By Doug Ryan
Kempsey trainer Hilary Dew couldn’t believe the trophies awarded after his four-year-old gelding Court Appeal snatched a last-stride win in the 34th Lasiandra Cup (1650m) at Wauchope Jockey Club’s community meeting on Saturday.
Club president Greg Partridge gave him a gold cup as owner, another as trainer, a special rug for his galloper and a box of glasses: “I am very proud to get a race meeting like this,” Dew said after all the winner’s trophies were loaded into his arms.
He staggered back to his truck about 150m away, saddled five-year-old gelding Kaleb Will Do to compete in the Hastings Co-op Class 1 Handicap over 1240m and came away with another winner, much to his delight. Court Appeal ($4.40) scored by a head whereas Kaleb Will Do ($4.40) settled for a short-head win, both gallopers being ridden by Scone jockey Vad Bolozhinskyl who was having his first rides at the Beechwood Road track. He was certainly exhausted after urging his mounts to such close wins but was all smiles.
The jockey is called on regularly by Dew and has a great winning strike rate on his gallopers, the winning double being the trainer’s first at Wauchope. The cup had a sensational start with last year’s winner, Prince Coureuse, trained by Taree’s Tess Wilkes, having to be re-shod but when the six-year-old gelding kicked out dangerously in the enclosure, it was decided that it be done in the saddling stalls, delaying the race.
The very fit gelding was taken to the front by jockey Jodi Worley who employed 'catch me, if you can' tactics and at one stage Prince Coureuse led by about 15 lengths from the main body of the field in the 1650m race. The horse was collared about 50m out and did well to hold on for fifth, beaten 1.59 lengths with the $3 Grafton galloper Classroom Destiny finishing second, a nose in front of Taree mare Mosgiel Lucy ($2.80), with Wauchope’s Mosh Pit, trained by Michael O’Neill, a close fourth.
Dew paid $1600 for Court Appeal and the win took its prizemoney to just over $19,000. Kaleb Will Do was another cheapie, bought for $2000 as a yearling, and its prizemoney jumped to a tick over $30,000.
Taree five-year-old mare Conquering Kate ($2.30) was also bought for $2000 and owner Shaun Driver, is the grandson of former prolific racehorse owner Ken Silverside, who also had gallopers with the Bob Milligan stable. Milligan’s son, Glen, said the former Matt Dunn galloper could back-up with a start at Taree races on Friday after scoring by 1.5 lengths in the Wauchope Stock & Estate Agent Maiden Plate over 1650m.
Driver said the mare would have cost $8000 for the previous owner to send the mare back to New Zealand to race and be a broodmare and that is why he secured it cheaply. On a day of exciting, close finishes, four-year-old Wauchope mare Robylucy ($3 to $2.70) grabbed a head win for trainer Colt Prosser and Wauchope jockey Belinda Hodder in the M & S Print Maiden Handicap over 1000m.
Hodder said the mare at the top of the straight “didn’t want to win”, the victory enjoyed by part-owner Peter Coulon on the committee of the race club. The trip from Bendemeer for trainer Jane Clement and Wendy Peel’s first ride at the track combined with a length victory with mare Tango Time ($4.40) in the Wauchope RSL Club Class 1 Handicap over 1000m.