Central Victoria: Comeback king of the road reaps reward
By Paul Egan, March 13, 2018 - 10:26 AM

Having resumed race riding last month after eight years out of the saddle, Kilmore jockey Jason Baldock has proved hard work will get results.
Last Saturday week, Baldock travelled 406km to Carrathool (NSW) for its non-TAB cup meeting and notched the first success of his comeback, taking out the feature aboard Cod Rock, trained by Kerry Weir of Tumut.
Last Saturday Baldock journeyed 384km to Towong (Vic) for its TAB cup meeting and his full book of rides yielded three winners in succession for Wodonga trainers.
Baldock scored on the Craig Widdison-trained Blaze of Glory ($1.55 favourite), then notched a double for Peter Maher on Leaping Lenny ($7) and Bad Obsession ($8.50).
“Jason rode her (Blaze of Glory) a treat and he had a great day out,” Widdison said.
The comeback jockey travels to Flemington most weekdays to ride for Team Hawkes, and is regularly seen walking and jogging the streets of Kilmore to keep up his fitness and weight control.
Barnes buy a beauty
Later on the Towong program, Seymour trainer Charmaine Barnes saddled up Never Back Down ($4.80) for a comfortable three-quarter-length win in the Khancoban Station Chisholm Plate (1200m).
The Canny Lad seven-year-old gelding, ridden by Lee Smith, was formerly in the hands of Jim and Greg Lee at Randwick.
The gelding’s win came at his second start for his new trainer.
Never Back Down is raced by Barnes along with a number of locals headed by former long-time trainer Stan Shambrook, the father of Yarra Valley Racing Club CEO Brett.
Never Back Down has now had 64 starts overall for six wins, 13 minor placings and $201,345.
Welcome back, Deano
Kilmore trainer Jody Thompson presented Dean Holland with a winner at his second ride since June last year at Echuca’s Cup meeting on Sunday.
Thompson saddled up last-start Benalla winner Snake Cavern ($7) for a convincing win in the Murphy’s Turf & Landscaping BM58 Handicap (2100m).
The six-year-old Golden Snake gelding defeated Oh Baby ($41) by a long neck with Franquin ($12) third.
Owned by Craigieburn resident Ian Forsyth, the gelding has now won two races with four minor placings from his 15 starts.
The Echuca meeting was Holland’s first back from almost nine months on the sidelines through injury.

Storm home again
Kyneton trainer Mick Sell’s Ardra Storm ($5.50) made it three wins in a row at Bendigo on Tuesday.
After winning 0-58s at her previous two starts, the four-year-old daughter of Wanted and Ancelin was an impressive winner of the Androit Insurance Services BM64 Handicap (1300m).
Ridden by Craig Robertson, the mare defeated $3.10 equal favourite But It’s True by two lengths with the local Destiny’s Revenge ($7) close-up third.
“She won very well today and I’m very happy,” Sell told Racing.com’s Sam Doran after the race.
In the first of her three wins, at Ararat, the mare had to survive a controversial protest after racing waywardly in the straight, but in her past two wins she has been on her best behaviour.
On Tuesday the mare briefly appeared to have “a think” while on one rein.
“I was a little bit worried but Robbo put the stick away and started to ride her hands and heels again and that’s when she got to the line really well,” Sell said.
Sell intends to aim the mare at a VOBIS Gold race in coming weeks.
Ardra Storm has now won four races with two minor placings from 18 starts.

Night of nights
Good luck to Kilmore Racing Club ahead of the Jet Roofing Kilmore Pacing Cup this Saturday night.
Midweek magic 
Kyneton & Hanging Rock Racing Club hosts a meeting at bet365 Park Kyneton this coming Wednesday (March 21).


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