Townsville Star Heading South

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By MIKE HILL  

TOWNSVILLE\’S latest track star Moving Target is heading south. 

Trainer Michael Hickmott last month said the talented young sprinter would be joining Bill Rudd\’s Cranbourne kennels as soon as possible \’to test the water\’. 

\”Bill will try him out down there but if he doesn\’t make it he\’ll be coming straight back,\” Hickmott said. 

\”However, I\’m not quite sure when he\’ll be leaving. The airport is currently closed because of coronavirus. As soon as we can get a flight, he\’ll be off.\” 

Hickmott announced the move soon after Moving Target\’s impressive win in the $3475 Easter Sprint Final over the Townsville 380m journey. 

\”It was a really good win,\” the Bluewater-based trainer said. \”He did well to come from box four. He\’s always a bit tardy at the start.\”  

And true to form Moving Target ($2.20 fav) was a fraction slow to begin but mustered speed quickly and trailed kennelmate Good Odds Nutty ($2.40) before taking control on the corner and racing away to a two-and-a-half length victory. 

The Arthur Gosper-trained Sharhelian Star ($6) finished hard to split the Hickmott pair. 

\”Moving Target is always a bit tardy in his starts and he\’s not suited by the 498m corner start at Townsville,\” Hickmott said. 

\”If I keep racing him here over that distance he\’ll get hurt. He needs a straight start and I know he can run 500m. 

\”We\’ll give him a few starts in low grade races in Victoria and he\’ll be straight back if it doesn\’t work out. Bill came up here and spent some time with me. 

\”He\’s a small-hands-on trainer. I didn\’t want to send the dog to any of the big kennels. 

\”Bill saw Moving Target\’s first race. After the run he said \’I want that dog\’. I trust Bill, but I\’m not going to get excited (about his prospects down south). 

\”One thing I\’ve learnt in this game is that one week you can be in the penthouse, the next week you\’re in the outhouse and with a bit of luck you\’re back in the penthouse the next week.\” 

Moving Target has made a big impression in his short career. 

He\’s recorded six wins and three minor placings from 10 starts and equalled the Townsville 380m record of 21.53s. 

His only unplaced run came over the 498m when he finished fifth after copping interference. 

At his second race start in late January Moving Target went within .06s of breaking Rocket\’s Magic\’s 380m track record in winning the Robert Olsen Memorial Maiden final. 

The talented Allen Deed-Piper Road sprinter crushed his rivals with a stunning best-of-night time of 21.58s. And to show his enormous potential, Moving Target has broken 22s in his six wins over the 380m – all in best-of-night time. 

Hickmott is certain Rudd will look after his rising star. 

\”I\’ve been proud to have him in my kennels,\” he said. \”It\’s been a tough decisionIf he was a corner start dog, he\’d be staying here. 

\”I know he can run 500m and I want to give him a chance on a straight start track. He deserves that.\” 

BRAD Belford\’s talented \’Rumble\’ pair launched their southern campaigns with early wins around the Sydney region. 

Belford had sent the well-bred Collision-Velvet Rumble brothers – Murphy Rumble and Rumble Master – to different trainers several months back to give them a chance against better opposition. 

The pair had dominated racing in Townsville after joining Belford\’s kennels last year. 

And it didn\’t take long for the brothers to meet up in a head-to-head clash. 

Rumble Master, in the care of inform trainer Jason Magri, and Murphy Rumble, under the guidance of leading trainer Mark Gatt clashed in a 400m FFA at Bulli last month. 

And just to make it interesting Murphy Rumble drew box seven with Rumble Master on his outside in eight. 

Rumble Master ($3.90) jumped best of the pair and lobbed in second place behind the highly talented Peter Lagogiane-trained Straight Shift ($4.80) with Murphy Rumble ($5) in third spot. 

Murphy Rumble moved to the outside passing his brother in straight but couldn\’t rundown the leader, missing by two-and-a-quarter lengths. Rumble Master held on for third one-and-a-quarter lengths away. 

The win took Straight Shift\’s impressive record to 10 wins from 13 starts, the last five in a row. Belford could only be impressed with the efforts of his pair. 

Rumble Master was first to hit the southern tracks with an impressive victory over 330m at Richmond in late March. 

A second at the same track and two stunning wins over 350m at Goulburn last month – one in BOD time (19.77s) – followed, while Murphy Rumble just failed to win first-up over the Bulli 400m trip, beaten a nose, early last month. 

However, he redeemed himself seven nights later with an impressive two lengths win over the same journey. The talented chaser had joined Gatt\’s Thirlmere kennels after being unplaced in the Country Cup Final (520m) at Albion Park in late January. 

TOM Tzouvelis has unveiled a talented young litter in recent months. 

Eight of nine members of the Fernando Bale-Off And On litter have already raced with four winning first up and the other four running minor placings – and showing signs that wins are not far away. 

It\’s no wonder the youngsters are displaying outstanding potential, being by the sire of the moment and a smart bitch Tzouvelis had success with on the track, including victory in the Group 3 Darwin Cup in 2017. Off And On (Tomac Bale-Jackie\’s Trouble) ended her career with 13 wins and seven placings from 31 starts and prizemoney just over $57,500.  

One of the four dogs in the litter – Mitchell Street – ran a super quick BOD time of 25.04s in winning his maiden heat first-up by a commanding six lengths over 431m at Ipswich last month.  

Then seven days later he demolished his rivals in the final, winning by 11 lengths from box four and clocking a stunning 24.99s – the day\’s best time by .30s.  

Other first-up winners from the litter – also successful at Ipswich – were smart bitches In And Out (25.53s) and On And Off (25.72s), who has since won again at Ipswich in a slick 25.16s. 

The litter mates, except one, are all trained by Tzouvelis at his Park Ridge complex. 

The exception is Wise Decisions, a first-up winner last month for leading Central Queensland trainer Darren Taylor. Wise Decisions won over the Rockhampton 407m trip in a smart 24.37s. 

\”Tommy sent the dog to help his development and boost his confidence,\” said Taylor. 

\”I am certain he will become a 500m and even 600m performer as he matures. He\’s getting better all the time and will eventually head back to Tom.\” 

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