22 February 2013 – Huntly-owned mare Prettylilangeleyes will attempt to go one better than her 2012 result in Sunday’s Aldebaran Park Girls On Fire Time Trials at Bendigo’s Lord’s Raceway.
Last year Prettylilangeleyes scorched around the 1609 metre Bendigo metric mile to clock a staggering career best 1:55.7 but was pipped as the overall winner when New Zealander, Dealornodeal set a new Australasian mare’s record of 1:55.5. “Our mare still can lay claim to the title as the fastest Australian-bred trotting mare,” proud owner Darren Manton said. “And her trainer Russell Thomspon said she is on fire at the moment, bucking her brand off, so bring on Sunday.” A victory in the Girls On Fire would elevate Prettylilangeleyes past the $100,000 in earnings. The Classic Adam mare has won 15 races from 147 starts. Prettylilangeleyes, to be driven by Nathan Jack is one of six contenders in the second edition of the Girls On Fire, which was a big success at its inaugural running last year. The series heralds the unofficial start of a huge month of trotting in Victoria which will culminate with the Final of the Group 2 Lyn McPherson Memorial Breed for Speed for Trotting mares and the inaugural Group 1 Pryde’s EasiFeed Great Southern Star, a unique international trot with elimination heats and a final on the same day at Tabcorp Park Melton, Saturday 23 March. There will be no betting on the Girls On Fire on Sunday but Prettylilangeleyes will have a big fan following to run the fastest time. Her opposition is very handy though so it will be a keenly contested event. David Aiken has two starters Sultry Lady and his star trotter Cold Sister, both USA breds. Cold Sister is already a qualifier for the Great Southern Star, winning the 2012 Breed For Speed Gold Series Final. Her fastest mile rate is 1:57.2. Sparks Ignite trotted a career best 1:57.7 mile rate over 1720 metres to win on a lightning fast track at Tabcorp Park Melton last Saturday night. Her trainer and driver Lisa Miles looks like she has the Wydown Stud owned Spark Ignite back to her best form but she will have the task of setting the bench mark on Sunday. Sparks Ignite which has raced 46 times for nine wins and 26 top three prize money cheques will be the first of six mares to race the clock in the $5000 contest which kicks shortly after 2:00pm. The winner of the Girls On Fire will also receive a stallion service to Aldebaran Park’s trotting stud Skyvalley. Other mares racing the clock are the very fast Huntly trained Our Dolly Would (Anthony Crossland) which is racing in great form and David Murphy’s Ballarat trained five-year-old Kilmainham. The other main TAB races scheduled on the card include the Jack Caldow Memorial 3yo Vicbred Pace and the Warehouse Sales Bracelet Heats. The Caldow’s have an undeniable chance of winning the family race with their Bettors Delight filly, Snow Cone. The 3yo trained by Maree Caldow and to be driven by John Caldow finished third at Geelong on 13 February. In her 2yo season Snow Cone won two races from 12 starts. Glenn Douglas’ Rogers Joy is likely to start as the Jack Caldow race favourite. In the Warehouse Sales Bracelet Heats, Broadways Classic and Ponder in Paris look the two top chances. In heat one, Broadway Classic is first up for Andy Gath and looks ready to run a race after trialling well at Melton and Geelong in the past few weeks, and in heat two Ponder In Paris broke gear first up from a break at Yarra Valley and was retired but since then she has won impressively at Kilmore in all-the-way fashion and finished a game second to Classic Bliss. The first race at Lord’s Raceway on Sunday is 1:59pm. - David Aldred
7 February 2013 - Daryl Douglas has been out of the cart since a fall on Boxing Day just over six weeks ago, however he is recovering steadily, now reaching a point where it won’t be long before we see him back in the sulky.
The champion reinsman spoke to RSN this morning about the trials and tribulations on his road to recovery. “It’s going slowly, I’m all but there; I’ve got to go back to the doctor today and hopefully I will get the all clear to drive,” Douglas said. He won’t be going in blind however, admitting he decided to have a hit-out recently to prepare himself and see how far along his injuries have come. “I had a little test yesterday to see how the jarring would go driving horses around home and I’m still not 100%,” Douglas said. “I drove the first one and it was bearable but then I got on the second one and I thought it wouldn’t want to get any worse than that; then a lap into the third one I had to pull up stumps. “Whether it’s a week or a fortnight, it will at least be one week. I have no worries hopping back in and going again.” The fall itself was traumatic to say the least, leaving Douglas with a raft of injuries which have kept him on the sidelines for much of the summer. “At the time the fall was very harmless, I was going to get up and walk away from it but the horse behind me went right to try and miss me, but the more he went right the more I rolled underneath him,” he said. “As soon as it hit me it was lights out, the next thing I know I woke up in hospital. “I ended up with a broken eye socket, my jaw on both sides and shattered between my nose and mouth. They thought they would have to operate but luckily enough everything was still in the right spot so they’ve allowed it to heal by itself. “The last six weeks all I could eat was weet-bix, scrambled eggs, rice and custard; that was about it. I couldn’t chew anything; I can chew now but nothing too hard.” With life slowly returning to normality for Douglas he will be a force to be reckoned with when he returns to the track. To listen to the full audio when Daryl chatted with Adam White and Mick McGuane on RSN’s Breakfast program simply click here. - Blake Reddan