It’s often stated that when horses take the lead they “take luck out of the equation” but that wasn’t quite the case when Jess Philpot took up the running on the Anne Yates-trained Redjina at Warracknabeal last Saturday.
After Will Price produced an astonishing piece of horsemanship in a vain bid to hang on as Captain Arjento stumbled out of the barriers, the riderless horse went on to pressure Redjina and his fellow race leaders as Philpot was trying to afford her mount every chance.
Still in his first preparation for Yates and having his fifth start for the stable, the son of Wandjina was rising to 2000 metres for the first time. Despite the early dramas he put in a strong staying performance to score the third win of his career.
Redjina was originally prepared by Bjorn Baker, for whom he won two of seven starts in provincial New South Wales.
Bendigo-based Yates acquired the four-year-old last autumn for $17,000 as a last-start winner. Last Saturday’s race was his first for Yates on good-rated turf.
Redjina started at $11 and was given a great steer by Philpot, whose other ride at Warracknabeal yielded a second on another Goldfields galloper, Unique Goldy.
Given the size of his stable, Bendigo’s Adam O’Neill will be happy with how his team is tracking this season — five starters for two winners, more recently last Saturday when The Rich Fisher broke a 14-month drought at Warracknabeal.
After an encouraging first-up effort at the same track a fortnight prior, the rise from 1000 to 1200 metres suited the chestnut ideally and punters backed the seven-year-old from $6.50 to start at $5.
Under the guidance of Joe Bowditch from the inside barrier, the son of Barely a Moment was afforded every chance on the leader’s back, only going around two horses.
Although it had been a while between drinks, The Rich Fisher had weighed in at seven of his 12 starts in the interim.
The stable acquired the horse in 2017 at a tried-horse sale from Lindsay Park for $18,500.
With his rating now 58 he might be able to build further this campaign on his $70,018 career earnings.
Cooter scoots through bog
Punters are learning a costly lesson with Cooter Cha Cha — don’t underestimate Daryn Drust’s mudlark on rain-affected ground.
Just over three weeks after scoring on a heavy 9 at Wangaratta at odds of $12, Cooter Cha Cha made the six-hour road trip to Hamilton on Monday and an even wetter heavy 10.
He duly revelled in the going, John Robertson piloting the son of Delightful Choice to a two-length victory at $14.
The seven-year-old is racing is great heart, taking his record to six victories and $90,279 in prizemoney from 39 starts.
Drust credits his property at Raywood, 27km north of Bendigo, for keeping the horse’s mind fresh.
The win was Robertson’s first since January.
Hann on the land
Leading Bendigo trainer Kym Hann has taken the next step in his career by purchasing a 26-acre (10.5Ha) property called Rocketville in Longlea, 13km east of the Bendigo CBD.
Previously used for harness horses, the property includes an 800-metre sand track.
Crucial to the transaction was the recent sale of the Hann-trained Latenighttoughguy, an impressive debut winner at Swan Hill in March, to Hong Kong interests.
Josh Julius will be hoping for a scratching in Saturday’s Group 3 MRC Foundation Cup (2000m) to keep his spring dream alive with stable star Super Girl.
Billy Egan has been booked to ride the third emergency, who drew barrier 13. Chris Waller scratched two runners immediately after acceptances, leaving Super Girl needing one more withdrawal.
While Super Girl was beaten as a $4 chance at Sandown last start following a strong first-up win, Julius indicated the mare may have been too dour for the 1800-metre journey with the step up in class.
A top-three run on Saturday would see her rating boosted and enhance her chances of a start in The Bart Cummings on October 3.
On Wednesday Julius’s galloper Highclass Harry extended his run of consistent form with a brave second at Bendigo. He was previously beaten in a photo finish at Sandown.