It was an emotional Seymour trainer Murray Johnson who welcomed Pure Pride ($15) back to the winner’s stall at Flemington last Saturday.
The five-year-old daughter of Shocking and Mamasan had just taken out the $120,000 listed Paris Lane Handicap (1400m), defeating Wyndspelle ($7) by two lengths with Saint Valorem a length away third.
Although the mare has been competitive in stronger races, having been runner-up in the Group 2 Blazer Stakes at Flemington last October, her only win prior was her maiden victory at Ballarat in March last October.
Johnson said the win has been a long time coming.
“We haven’t got the score on the board, but finally we do,” he said.
“I don’t have many horses to be running here in these races, so it was awesome.
“She’s very special (to me). She’s had a lot of bad luck and today she had good luck.
“We’re keen to get her out over a bit more distance at some point, so we’ll pick our path and get that done,” he said.
The mare was third emergency for the Group 2 Blazer Stakes earlier in the day, but with only two scratchings she didn’t gain a start.
The win completed a riding double for Stephen Baster, who had earlier won the listed Maribyrnong Trial Stakes aboard the debutant Nomothaj.
Pure Pride, bred and raced by Murray Thoroughbreds, has now earned $163,810 with two wins and three minor placings from her 16 starts.
Buttlers enjoying Reward
Past Kilmore Racing Club chairman Eric Buttler appears to have produced a smart one in Seven Year Reward.
Bred at the Buttler family’s Rangal Park Stud and trained at Cranbourne by Greg Eurell, the four-year-old son of Reward For Effort and the good producing mare Seven Year Itch, made it two wins from as many starts in taking out the $20,000 Bairnsdale Horse Centre Benchmark 64 Handicap (1000m) at Bairnsdale’s cup meeting last Sunday.
Sent out a $1.20 favourite on the strength of a seven-length debut win at Geelong Synthetic last month, the gelding was caught three wide for most of the journey and wobbled on the turn but prevailed narowly over Ansinna ($8.50) by a short half-head.
The gelding was again ridden by ex-Seymour apprentice Nikita Beriman.
Penny shines again
Kyneton trainer Mick Sell extended his recent strong run by taking out the Procal Dairies Gunbower Cup (1800m) last Saturday.
The New Zealand-bred Penny to Sell ($6) took the cup on the back of her last-start win at Ballarat.
The Pentire six-year-old, ridden by Chris Nichol, defeated $3.50 favourite Not to Know by 1¾ lengths.
Penny to Sell has now won six races with eight minor placings from her 38 starts.
Other district winners on the Gunbower card were Sell’s fellow Kyneton trainer George Osborne with Shy Frank ($2.45 favourite) and Seymour trainer Charmaine Barnes with Cosmic Rush ($4.40) in the Ellwaste BM52 Handicap (1100m).
Both were ridden by Jason Benbow.
Sircconi steps up
Whittlesea trainer Peter Morgan will back up stable star Sircconi in the $2 million Group 1 Caulfield Guineas this Saturday after the colt’s luckless third in the $120,000 listed Antler Luggage Stakes (1400m) at Flemington on Saturday.
“His nose touched the dirt when leaving the barrier and he did well to get back up,” Morgan said. “He was taken on for the lead and that horse finished last.”
The Talwood Park trainer said he’d had the vet look over Sircconi on Monday and he found a few little niggles with the colt but nothing serious.
Slip costs Kilmore
Seymour hosted a successful nine-race program last Saturday, but at Kilmore on Monday only one race was run.
The meeting was abandoned after the Nick Ryan-trained Hot Girl Wanted appeared to slip rounding the home turn.
The lushly grassed track was aerated, but following two inspections by jockeys and stewards the remainder of the meeting was called off.