Alive And Well: 10 Heats For Vince Curry

THE Vince Curry Memorial Maiden Series, staged at Ipswich over the 520 metres, has a long history of producing future stars.

Adam Dobbin

7 February 2019

THE Vince Curry Memorial Maiden Series, staged at Ipswich over the 520 metres, has a long history of producing future stars.

And with a host of regally bred gallopers set to ply their trade for the first time at Ipswich this Saturday night in the heats of the $40,000 to-the-winner group 3 series, the class of 2019 look all set to carry on that mantle, with 10 intriguing heats sure to generate some spirited betting.

“I’m really wrapped for the Ipswich Club that they got 10 heats this year,” said Mick Zammit, partner of Selena, who lines up the wonderfully bred Pitch Black Jet on Saturday night in heat five from box four.

A son of Magic Sprite and Richmond track record holder Punch One Out – a group 1 runner-up on three occasions throughout her career – Pitch Black Jet is owned by Queensland’s The Sunday Mail Editor, leading media personality Peter Gleeson.

“The dog goes okay without being any world beater, he’s probably a few months away from being at his peak,” added Zammit.

“We like to support feature races in Queensland where we can and he was ready to kick off about now and it’s not always the best dog that wins a series like this. We haven’t set our sights all that high but he should be competitive – he can show early speed.”

With some topline youngsters set to strut their stuff at the weekend, the majority for the first time, 80 will be cut to 32 for the following Saturday’s semi-finals, leading into what promises to be an absorbing finale on February 23 with $40,000 awaiting winning connections.

“I remember back in the day the race used to be over four weeks and on the night of the qualifying trials you couldn’t get a seat in the grandstand there was so much interest, I’d go even if I didn’t have a dog in the race, it generated a lot of hype,” added Zammit.

“There are obviously some very fast dogs in the heats but you find a lot of the time it’s not the best dog that wins the race with so much  inexperience. It should be a great night of racing with the whole program heats.”

Whilst the Zammits focus will be on Ipswich this Saturday night, it will quickly turn to The Meadows the following week with their star kennel charge Double Gee set for a berth in the Group 1 Zoom Top (725m).

“He trialled really well over 600m at Albion Park last night (Wednesday) and he’ll head down to Melbourne the middle of next week,” said Zammit of the last start Group 2 Summer Distance Plate winner at Wentworth Park.

“A lot of people think there’s two of this dog but he’s just desperate for the fence. He hasn’t had any luck with box draws but I don’t like complaining about that because there is nothing you can do about it.”

Double Gee – a son of Dyna Double One and Hot Spur – has won 10 of his 29 starts, and is still searching for his first box one draw.

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Some of the more notable winners of the Vince Curry Memorial Maiden include Token Prince (1997), Just The Best (1999) and High Earner (2009), each of which have gone onto leave a significant mark on the breeding industry.

In recent years, the Vince Curry has provided some interesting results.

In 2017, trainer Chris Riordon claimed first, second and fourth in the group 3 feature courtesy of littermates Fire To Rain, Roll So Deep and Fabrique, while in 2016, the race resulted in a dead-heat, with nothing separating Tony Brett’s pairing of Split Image and Paua To Avoid across the line.

In 2018, Christina Harman tasted success with Rose Honey.

All three trainers return in 2019 eyeing further series success, including Tony Brett, who lines up Exciting Times (race 7) and Valentina Fox (race 10).

Exciting Times, a wonderfully bred son of Dyna Double One out of Clockwise, will make his much anticipated debut in race seven and is sure to be the subject of significant support.

Chris Riordon heads to Ipswich with no less than four Vince Curry aspirants, namely Tienne Tea (race 2), Loch Erin (race 3), Pancho Not Lefty (race 7) and Moby Go (race 9).

All four are by in-form sire Kinloch Brae out of Spirited Flame, dam of Riordon’s 2017 winner Fire To Rain from her previous litter to Fabregas.

Christina Harman’s hopes of landing back-to-back Vince Curry’s rests with litter-mates Vellatrix (race 5) and Georgia Cette (race 6), the pair by Velocette out of former talented racer Georgina.

One of the more interesting runners of the night rolls around in race two where Harman’s father Tony Apap produces Worm Burner juvenile Shorino from box two.

One of three runners Apap has engaged in the heats, Shorino is one of the first Worm Burner’s to hit the track, and will no doubt create plenty of interest on what promises to be an outstanding night of racing.

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