Australasian Grand Circuit
Stories:   Pacers 2006/2007 Season
Leg 6:  M H Treuer Memorial   2006/2007 Results   Points
             2/12/2006  Bankstown, NSW  2540m  Mobile Start  $110,000
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Blacks A Fake’s all the way victory in Saturday night’s Group 1 Treuer Memorial was so decisive that the first pre-post market on the forthcoming Inter Dominion in Adelaide had this Queenslander crunched to $3 favourite despite warnings from trainer-driver Natalie Rasmussen the horse will not start if it wins the Victoria Cup at Moonee Valley on December 16. 

A mobile barrier specialist, Blacks A Fake previously has been a safe beginner without being a brilliant starter. At Bankstown, with the scratching of Slipnslide, the son of Fake Left USA began fast from barrier 5 to lead clearly, putting the issue beyond doubt early when not tested for the remainder of the race. 

Make Me Smile (Gavin Fitzpatrick) battled on gamely for second with a slightly disappointing Pay Me Christian NZ (David Butt) edging out Lucky Elsie for third after sitting in the breeze for the 2540 metres. 

Critics of this second Grand Circuit race in New South Wales in eight days being decided around the noted front-running track at Bankstown, were quick after the race to label Saturday night’s race as ‘boring’, with the leader able to get away mid-race with two slow quarters which virtually ruled out anything making up ground from back in the field when the classy winner sprinted home in 28.2 seconds for the last two quarters. 

Following several weeks with a virus set-back that delayed its return to racing, Blacks A Fake followed a strong finish to be second in the recent Miracle Mile with an even improved effort at Bankstown, suggesting it might well now be an even better pacer than it was in Hobart last March when winning the 2006 Inter Dominion.  

This spells bad news for its rivals in the big races ahead – the $325,000 Victoria Cup on December 16, two weeks before the opening heats of the Inter Dominion on December 29 at Moonee Valley before the series breaks with tradition by then moving to Adelaide for two further heats and the Grand Final.  


Blacks A Fake

Though the owners of Blacks A Fake have told Adelaide officials they expect to be there for the Inter Dominion, Rasmussen after Saturday night’s win reaffirmed her thoughts the horse would not be defending its Inter Dominion title if it wins the Victoria Cup. “And I am very confident he will win that Cup in Melbourne at his next start,” she said. 

Pay Me Christian NZ, which started favourite, marginally shorter than Blacks A Fake, once again showed it is nothing flash out of the barrier when starting from gate 2. Even the brilliant speedster Cams Fool USA looked slow to break when Blacks A Fake came out running, surprising many with this newly-found burst from the mobile to cross and lead from Make Me Smile with Pay Me Christian NZ left out leading the outside division. 

None of the five horses drawn the second row came into the race at any stage, and when Blacks A Fake was content to run its own race and slow the pace mid-race followed by a second quarter of the last mile in 33.3 seconds, Make Me Smile began to pull and reef being tucked away on the back of the leader. Its second in the run to the post was full of merit in the circumstances. 

Club officials were pleased with Saturday night’s crowd considering the rain that fell just prior to the meeting, and the cold winds that made things uncomfortable for many. 

Perhaps the field in the Treuer Memorial might have been stronger but for the clash on the night with the Cranbourne Cup in Victoria which also attracted several highly-rated pacers expected to start in the Inter Dominion heats. This was won by The Warp Drive, guaranteeing it a place in the Victoria Cup field. Smart mare Foreal NZ and Victoria’s Sting Lika Bee also turned in pleasing efforts in this race. 

While both these races were being decided at the weekend, the plane arrived bringing several of New Zealand’s best horses to Melbourne, including the much publicised Mainland Banner NZ on her first visit to Australia. 

With last season’s Grand Circuit Champion Be Good Johnny, one of five horses from the Queensland stables of John McCarthy stabled at Ladyship Lodge at Modewarre during their Victorian stay remaining in its box there at the weekend and enjoying the great life not far from the beach, this star is being kept fresh for the Victoria Cup.  

McCarthy is also stating he will make a decision on contesting the Inter Dominion after this leg of the Grand Circuit. 

If Australia’s top two pacers – Blacks A Fake and Be Good Johnny – should miss the Inter Dominion, it is likely to be a great bonus for Perth in March. In recent years the three Grand Circuit races at Gloucester Park in January has failed to attract visitors from the eastern States. Because of the change of dates for the Adelaide Inter Dominion, the trainers of these two outstanding pacers have said they are now looking at possible trips to Perth in March.   

Meanwhile, the comeback from a long spell out with injury by the tough Victorian Robin Hood will become a little clearer after this Sunday’s 7th leg of the Grand Circuit, the $150,000 Tasmanian Championship at Hobart. 

Missing from this race will be the likes of Blacks A Fake and Be Good Johnny, both going straight into the Victoria Cup the following week. But two extra smart ones sure to make their presence felt among the visitors this weekend will be the Victorian Toe Taper, which had no luck in the Miracle Mile, and the highly promising Kiwi Tribute NZ, whose latest form across the Tasman has been excellent. 

The Australasian Grand Circuit is really hotting up this month after the two Group 1 events in NSW, with plenty of top class racing assured. And this Saturday night’s Moonee Valley meeting includes a leg of the Trotters Grand Circuit with the running of the Bill Collins Mile which will see Australia’s top trotting star A Touch Of Flair now at its brilliant best. 



All Time Pacing and Trotting Records pre-2001 please refer to the Australian Harness Racing Annual.

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