By Bradley Jurd
Bathurst Soldier’s Saddle winner Elle A Walking ($10) has found more success at Tyers Park, holding on in a close finish to win the Harvest Benchmark 58 Handicap (1408 metres) on Monday afternoon.
The six-year-old bay gelding won the 2017 edition of the Soldier’s Saddle, but it was just the horse’s second win since it won the $30,000 race. And he’s starting to make winning in Bathurst a habit, three of his five career wins coming in Bathurst, as well as another in Orange.
Trainer Graham Brown, who is based at Warwick Farm, was pleased with how his horse went: “He really seems to like this track. He’s ran some good races here,” he said.
“He actually won the Soldier’s Saddle here, over 12 months ago. It was a tough run. He had 60 and a half, so that’s a bit of weight to carry.”
Elle A Walking jumped out of barrier four to start the race, but it was Kormaddie ($7.50) that started the best and took up the running with 1000 metres to race.
With 400m to go, Elle A Walking was three back from the leader and had some distance to make up, heading into the home straight.
It was in the home straight that jockey Andrew Banks found space on the inside and worked him towards the front.
Banks continued to push and guided Elle A Walking to the win, ahead of a fast-finishing effort from race favourite Tony’s Reward ($3.10), trained by Bjorn Baker.
It was the horse’s first win in over 14 months, the last a win at Nowra in July, 2017. It was also the gelding’s first placing since back in January this year, when he collected a third at the home track of his trainer Warwick Farm.
While the gelding may have won only five races from his 32 race career, Brown is quite pleased with his career, having picked up an extremely handy $102,255 through his career.
“He got a few placings in his career but he’s earned quite a bit of money for me,” he said. “He’s very handy. He’s won almost half a dozen races now.”
In third place was the Dean Mirfin-trained Winterconi ($3.50). The Bathurst-based trainer was unable to add earlier success, having picked up a win with Alcatran ($4.80) in the Watermort 3YO Maiden Handicap (1108m).
It was the opening race of the day that Alcatran won, just ahead of Trojan ($12), in the three-year-old chestnut colt’s third career start. Paul Theobald’s Heeby Frenly picked up a third in race four.