finish and it was My High Expectations who prevailed by a neck.
"They're both very good trotters,'' David Aiken said of his trotter My High Expectations and the runner-up Kyvalley Blur."My High Expectations is just a good horse. He doesn't let you down. "We think a lot of him... he'll mix it with the best of them." My High Expectations had to do it the hard way from the death seat, while Kyvalley Blur had a good run directly behind the favourite. Kyvalley Blur looked set to run down My High Expectations in the final 100m, but Aiken's star trotter just kept fighting."He seems to be getting better and better,'' Aiken said."I knew Kyvalley Blue would come at him in the home straight, but My High Expectations was stong to the line." The $400,000 Great Southern Star is at Melton in late March. - Adam Bourke (Bendigo Advertiser)
12 January 2014 - Im Corzin Terror produced a brilliant frontrunning performance to win Saturday night's PETstock Bendigo Pacing Cup in dominant style.
Aided by a masterful drive from Chris Alford, Im Corzin Terror ($3) won by the best part of 15m from Wartime Sweetheart ($5.60), with outsider Uncle Wingnut ($44.30) running a bold race in third place. The 50th edition of the Cup at Lord's Raceway proved to be a third victory in the race for Alford (Tailamade Lombo 2000 and Knight Rainbow 1995) and a first win in the $50,000 event for Lara-based trainer Dean Braun. "I have a very high opinion of this horse,'' Braun said after the win. "Everything hasn't gone his way of late, but he showed what he can do tonight.
"He's just a lovely horse."The Cup was expected to be a shootout between Im Corzin Terror and favourite Bitobliss ($2.50 fav.), but it didn't eventuate. Once Im Corzin Terror crossed stablemate Mustang Mach to find the lead, Alford rated the six-year-old to perfection. He cruised through the first quarter of the last mile in 30.1 seconds, before slightly upping the tempo with a 28.3 second quarter. The slow tempo up front forced driver Scott Stewart to put Bitobliss into the race three wide with a lap to go. Alford put the foot down 600m from home and Bitobliss found little. Im Corzin Terror scorched away from his rivals to win comfortably, while Bitobliss struggled into 10th place. "He's had no luck his past four starts, but he made amends tonight,'' Alford said. "Once we got to the front he travelled beautifully. "We got away with a cheap quarter early and from there he was always going to be hard to beat. "Even after the slow tempo early, he's still run 1:57.7 for the mile rate so that's still good time."He's a pretty good horse." Minutes after Im Corzin Terror's win, Caribbean Blaster took out the Group One South Australia Cup in Adelaide. Alford is confident Im Corzin Terror will measure up to the top line pacers in next month's Hunter Cup. "He's improving all the time,'' he said. "With the right run he'll be more than competitive against those really good horses." The great Vin Knight (five wins) is the only driver to have more success than Alford in the Bendigo Pacing Cup."It's been a nice race for me, hopefully there's a few more to come,'' Alford said. - Adam Bourke (Bendigo Advertiser)
5 January 2014 - the 50th Bendigo Pacing Cup is fast approaching and the Bendigo Harness Racing Club has some great racing, activities and prizes planned. The family entertainment event will give racegoers the chance to win a Dubai Holioday for 2 with entry coupons in the Bendigo Advertiser daily. $1000 Cash in the Maori Mile Sweepstakes draw and great prizes in the fashions on the field with categories for Open. Under 40yrs, Under 25yrs, Men and Children (5-12yrs). The race card is the best of the year with the Gr2 Petstock Bendigo Pacing Cup and Aldebaran Park Maori Mile. Cup Page Bendigo Cup Honour Roll
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