Rain across western Victoria last weekend put a smile on the face of Warrnambool trainer Peter Chow.
Chow, who divides his time between milking cows and training horses, cashed in on the resultant wet tracks with winners at Ararat and Terang.
Moor Wanted ($21) won a sprint maiden on a heavy 8 at Ararat last Saturday while established wet-tracker Robbie’s Star ($21) won a 1400-metre benchmark 70 on a heavy 10 at Terang.
Both horses will be set for the Warrnambool May carnival, according to Chow.
“It’s great we’ve had the break in the weather,” he said. “It’s good for the farm and for training horses.
“I can’t take any credit for Moor Wanted — all the credit goes to (stable foreman) Stewie Bishop.
“He picked him out of the paddock as a yearling after he saw the branding 33/4.
“Stewie is a fan of (Hawthorn footballer) Cyril Rioli, who wears number 33 and has played in four premierships, so Stewie decided to buy the horse.
“Robbie’s Star is a really good wet-tracker. I thought he’d be hard to beat after the heavy rain.
“We should have a few runners at the carnival. I just hope we get more rain.”
The Warrnambool carnival runs from May 1 to May 3.
Declan tracking nicely
Irish-born jockey Declan Bates was another man in form last weekend, making a winning mid-race move on the Darryl Dodson-trained Flaubert’s Gift ($16) at Ararat before producing another clever ride on Robbie’s Star at Terang.
Bates, who has booted home 120-plus winners since moving to Australia more than two years ago, is looking forward to the coming Warrnambool carnival.
“I’ve got to thank my good mate Shane Jackson for encouraging (wife) Jennifer and me to make the move to Warrnambool,” he said. “Life is really good.
“I’ve been lucky in that I’ve had a lot of support from local trainers including Daniel Bowman. I also go up to Ballarat one day a week to ride work for Archie Alexander.”
Bates has a connection to one of Australia’s better weight-for-age gallopers of recent seasons, Hartnell, having ridden him to win his maiden at Ffos Las in Wales in September 2013.
Unexpected joy for Jess
Hamilton trainer Jessica Constantine was pleasantly surprised by the first-up win of Wild Cliffs ($11) in a 1200-metre maiden at Terang.
“I’m a bit surprised,” she said. “I thought she might need this run.
“I gave her a jumpout at Stawell last week and she went well.
“I’ve got to thank (owner) Peter Balderstone, who’s been a great supporter of mine.
“I’m not sure if we go to the Warrnambool Carnival with her.”
Wild Cliffs had been unplaced in six previous starts. The four-year-old Canford Cliffs mare has earned $17,801 in stakes.
Mo looking good
Warrnambool trained jumper Dormello Mo lost no supporters on the road to next month’s Brierly Steeplechase with his third placing in a steeplechase at Racing.com Park last Sunday.
Trainer Simon Ryan was upbeat about Dormello Mo’s effort in the 3200-metre ’chase.
“We’ve got no complaints,” Ryan said. “I thought it was a very good run and he was well ridden by Braidon Small.
“My bloke had to carry 70kg. I’m confident he’ll have less weight in the Brierly.
“I thought the winner, Monarch Chimes, was very impressive going forward to the Warrnambool carnival.”
Monarch Chimes had 66kg at Racing.com Park.
Elsewhere on Sunday’s card, promising Warrnambool jumper Two Hats came to grief but suffered no injuries.
“He just got ‘half-lengthened’ at the jump,” said trainer Aaron Purcell. “It was a harmless fall. He just tripped.
“He appeared to be travelling really well in the run. The fall is disappointing but that’s racing. The horse pulled up really well and we’ll go forward to the Galleywood.”
The $150,000 Galleywood Hurdle is the feature jumping race on the second day of the Warrnambool carnival.