By Geoff Newling
Race 1: My Maggie “didn’t know what she was doing” but still flew late to win today’s opening race at Scone. The Muswellbrook filly, trained by veteran trainer Pat Farrell, was having her fifth race start when she and Greg Ryan jumped from barrier 12 in the Upper Hunter Mechanical Services 2YO Handicap (1000m) and arrived late to snare a three quarter length win from Paul Perry’s Matchfox with the Kris Lees-trained Bochy an eyecatching head away third. My Maggie, a daughter of I Am Invincible, had won her previous start on a Soft 5 at Scone and matched that today on a Soft 7, scampering home from an impressed Greg Ryan. The Dubbo-based jockey admitted to Pat Farrell he had his hands full early. “She doesn’t know what she’s doing yet,” Greg Ryan told Farrell as he unsaddled. “She was only doing what she had to.” He had settled sixth and seventh and responded to his vigorous riding as she moved wider. “She didn’t know what was going on around her,” Ryan added. “That’s whey you were on,” Pat Farrell said. “To educate her.” Greg Ryan reckons she will improve immensely from that run while Pat Farrell doesn’t have anything concrete for a filly he purchased for $25,000 and races himself.
Race 2: Munjai debuted in impressive fashion at Scone today skipping through the Soft 7 conditions to win the Sidestep @ Darley Stallions 3YO and Maiden Handicap (1100m) for her Newcastle stable. The daughter of Maha Chakri is trained by Kris Lees at Broadmeadow and stepped out for the first time in a race after a few trials. Stable racing manager, Lucas Miller, was on hand to supervise the debt and delighted with her effort. So too was jockey Andrew Gibbons. “That was nice,” Andrew Gibbons said after she motored home wide out to score a short neck win over Rod Northam’s Lady Segolene with Andrew MacDonald’s Frank’s Reward two and a quarter lengths away third. His decision to head wider than the middle of the track in the straight paid winning dividends. “It’s the best part of the track, easy,” he said. Lucas Miller said patience with the three-year-old bay filly had also paid dividends after some good trials. “She’s always shown ability, just taken a little time,” Lucas Miller said. The filly was bred and syndicated by Joe O’Neill a great supporter of the Lees stable.
Race 3: Longchamp Lass broke through for her first win at her fourth start at Scone today. The David Atkins-trained three-year-old filly, a daughter of Dream Ahead, held off As Yawood to claim the Erwin’s Distribution 3YO and Maiden Handicap (1100m) in a slogging finish. As Yawood, a three-year-old chestnut daughter of Ready As, had charged into contention wide out and looked the only danger to her Novocastrian opponent from the 200m. However, a length was as close as the Sue Grills-trained Tamworth filly got as Longchamp Lass gave some of her owners, on track, a thrill. Tony Melrose is one of those owners and he thanked trainer David Atkins for ringing him to see if he wanted to take a share in the filly. “I’d had a few horses with David before,” he said. “It’s all good fun Alison rode her very well, she certainly had a little left as well. Just great to get the number one (first win) out of the way.”
Race 4: Sacamano cast aside some bad manners to surge down the middle of the track and win for his large syndicate of owners at Scone today. The four-year-old gelding son of Sebring, trained at Hawkesbury by Jason Attard, was having just his second race start but charged home to beat Calabash Express by three quarters of a length with Me Auld Segotia a half neck away third. Tamworth owner Jim Thompson, one of the numerous owners in the large syndicate was on track for the maiden win and recounted a chequered early career. “He was broken in by Timmy Martin and went to Gerald Ryan to train,” Jim Thompson recalled. “But he was too fractious and Gerald sent him back to Tim. Tim did a bit more work with him and he went to Jason.” Jim Thompson said Sacamano had been scratched at the barrier before a Hawkesbury run after getting under the stalls but also debuted well at his home track as well. Jason Attard and his wife Lucy ride all their own work with the help of two females trackwork riders. They are based at “the farm” about 15 minutes from the Hawkesbury track and truck and float their horses in for work every morning, Jason Attard said. “It’s great, got about 100 acres and we’re only 10 to 15 minutes from the track,” Jason Attard said. “Sacamano is going well, I thought he was my best chance here today (of three).” Attard has had a good run of late and thought Sons Of John ran an honest race to finish “about 12th” in Saturday’s Doncaster. He also has Reiby Rampart in this Saturday’s $400,000 Provincial Championship at Randwick. “She’ll run a nice race,” he said. “She came through her last run (a win at Newcastle in a Provincial Qualifier) well. It was a huge run.”
Race 5: Brett Cavanough’s first day on his new home Scone track became a winning move when Mafki Lass ran down the Bjorn Baker-trained Lifeline princess for a narrow win in today’s Upper Hunter Auto Parts 3YO Maiden Plate (1300m). The daughter of Mafki surged the final 200m to grab her gallant opponent in the final three strides and snare a head win. It was Mafki Lass’s second race start after debuting with a second at Albury mid-March. “She’s well bred, a progressive type,” Brett Cavanough said after his first win on his new home track. “We’ll just take her a step at a time.” Cavanough, 54, has one daughter working at Newmarket in England and a son at school in Melbourne and another two children with him and his wife. It’s a huge change for he and his family but one he is certain will pay off. “We’ve got a couple of truckloads (of horses) coming up today,” he said. “Should about 35 to 40, something like that.” So why move from Albury to Scone? “There are only nurseries in the world, Newmarket, Kentucky and Scone,” he said. “I can’t understand why there aren’t more trainers here. “I’ve also got a lot of contacts in the studs, Peter Moody and most of the studmasters. “When I heard Greg was moving on I thought it was perfect to move up. We’ll leave a small team back at home (Albury) and chip away but the whole has relocated up here (scone). It’s a big life change.”
