By Julieanne Horsman At Murrumbidgee Turf Club
Sir Ottavio has shot to lead of the Wagga Stayer’s Series with a close second in the Riverina Cup Prelude (2500m) on Sunday.
With apprentice jockey Patrick Scorse aboard, the gelding travelled just behind pacesetter Class Clown for most of the race and took the lead as they entered the straight.
While Class Clown faded, Red Dream and Thunder Road gave chase and the Goulburn galloper eventually came out on top followed by Sir Ottavio and Red Dream.
“It was a good race especially on the heavy track which was a bit patchy in parts,” Sir Ottavio’s Wagga-based trainer Trevor Sutherland said.
“The horse that beat us probably got down a better lane but our horse was really good at the trip for the first time.”
With double points on offer for the race, second place earned Sir Ottavio 18 points towards his Wagga Stayer’s Series total, catapulting him to the top of the leader board.
He’s now on 65 points, well ahead of Doogan’s Rise on 52 and stablemate Mr Sommerville on 46.
Riverina Cup Prelude winner, Thunder Road, hasn’t participated in any previous heats of the Wagga Stayer’s Series and can’t win from where he is, but Emma Longmire, who trains in partnership with her sister Lucy, was thrilled with the result.
“Brodie (Loy) rode him a treat, I was really happy,” Longmire said. “His work on Thursday was outstanding and we were very excited to get him to the races today.”
Thunder Road will now head to the 3800m Riverina Cup on 18th July and despite the significant increase in distance, Longmire isn’t concerned.
“He’s not a big horse but he’s very clean in the wind and easy to keep fit,” she said.
“He just keeps grinding away.
“Hopefully it rains in Wagga next week!”
Sir Ottavio will also head to the Riverina Cup which is the final leg of the Wagga Stayer’s Series.
It’s unlikely any other will be able to run him down now, and if he does win the series, it will be the second time for Trevor Sutherland. Stablemate Mr Sommerville won the inaugural series in 2015.
“It’s something we targeted early in the year and it would be great to get another one, especially for the owners,” Sutherland said.
“It’s a great initiative and I’d like to see it expanded into other areas.
“We’re going overseas to source our stayers but we should be breeding and training them here and to make it appealing we need programs like this.”