TROTS TALK

Herald Sun - - ESCAPE - JA­SON BONNINGTON

THE strength of Aus­trala­sia’s four-year-old pac­ing ranks was un­der­lined at the week­end with Turn It Up pre­vail­ing at Cam­bridge and Im Pats De­light salut­ing at Shep­par­ton.

On Fri­day night in New Zealand, Turn It Up was out to con­tinue his as­cen­dancy when tack­ling the Group 2 Waikato Fly­ing Mile.

At his pre­vi­ous start the son of Courage Un­der Fire had be­come the least ex­pe­ri­enced Auck­land Cup win­ner and his $1.40 start­ing price at Cam­bridge re­flected that.

But the vet­eran of just 10 race starts did not let pun­ters down, run­ning down Hunter Cup as­pi­rant Star Gal­le­ria.

On Sat­ur­day night an­other Kiwi four-year-old, Im Pats De­light, made head­lines with a last gasp Shep­par­ton Cup tri­umph over Our Triple Play and In­ter Do­min­ion run­nerup Our Un­cle Sam.

Im Pats De­light was well backed to win one of Vic­to­ria’s most pres­ti­gious re­gional fea­tures — if he led.

But tra­di­tional sit-sprinter Let It Ride kept the front with lo­cal hero San Carlo forced to sit out­side him while Im Pats De­light stalked them.

Turn It Up, Spankem, Im Pats De­light, Ride High and Poster Boy head­line the group of emerg­ing pac­ers along with Chase Auck­land and Ig­natius.

The set of four-year-old fea­tures, which will start with the 4YO Bo­nanza at Mel­ton on Jan­uary 26 and end with the Char­i­ots of Fire on Fe­bru­ary 16 at Menangle, should be in­trigu­ing.

DE­SPITE a com­fort­able Sat­ur­day night suc­cess at Menangle, Aus­trala­sia’s best pacer, Tiger Tara, will not com­pete in Sat­ur­day night’s Group 1 Bal­larat Cup.

The In­ter Do­min­ion and Vic­to­ria Cup win­ner was ex­pected to have his fi­nal Hunter Cup hitout at Bray Race­way, but trainer Kevin Piz­zuto has de­cided oth­er­wise.

With Im Pats De­light also a non-starter, it ap­pears Mark Pur­don’s All Star barn will run riot in Vic­to­ria’s rich­est Coun­try Cup.

Among Pur­don’s likely starters in the $110,000 event are Cruz Bro­mac and New Zealand Cup win­ner The­fixer.

Pur­don has won four of the past seven Bal­larat Cups with Heaven Rocks (2018), Smolda (2016-17) and Highview Tommy, who up­set the highly touted match-race be­tween Smo­ken Up and Sushi Sushi in 2012.

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