Kembla Grange trainer Gwends Markwell’s run of feature success continued at Doomben last Saturday when Archedemus ($4.20) took out the listed Members Handicap (1600m).
In a repeat of the tactics that saw the five-year-old win the Group 3 Hawkesbury Gold Cup over the same distance at his previous start, Brown opted to go straight to the front.
From there, he allowed the gelding to roll along and he never looked liked losing, staving off the challenge of Tom Melbourne to score by a length, with favourite Gem Song third.
“I’m so proud of this horse,” said owner-breeder, Ross Williams following the win.
“He’s been through a tough life and he’s a five-year-old with not many starts. I’ve looked after him and he’s repaying it now.
“He really should be seven from nine because he didn’t come out of the gates in one start.
“We might be backing him up next week for the (Doomben) cup. It will be a lot tougher than today, but you’ve got to be in it to win it. and he hasn’t really reached his peak yet.”
Back in business
The newly formed training partnership of Richard and Michael Freedman got off to a flying start last Friday, the first day of the Scone Race Club’s annual two-day carnival, when Special Missile led all the way under Sam Clipperton to win the $180,000 listed Scone Gold Cup (1600m).
“It’s a big thrill for the whole team,” Michael Freedman said.
“It’s been 15 or 16 years since Richard and I have been in business together so to come back together and have this horse win the Scone Cup is very satisfying.”
Special Missile ($5.50) just clung on to defeat favourite Fierce Impact by a nose, with Goldstream a further length and a quarter away in third.
Earlier in the day, the Rod Northam-trained Spilt took out the $100,000 Inglis Classic (1100m) for two-year-olds to give the trainer his fifth win in the race.
“It was a good win. He jumped well, travelled back off them and let down strongly. It all worked out perfect,” said Northam.
Spilt ($13) won by three-quarters of a length from Longbottom with another Northam-trained galloper, Tango Stepz, in third.
The win took jockey Robert Thompson’s Australian winner tally to 4404 and provided the jockey with an early birthday present. Thompson turned 61 on Monday.
Last Saturday’s Scone meeting saw Akasaki, trained locally by Stephen Jones and ridden by apprentice Chris Williams, win the 1100-metre Vinery Stud Handicap for the second consecutive year.
After settling well back in the field, the five-year-old sprinted to the lead about halfway down the straight.
Despite tiring late, Akasaki ($6.50) held on to score by a head from Oneness, who was gallant in defeat, having been caught four and five wide for the entire journey.
Two to follow
Later on the card the Jenny Graham-trained Victorem made an impressive return to racing in the $140,000 listed Ortensia Stakes (1100m).
After settling well back in the field, the four-year-old didn’t get clear running until the final 100 metres, at which point he flew home to run second, beaten just a half-length by Viridine. Victorem has strong second-up form so don’t miss him next start.
Another to follow is Outback Diva. This three-year-old filly, trained by Richard and Michael Freedman, couldn’t have been more impressive in winning the 1200-metre maiden at Kembla Grange last Saturday by 5¼ lengths at just her second start.
In country-cups news, last Saturday’s Cobar Cup (1700m) went to the Connie Greig-trained Naoko ($4.20), ridden by Rasit Yetimova. The pair had combined earlier to win the opening race, the 1370-metre maiden with Purest ($8).
The same day’s Leeton Cup (1600m) was won by the Luke Pepper-trained mare Gypsy Miss ($4.20 equal favourite), ridden by apprentice Courtney Gravener.
Gravener then brought up a running double when she booted home Stardux ($4 equal favourite) for trainer Todd Smart in the 1900-metre maiden.
At Quambone, the 1400-metre Picnic Trophy went to $2 favourite Austin, trained by Rodney Robb and ridden by Maddison Wright.
The following day, the 2000-metre Defence Force Cup at Queanbeyan was won by the Mark Gee-trained Irenic ($8.50), ridden by Brendan Ward.
The same day, the 1600-metre Parkes Gold Cup went to the well supported topweight Class Clown ($4.60) trained by Chris Heywood and ridden by Mathew Cahill.
Hackett now stable
Jockey Michael Hackett, who suffered severe head injuries in a race fall at Tomingley, last month has been moved from the intensive care unit at Liverpool Hospital to its neurology ward, while he awaits transfer to the brain injury rehab unit at Westmead Hospital.
Hackett’s condition is now said to be stable although his level of consciousness is variable according to Racing NSW medical officer David Duckworth.
This Saturday sees the Mudgee Race Club hold its popular Gooree Cup meeting, sponsored by the Gooree Park Stud.
“Gooree has been sponsoring this great day for over 20 years and it keeps going from strength to strength,” MRC secretary-manager Colleen Walker told media.
On the same day, the Young Turf Club will hold its annual cup meeting — thanks to some timely rain, without which the meeting most likely would have been abandoned.
“Things were looking grim,” club spokesman Keith Carmody told media, “but as if pre-ordained, more than 80mm of rain fell in the Young district last month to save the day.”
Also on Saturday, the Tuncurry-Forster Jockey Club will hold its annual Ladies’ Day meeting with plenty of treats on offer.
for women racegoers.