Goulburn trainer Danny Williams took his tally of TAB Highway winners to 13 when Highway Sixtysix, ridden by Blake Shinn, led all the way at Randwick last Saturday.
It was a tough win by the filly, who went into the race without the benefit of a barrier trial or jumpout.
“She wasn’t quite ready for the trials when they were available so we just kept her going with the trackwork,” the trainer explained later.
Highway Sixtysix scored by a short neck over Nicconita and Williams is confident she’ll improve on that effort.
“She’s still not there yet. She needs to learn to settle and that will come with racing,” he explained.
In the final race on Saturday’s Randwick program, She Knows, for Williams, was beaten a head in a thrilling finish by Nowra galloper Noble Joey.
Trained by Robert and Luke Price and ridden by Kathy O’Hara, Noble Joey settled in second place before heading to the middle of the track in the straight to record a tough win.
Newcastle trainer Kris Lees, who is enjoying the most successful season of his career, added another five winners to his tally last Saturday.
He landed a winning double on his home track with first starters Swift Melody and Aliferous. Swift Melody, ridden by Robert Thompson, scored in a 900-metre maiden while Aliferous, with Mitchell Bell aboard, won over 1200m.
At Randwick, Envy Of All, who had been campaigning on the Sunshine Coast and at Ipswich (where she had won her previous start) made a successful return to Sydney in the 1100-metre Benchmark 77 event.
Jockey Blake Shinn settled the filly one out and one back before challenging in the straight and hitting the lead inside the final 100 metres. The three-year-old then defied a late challenge by Revenire to score by a head.
At Doomben, Lees added a second winning double to his great day, courtesy of Princess Posh and Hallelujah Boy.
Princess Posh was first into the winners stall, scoring a comfortable victory in the 1350 metres Benchmark 85 with Damian Browne aboard.
The jockey then piloted the stablemate and odds-on favourite Hallelujah Boy to victory in the 1640-metre Class 3.
Lees’s double at Doomben may be a sign of things to come with more raids north of the border in the pipeline, according to stable foreman, Cameron Swan.
“We plan to bring them up to trainer Mel Eggleston’s on the Gold Coast and run them from there,” he explained.
Australian boxing champion and swimsuit model Lauren Eagle last week had her conviction for drug-driving overturned in the NSW District Court. Eagle had been fined $600 and disqualified from driving for six months by a magistrate after pleading guilty to the offence in January.
What has this got to do with racing? Well, in overturning the conviction, Judge Helen Syme stated that Eagle’s case was unique in that it involved the taking of legally prescribed medication, which unbeknown to Eagle, contained methamphetamines.
“There was no intention to drive with an illicit drug in her system,” said the judge.
Information I’ve received from a GP and a pathologist indicate there are a number of cold and flu medications freely available over the counter which contain methamphetamines.
With winter upon us, jockeys and trackwork riders would be well advised to check with their GP or chemist before taking any medication, to ensure that it does not contain a substance likely to put them in breach of racing regulations.
Soviet too strong
The Waterhouse/Bott training partnership sent Soviet to Goulburn last Friday to contest the 1400-metre maiden race for three-year-olds. After being backed into $1.40, Soviet, ridden by Adam Hyeronimus, never gave backers any concern, racing away to an easy victory.
The gelding, who was having his second run back from a spell, appeared to appreciate a step up in distance from 1100 to 1400m and he could strike again now that he has broken through.
Cogliere claims Cup
The feature race on the Clarence River Jockey Club’s seven race program on Sunday was the $50,000 South Grafton Cup (1600 metres).
It was won by Cogliere, trained by Marc Quinn and ridden by Matthew McGuren. After settling just off the pace, Cogliere ranged up to challenge around the 200 metre mark and was simply too good for the runner-up Brazen who had attempted to lead all the way.
“I think that’s his best win to date,” said Quinn. “He’s been a bloody good horse for us. He only cost $20,000 and has won over $300,000.”
The Duck Creek Picnic Race Club conducted a very successful meeting last Saturday, with 52 starters over the six races.
The feature event, the 1250-metre Duck Creek Picnic Cup, was won by Rehanaat, trained by Sharon Jeffries and ridden by Ashley Boyd.
On the same day, the Mungindi Jockey Club held its annual picnic meeting. The local Cup, run over 1400 metres, was won by the Luke Berger-trained Cavitation, ridden by Geoffrey Snowden.
That win brought up a treble for the jockey.