Josh Julius is already looking forward to next month’s All-Star Mile day after qualifying his grey filly Piscatorial for the Grand Handicap Sprint final with her second placing in last Sunday’s heat at Ballarat.
The Zebedee filly was first up. She now has a debut win and last week’s second from just three race starts.
The Bendigo trainer’s sister Melissa Julius has formed a productive partnership with the filly, having ridden her in all three starts.
The final is scheduled to be held at The Valley on March 13.
Kaniva steps up
Speedy mare Kaniva pleased Bendigo trainer Rod Symons when she backed up her debut win at Kyneton with a city placing under Friday night lights at The Valley last weekend.
Kaniva ($7.50) used her early speed to settle outside the leader and eventual winner, the Phillip Stokes-trained Aquagirl, in the 1000-metre benchmark 70 for three-year-old fillies.
The Kurushio filly didn’t shirk the task and battled on gamely for a 1¾-length second in a performance that no doubt pleased her connections as she handled what was a significant step up in class.
Wiz back on Stranger
Shane Fliedner’s Hi Stranger is back at the races this Saturday at Flemington off a three-week gap since his first up-run.
The four-year-old will contest the 1200-metre benchmark 90 and reunite with Willie Pike, who rode the gelding to victory on Bendigo Cup day last year.
Hi Stranger is well suited down the straight, having been runner-up there twice, once at listed level in the Creswick Stakes last season.
The drop back in class from a Group 2 to a benchmark race should see him highly competitive.
After a crowdless Marong Cup day due to Victoria’s snap lockdown, the Bendigo Jockey Club was pleased to welcome back spectators in a limited capacity at Tuesday’s meeting.
The locals had a strong hand going into the card, with a number pre-post favourites, but couldn’t get into the winner’s stall despite some good performances including placings to River Tycoon (Jarrod Robinson), Air Defence (Shane Fliedner) and Kiata (Rod Symons).
A highlight of the meeting was an exhibition gallop between races by the highly promising Here to Shock. the impressive Brent Stanley-trained Geelong winner who had veterinary excuses for his last-start failure in the C.S. Hayes Stakes.
Bendigo hosts another meeting this Tuesday as momentum builds towards the feature Golden Mile day on Saturday March 27.