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Carmody Reveals Soft Spot For Lady Sansa

By Julieanne Horsman

Lady Sansa blew the field away in her last start at Hawkesbury on 18 May.

With Josh Parr aboard, she shot home to claim the Clarendon Tavern Class 2 Handicap (1600m) by almost five lengths.

“That was by far the best win of her career,” Randwick-based trainer Craig Carmody said. “I was confident of a good showing but wasn’t expecting her to be that impressive.”

The four-year-old mare returns to the track on Thursday in the Jill & Jacks Daily Benchmark 70 Handicap (1600m) at Gosford, and while it’s a harder assignment, Carmody is hopeful of another good result.

“She’s a definite each way chance,” he said. “I would have preferred to find a mares race but there weren’t many options around. With the barrier draw (2) we’d be mad not to give it a crack.”

Josh Parr is back in the saddle at Gosford having won on her twice this preparation.

“He gave her a perfect ride last time and the way she hit the line was really encouraging,” Carmody said. “She has maintained her fitness and is raring to go. We just need a bit of luck from the 600m mark.”

Winning is a thrill for any trainer but each success with Lady Sansa holds extra significance for Carmody.

She is raced by a large group of young owners, led by Inglis Auctioneer Chris Russell, who found and bought the horse for just $8,000.

Chris’ father, Doncaster-winning jockey Ken Russell, was a close friend of Carmody’s (also a former champion jockey) before he lost his life in a race fall at Rosehill Gardens in October 1993.

“Our families have remained close since that devastating accident and because of that, Chris asked me to train his horse,” Carmody said.

“I’m just so happy to see her win for them.”

Lady Sansa has a record of three wins and six places from twenty starts and has really come along this preparation.

“It took a while to consolidate her skeleton as a young horse and she had problems with her knees but we were patient and she got much stronger as matured,” Carmody said. “She thrives on routine and we just try to keep her happy.”

View the fields and form (including race replays) for Gosford's Thursday meeting here.

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