Pincis: Globetrotting gelding springs cup surprise
By Joel Marshall, February 12, 2024 - 1:00 PM

Seventy-five months and a handful of days after winning a Group 3 race on the Capannelle racecourse in Rome, grey gelding Wiesenbach (GB) added his name to the Buchan Cup honour roll.
The popular once-a-year meeting was run under clear skies in front of a big crowd last Saturday, and it was the well travelled nine-year-old who stole the show.
Bred in Great Britain, Wiesenbach raced 11 times in Italy for two wins and four stakes placings before being shipped to Hong Kong, where he failed to settle in, and showed little in five starts.
Sent to Australia, he finished last in two barrier trials for Gai Waterhouse and Adrian Bott before being entered in the Inglis Digital online sale of November 2020.
Purchased for $30,000, the gelding has since been trained at Sale by Kerry Farrugia and after a break of two years between runs kicked off for the new stable in February 2022.
Wiesenbach broke through for his first Australian win at Moe in a 0-58 handicap over 2088 metres in June, but did not progress any further.
Following another 12-month layoff, the gelding returned in December last year. After a couple of average picnic runs and a handful of well held efforts on the TAB circuit, he was able to find his best and prove much too strong for his Buchan rivals.
The outsider of the field at $14, Wiesenbach scored by 2¼ lengths to give claiming rider Sophie Clayfield her biggest win in the saddle, and in the process deny runner-up Laststrikeyourout back-to-back cup wins.
‘Just’ two for Troy
Another Sale trainer had hopes of a bigger afternoon, but in the extremely competitive current climate of Victorian picnic racing Troy Kilgower had to settle for a merely good day out, and a training double.
Kilgower saddled up 12 runners across the six races at Buchan and there was the potential for him to leave with four or more winners, especially after having claimed the opening race.
Kilgower combined with Grant Seccombe to get the maiden win on the board for recent stable pick-up Eileanaur ($2.50), a four-year-old daughter of Mikki Isle. He also trained third and fourth.
Kilgower had three of the four starters in race three, but couldn’t quite nail the trifecta. He did, though, snag the quinella with ex-Shawn Mathrick runner Tottenham Hotspur ($2.70) and Henry Jaggard beating home the more fancied even-money favourite Coralee with Seccombe aboard.
While that was the lot for Kilgower, Jaggard wasn’t done. He sealed riding honours for the day when he piloted the Paul Worthington-trained Jenni of Avalon ($2.70) to her first win at start 24 in race five.
Both Jaggard and Sophie Clayfield now feature among the top eight riders for the season on six wins apiece, 13 wins off the pace-setting Shaun Cooper.
Coto comes good
Ensay trainer Rob Gillahan and rider Caitlin King almost landed a double of their own at Buchan.
The pair combined to win race two with eight-year-old sprinter Doctor Coto ($15), who bounced back to form at big odds.
The eight-time winner from 63 starts had been placed just once in eight previous runs this season, struggling on soft and heavy tracks a number of times, but he struck a firm 2 surface on Saturday and showed his class. It was the gelding’s third win for Gillahan after five wins for Ian Jones.
The winning combination was denied another upset win in the last race when $10 chance Wunambal was edged out by the Gary Cluning-trained Space Cowboy ($6.50). With Mel McDonald in the saddle, Space Cowboy notched his fourth career win and first for the season following placings at Healesville and Merton.
Woolamai is the venue for picnic racing this Saturday.

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