Race 6: Jason Attard couldn’t remember training a winner at Scone let alone a double when Kiarra Rose joined stablemate Sacamano in the Scone winners' stall today. While four-year-old Sacamano won earlier in the day for his Hawkesbury trainer, Kiarra Rose powered home to win the Red Funnel Foodservices Benchmark 55 Handicap (1600m), racing away to a length and three quarter win from Mark Cross’s Scruff with the Jason Deamer-trained Lady Evelyn three quarters of a length away third. Jason Attard has raced at Scone a number of times but never with results like today. “Never had a double here before,” Jason Attard said. “Actually I can’t remember having a winner.” South African jockey Keagan Latham also excelled and showcased his talents to all and sundry. “They were top instructions,” Keagan joked with Jason Attard when they conferred after the race. “She’ll improve on that too.” At her 12th race start the four-year-old daughter of Testa Rossa won for the second time. She had also been rated as a non-performer on wet tracks too, something Jason was able to dismiss. “I ride in her work myself,” he said. “They said she didn’t want to go on wet tracks. But I rode the other morning on a heavy track and she flew.” That gave him plenty of confidence heading into today’s metric mile. He’ll now have a look around for a nice race for her. “See how she pulls up but I think she is worthy of a provincial race,” he said. “I’ll see what’s in the calendar.”
Race 7: Damien Lane might leave Mr Mcbat at Scone. The Wyong-trained gelding son of Krupt was having his third start on the spacious circuit in today’s Regional Australia Bank Benchmark 60 Handicap (1300m) and snuck up the inside of all his opponents to make it win number three at Scone. He has won only three times in his 15 starts. “Yeah he loves it here,” Damien Lane said after his four-year-old gelding had secured a long head victory over race favourite Laszlo with Albert Stapleford’s Ruby Two shoes a short head away third. “All three times they’ve just peeled off the fence and let him up the inside.” That Mr Mcbat won near the inside rail was completely different to other winners finishing down the outside and the middle of the track. “Not sure how wet it is out there.” He and winning jockey Jean Van Overmeire had discussed where to find the best going and by sticking to the inside made other trainers and jockeys wonder just where the right place might be. “We were undecided what to do,” he said. “They had been winning out on the outside fence and then the last couple they came up the middle. But this bloke can find trouble. He’s a good horse on his day but puts himself in bad spots. His first 50m he’s terrible. You’ve got to ride him for luck.” Luck, he noted, is and was flitting. Today it was on his side, the day before it wasn’t when one of his runners had just missed at Narromine on Sunday. He had trekked out west from Wyong and stayed the night at Dubbo before driving home this morning, dropping off his western runners and then taking Mr Mcbat and Bend It Like Benny to Scone.
Race 8: Royal Tudor burst down the middle of the Scone track with a big weight for a big win in today’s $20,000 Royal Hotel April Sprint (1100m). The Rod Ollerton-trained gelding, a son of Snippetson with six wins in 17 starts before today’s Royal, Royal Sprint win surged to a half length win from gallant Three Sheets (Jeremy Sylvester) and with Chyrsolaus giving Cessnock trainer Jeremy Sylvester a placing suet. Royal Tudor was having his first run back from a short spell for his Newcastle trainer Rod Ollerton, who grew up riding and training at Scone. His father, Tom, a Scone trainer of longstanding and great note, was the strapper for the big bay gelding. He also carried 62kg with regular jockey Christian Reith on his guard with Royal Tudor ensuring he didn’t throw the race away as he has done in the past. “He was a class above them,” Christian Reith reported to Rod Ollerton after the seventh career win. Rod Ollerton said Royal Tudor had been “an erratic horse” as a young horse and had a tendency to want to “get back to the rail” in some of his races. “There’s not much we can do about it,” he said. “Just a little bit of a worry to ride out. Some days are better than others. Just a matter of how the race pans out. A couple of times he’s been left in front, that’s when he wants to get back to the rail.” Today was one of the better days. Rod has earmarked a few races for him through the autumn and hopes today’s race was just the right way to return, both in effort and style. “There’s a few good races for him,” he said. “That was a good race to return today. It was a pretty good country field. he was the class horse in it but did have 62kg and on a soft track as well. I liked what he did.”
Race 9: Still Undaunted rushed home from back in the field to claim Brett Cavanough a winning double on his debut at his new home track. Cavanough had won with Mafki Lass earlier in the day but Still Undaunted was even more impressive in winning the Inland Distributors Class 1 Handicap (900m) by a short neck from All Aflutter with What A Party three quarters of a length away third. A last start maiden winner at Corowa Still Undaunted had no chance of winning today, said winning jockey Ben Looker. "He’s a freak,” Ben Looker told Brett Cavanough. “I thought I was too far back to win.” However, when he kicked Still Undaunted into top gear the three-year-old gelding son of Duporth rocketed home. After debuting with a fifth at Wagga he has now won his last two to leave Brett Cavanough with some big plans which could include next year’s Country Championships. "He’s good,” Brett Cavanough said. Ben Looker said: “He gives you the impression he’ll run 1200m to 1400m”. 1400m is the Country Championship distance. Brett Cavanough said the country Championship is a nice target or dream but he also has a few others coming into his stable which will also be aimed at the premier country race. "That was a big win. His mother (Princess Marizza) won a Group 2 too,” Scone’s newest trainer said. "He’s a lovely, neat horse.” Still Undaunted can only grow and improve into a better racehorse," he said.