Media Release: HRNSW / Greg Hayes
MIN MIN LIGHTS LEAVES HIS RIVALS IN THE DARK AGAIN
Currently New South Wales can’t boast many top free for all horses. The best of the current crop is the Dubbo trained Karloo Mick but with the rising ten year old fighting a losing battle with Father Time, the state has been screaming out for its next big star. While Min Min Lights still has a long way to go before reaching the highest echelon in the sport if his recent performances are anything to go on it won’t be too long until he is racing the best in the country.
Last Friday night the Ian Wilson trained six year old obliterated his free for all rivals with sustained speed racing away to win by nearly fifteen metres and in the process took the scalps of Newcastle Mile winner Saucy Legend and Ladyship Mile runner up Rich Heritage. The Wilson stable isn’t going overboard yet with grand plans but stable driver Jim Douglass is looking forward to the next twelve months with the son of Our Sir Vancelot.
“Min Min Lights has only just started competing at the metro level” Douglass said.
“He has come a very long way in such a short time but the horse is just so full of confidence at the moment. While he has always been a nice horse he has had a few gaiting issues and since they have been ironed out he has just gone to the next level.”
The stable will wait to see how he performs in the next month but according to Douglass a trip to Queensland for the Winter Carnival is being considered.
“At this stage Ian is quite content to see him race through his metropolitan grades at Harold Park but if he is still flying when the big Queensland races are on then he is keen to take him and another couple of horses north.”
Min Min Lights has won his last three starts but it is the impressive way he is doing it that is turning heads. His average winning margin in the month of April was more than 20 metres and while Douglass let him stride last week he believes the previous margins could have been bigger.
“Last week’s race really suited him because it was over the mile and a half. It was a massive step up for him in class but his racing style is suited to the staying trips. He lacks a little bit of early speed but he is improving in that area because he used to be hopeless out of the gate.”
“His lack of early speed might come against him in the shorter races but once the races get up in distance he will be suited right down to the ground.”
Min Min Lights is not the only rising star in the Wilson stable at present. Talented five year olds Rockets Reject and Ben Junior are also progressing through the grades but Douglass is quick to point out they are all very different horses.
“Yeah they are totally different horses. Min Min Lights is slow out yet can sustain high speed for a long period. Rockets Reject is extremely fast out of the gate and Ben Junior can show speed and do it tough when he is at his best so everything is great at Ian’s at the moment.”
However there was some disappointment for the stable this week. The fast class race at Wagga’s Carnival Of Cups meeting didn’t stand up on Saturday night for Rockets Reject and with the horse well placed in the Carnival’s Leading Horse pointscore the stable was hoping to wrap up the title.
“It was a little bit disappointing that the race didn’t stand because he is the equal leader in the Carnival Of Cups horse of the year. It wasn’t about the money it was more about the prestige for the owners who are from the Riverina and would have liked to have seen him race down there.”
“We are still taking three or four down so I am looking forward to the weekend.”
The best chance according to Douglass is Stephanie Major, a three year old filly that will line up in the Riverina Oaks.
“She has good early speed and is drawn in three but I haven’t done my form yet so I don’t know the speed of the horses inside me.”
“At this stage she will compete on Saturday night before going around in the Sires Stakes then the Breeders Challenge and then if her form warrants it she might go to Queensland with Min Min Lights and Rockets Reject for a race like the Oaks.”
REESE HOPING FOR ANOTHER WIN WITH WALLY
Mitchell Reese is best known for his driving feats on talented three year old filly Lady Euthenia but he also trains a team of nine at Riverstone including the injury plagued pacer Ima Wally. Early in its career the horse was trained by Paul Lasnick but after he passed away the eight year old was transferred to John Tapp before finding a home with Reese.
“I remember when I was working for Paul that he said Ima Wally was the best horse he ever had walk through the gate but injuries have plagued him right throughout his career” Reese said.
“I have had him this whole campaign and I was really happy with his win first up at Newcastle. I backed off him a bit, took him to Harold Park and he pulled up a little bit big but I think he will be better this week because of last week’s hit out.”
Ima Wally has only had 25 starts in his career and has won 13 of them.
“I know he is only a day to day proposition and that’s a problem because I would like to sit down and map out a big campaign but I just can’t.”
“Ideally I would have gone back to the country to give him another easy one but it is just too hard to find races for horses of his grade.”
Ima Wally is engaged in race four at Harold Park on Friday night and will line up against Inter Dominion competitors Panorama Swing and Virage while the Fitzpatrick stable has Rohan Home and Runaway Fire engaged.
“It’s not going to be an easy race this Friday but he’s got enough ability to be right in the finish.”