Ken Casellas | Photo: Gloucester Park Harness Racing
Banjup trainer Murray Lindau was a relieved man at Gloucester Park on Friday night after veteran reinsman Colin Brown had driven Talks Up A Storm to a dashing victory in the group 3 Pure Steel Pace.
“Now that I’ve got him healthy, we’re starting to see what he’s really made of,” said the 67-year-old Lindau, who has endured a worrying time with four-year-old Talks Up A Storm, who was tying up in his races.
“I’m not getting overly excited about future prospects, but we seem to be on the right track. He has had this problem of tying up in races over a fair period of time, as a late three-year-old and an early four-year-old this year.
“He was going roughly in his races, hopping and skipping, and I couldn’t get on top of the problem. I had his bloods done, and Mel McGregor (veterinary surgeon) helped me a fair bit, suggesting what I could try in terms of a change of food.
“I thought that his problem was more to do with his action, but once I started doing more blood tests, I was getting more indicators that he was tying up in his races. So, I revised his workload at home. I had been sending him to the wall too much, even though he ran good time on the training track against the best of Colin’s horses.
“But that was taking its toll, and it was a lesson to me, to re-load and go back to square one. I decreased his workload, which is more controlled now, and instead of asking him (to sprint) 400m to 500m from home, I’m asking him for an effort 200m from home.
“His effort two starts ago when he sat in the breeze and finished fourth behind Pinny Tiger, who rated 1.53.9, was something that I hadn’t seen for a long time. And last week when he started from barrier nine and ran on to finish sixth behind Sound Wave, he recorded the best times over the final 800m (55.73sec.) and last 400m (27.65sec.) in that race.
“So, tonight I thought he was a genuine chance. The circumstances helped, with Palatino putting it to the No. 1 horse (Ezana) helping our cause.”
Talks Up A Storm was a $12.90 chance from the No. 4 barrier, and Brown quickly had him in a position to strike, in the one-out and one-back position, with the $1.55 favourite Ezana setting the pace after a fast lead time of 36.2sec. and being under pressure from the $101 outsider Palatino, who was overracing in the breeze.
Brown saved Talks Up A Storm for a late charge, and the lightly-framed gelding burst to the front in the home straight to race away and win by two and a half lengths from $41 chance Sound Wave, who sustained a spirited three-wide burst from ninth at the bell. Socrates ($8) also finished solidly from the rear to be third, with Ezana wilting to finish eighth.
Talks Up A Storm rated 1.57.5 on the rain-affected track to improve his record to 32 starts for ten wins and eleven placings for earnings of $147,573. The gelding is by American sire Artspeak and is the first foal out of the talented New Zealand-bred Live Or Die mare Typhoon Tan, who won at Gloucester Park at three of her final four starts in August and September 2016 before being retired with a record of 74 starts for 14 wins, 24 placings and stakes of $141,722.
Talks Up A Storm, a $22,000 purchase at the 2019 APG Perth yearling sale, is raced by Lindau’s partner Claire McNaughton and his stepmother Sylvia, and his victory on Friday night gave Brown his second success in the Pure Steel Pace, following his win with Erskine Range in 2015.