Hugh Bowman made a perfect return to race riding at Randwick last Saturday, piloting the promising Sir Elton to victory over 1100 metres.
After beginning quickly from the outside barrier, Bowman was able to cross on the favourite and sit outside the speedy Embracer.
He accelerated quickly when challenged in the run home and scored by two lengths.
“He sure is great prospect. He didn’t get it all his own way out there.” noted trainer Adam Duggan.
Bowman agreed. “He’s got a fine future judging by what I felt,” the champion hoop said.
“I liked the way he went forward, set up a position and then came back and relaxed well. That gives him scope to get over a little bit further and that will open up a few more doors for him.”
Sir Elton is now undefeated after three starts.
Black-type targets preferred
Canberra-based trainer Matthew Dale is likely to resist the temptation to contest the $1.3 million Kosciuszko with Notation after the filly, ridden by apprentice Chris Williams, scored a dominant win in the 1400-metre benchmark 78 at Randwick on Saturday.
Notation is a recent addition to the Dale stable and has now won two from two for the Canberra mentor, both at Randwick.
“She looks a stakes-class mare and there’s a good group of races coming up for her,” said Dale.
“There’s the Winter Stakes in a few weeks, where she will drop to close to the limit and I think races like the Mona Lisa Stakes at Wyong and the Tibbie Stakes at Newcastle could be good options. She’s a Fastnet Rock filly so she will be more valuable by winning black type.”
Tim Clark’s decision to go to the extreme outside in the straight on San Marco last Saturday proved to be a masterstroke. The four-year-old stormed home to win the Class 3 TAB Highway Handicap (1000 metres) comfortably.
“I wasn’t surprised that the outside was all right so I was keen to get there. I wanted to get him away from horses and get him thinking,” Clark explained.
San Marco is trained at Gladstone in NSW by Peter Ball.
Ball is 80 and has been training for more than 60 years. He has just three horses in work. Unfortunately he was suffering from the flu and was unable to be at Randwick. He was represented there by his daughter Gai.
Newcastle trainer Kris Lees brought up his 236th win for the season last Saturday when the German import Attention Run, ridden by Samantha Clenton won over 1600 metres at her first Australian start.
The mare’s win took both punters and Lees by surprise. “She hadn’t shown a great deal in her trials and it’s taken a while to get to the races,” said Lees.
She had a few little issues and took a while to settle into the Australian weather and lifestyle. I think eventually she will be best around 2000 metres.”
Duck Creek Cup glory for Gadfly
The highlight of the popular Duck Creek Picnic Race Club’s annual meeting last Saturday was the 1250-metre Cup.
This year’s edition was won in comfortable fashion by the Mark Ward-trained Gadfly, ridden by Angela Taylor.
On the same day at Mungindi, the 1400m Mungindi Cup was won by the favourite, Oh Why, trained by Luke Berger and ridden by Geoffrey Snowden.
Scott Sweedman took riding honours for the day, with four wins on the six-race program.
Sunday’s 1615-metre South Grafton Cup went to the longshot Bodega Negra ($21), trained by Bruce Hill and ridden by Jon Grisedale.
Bodega Negra scored by nearly four lengths from American Diva, with Cogliere third.
At Mudgee, the 1400-metre Oztronics Cup was won in a tight finish by Potent Force, ridden by Daniel Pitomac and trained by Michael Mulholland. Greg Ryan fared best of the jockeys, with a winning treble.
City joy for Eleanor
Congratulations to Cowra jockey Eleanor Webster-Hawes, who rode her first metropolitan winner last week.
The talented hoop scored aboard the Dean Mirfin-trained Worldly Pleasure, who led throughout in a 1100-metre benchmark 70 at Canterbury.