Victoria's Jets propel to Group 1 glory in magic Menangle night

Multiple Group 1 trotting mares Im Ready Jet and Queen Elida provided the highlight as Victorians ventured north to Menangle and captured three of the four Group 1s in a stunning show of the state's strength.


While Emma Stewart's brilliant mare Ladies In Red was pipped by a neck by brilliant home-town finisher Aardies Express (Jack Trainor), Keayang Zahara, Im Ready Jet and Very Pretty all put the Big V on the top step of the pedestal.

Im Ready Jet, who raced outside the leader Queen Elida for the first 600 metres of the Group 1 Macarthur Mile Trotting Mares, emerged from the one out one back trail in the home straight as the two Victorians cleared out from their rivals.

Im Ready Jet ($6) finished the strongest and on the line held a metre-and-a-half advantage over Queen Elida ($1.50) with a further 18-metre gap to Majestic Trio in a mile rate of 1:53.

Trainer Anton Golino acknowledged the efforts of the first two horses across the line.

"That was awesome, it felt great as they are two great trotting mares," Golino said.

"Queen Elida has had the wood on us for a long time now and she's been the benchmark, she's a champion mare and it's good to get one back on her."

Bred and raced by Yabby Dam Farms, Im Ready Jet has now won 25 races from her 68 starts for almost $690,000 in stake earnings.

Earlier in the evening the Marg Lee trained filly Keayang Zahara maintained her unbeaten race record when she took out the Group 1 $75,000 Haras Des Trotteurs NSW Trotters Oaks courtesy of a clever drive by Jason Lee.

Sent out a $2.25 favorite, the daughter of Volstead found herself four horses back along the pegs but Lee refused to panic and somehow managed to extricate Keayang Zahara from the inside running with 800 metres to travel.

Once in the clear, Keayang Zahara powered down the centre of the track past the Geoff Webster trained leader Mega Spur, surging clear to score by five metres with the Andy Gath trained Pinnie two metres away third.

Marg Lee admitted she had concerns during the race.

"It was a super win, buried away where she was I thought we were in real trouble but Jason drove her a treat," Lee said.

"He's got the patience and the hands for the trotters, he got her out off the fence I don't know how but once she got into open air she was off and home."

Lee also won the night's second race, with Lochie Cook defying punters and piloting $17 chance Jilliby Nitro to a win in the Dedicated To The McGrath Foundation Pace.

The Emma Stewart trained filly Very Pretty completed a clean sweep of the night's Group 1 events for Victorian trained horses when she too kept her unbeaten record in tact outclassing her rivals in the John Gibson Memorial NSW Oaks.

The daughter of American Ideal speared to the lead and then relaxed under the hands of Mark Pitt in a 61.2-second first half of the last mile giving nothing else a chance before reeling off a slick 25.4 last 400 metres.

Pitt said the prohibitive $1.04 favorite always had the race in her keeping.

"Once she found the front and got that 31 first quarter it was going to make it real hard for her rivals to beat her," Pitt said.

"She can get a bit keen sometimes but tonight once she worked off the gate and found the front she relaxed really well and she was happy to go at her own tempo and we were able to get away with that first quarter."

Pitt said Very Pretty, who is yet to lower her colors in eight starts, should develop into one the country's best mares.

"I personally think that in another 12 months we're going to see a better horse again," he said.

Stewart also won the Strangelove Ladyship Pace with talented mare Major Delight, part of five Victorian trainer victories on the night.