Sale owner Bill Hector maintained his 100-percent record with the Ian Hutchins stable at Sale on Tuesday when promising three-year-old filly Toorak Belle took the Maffra Cup Day 18th June F&M Maiden Plate (1400m).
Hector bought the impressive-looking daughter of Toorak Toff and Layered at the 2015 Inglis Premier yearling sale for $20,000, and races the filly in partnership with daughter Michelle Wright and partner Anne Chaban.
Tuesday’s was Toorak Belle’s 10th race start. With several unlucky runs under her belt and coming off a career-best second at Racing.com Park on April 8, she went to the barriers a heavily supported favourite ($3.90 into $2.60).
Underrated hoop Patrick Moloney had to work from the wide gate at the tricky 1400-metre start, but once Toorak Belle found the front she looked to have the race under control, kicking clear early in the straight and holding off a couple of fast-finishing horses capable of winning races, Amortentia ($7) and Fontein Ali ($10).
Hector has been a long-time stable client, as Jan Hutchins (Ian’s wife) explained.
“Bill’s been with us since the day we relocated to Sale (after Epsom closed in 1999), and every horse he’s been in has won a race.
“They include city winner Kendalay (four wins), Andalay (five wins) and (current star) Miss Procyon (five winners).”
Hutchins (currently with six horses in work) has scaled down his team since the days when he was a prominent trainer at Epsom and a leading Gippsland trainer for many years from Sale.
Hutchins, who took out his licence in 1974, will always have his place in racing history as the strapper of Gala Supreme the day he won the 1973 Melbourne Cup.
Gala Supreme was trained by Ray Hutchins (Ian’s Dad) and ridden by Frank Reys.
Hutchins was upbeat about Toorak Belle’s chances prior to Tuesday’s race and was delighted to have his judgement vindicated.
“She’s raced without luck and been a bitch at times throughout her career, but I did think she was relaxed today and it would be our day.
“She missed the start at her first two runs this preparation (the filly reared and was cantankerous).
“She’s gone to the barriers the last two starts with earmuffs on (taken off at the start), and has jumped to the front both times.”
Hutchins is excited about his charge’s prospects going forward.
“I’m of the opinion the Toorak Toffs need time and that she’ll race much better as a four-year-old mare”.
Moloney is the Hutchins stable’s first-choice rider, with plenty of history between the two families
“The Moloney (Patrick’s grandfather Jim, uncle John and dad Gerard) and Hutchins families were both based at Epsom, where the trainers were like one big family — everybody shared everyone’s success,” Jan Hutchins said.
“Patrick is a lovely rider — very calm, rides on a long rein and horses relax for him.”
This hack is kicking on
Former handy Mario Farrugia-trained galloper Tanjil has made a smooth transition from the racecourse to the show arena in recent months.
Now in the care of experienced Riverslea rider Rebekah Carrolan, the handsome 10-year-old gelding looks to have plenty more wins left in him.
Tanjil, raced by Farrugia and wife Fay, began his racing career as a late four-year-old in March 2010. Although luckless at times, he retired in October 2015 with five wins and nine placings to his credit from 46 starts, accumulating stakes of $111,043.
Four of his wins were on his home track at Sale, partnered by Sally Wynne.
Tanjil has been given plenty of time to let down and furnish by Carrolan, who has had previous success transitioning Off the Track thoroughbreds from racetrack to show ring.
Remarkably, at just his second show appearance in January, Tanjil was named the Show Horse Council of Victoria’s intermediate hack of the year.
Gabrielle Carrolan (Rebekah’s mum) explained his suitability.
“He’s a great fit for the show ring. He’s obedient and an amazing-looking horse.
“We spotted him four years ago at the races, and have tried to get him ever since.
“Bek’s very tall and his size (17 hands) really suits her physique. The Farrugias love being updated on his progress.”
Rebekah Carrolan is an accomplished show rider, having been named the best first-year competitor at the 2014 edition of the prestigious Garryowen at the Royal Melbourne Show. She was riding London Court, another Off the Track thoroughbred the Carrolans purchased from West Australian interests.
She has competed at the Show Horse Council Grand Nationals, and represented Victoria in interschool equestrian eventing and showing.
Tanjil is now having a well earned break until the show season commences in October, with the Carrolans already targeting him at Royal Show level in 2018, where it is hoped he might be extremely competitive in the Garryowen.
Kevin Carrolan (Rebekah’s dad) has worked as a barrier attendant in the east of Victoria since 1984, while training a few horses over the years as a hobby.
In recent seasons, he has won six races on the picnic circuit with Freshwater Reset, a horse purchased as an Off the Track thoroughbred for Rebekah.
Now retired, “Jack” will be trained and tried as a showjumper.