Western Victoria: Madden the man as mare doubles up
By Tim Auld, June 11, 2024 - 10:15 AM

Warrnambool mare Picaroon made it back-to-back country cup wins when she took out the $50,000 Apsley Cup at Edenhope last Sunday for trainer Tom Dabernig.
The win came on the back of the chestnut’s Casterton Cup victory three weeks earlier. Warrnambool-based Irish expat Tom Madden has ridden the six-year-old to both cup victories.
Dabernig said he’d been confident Picaroon would run well again at Edenhope
“She hadn’t missed a beat since Casterton,” he said. “I was worried the wide barrier (10 of 10) wouldn’t help her chances because it’s usually tough to win from out there at Edenhope but Tom gave her a great ride. Tom has a great understanding of Picaroon.”
Sunday’s win took Picaroon’s stakemoney to $532,405 from 27 starts.
Earlier on the Edenhope card, Dabernig won a maiden plate with Call To Glory. The three-year-old was well ridden by Dabernig’s apprentice jockey Jordyn Weatherley to take out the 1000-metre maiden at his fourth race start.
The double took Dabernig’s record since May 18 to 13 winners from 47 starters.
’Bool on Wil’s agenda
Classy jumper Wil John could have his next jumps start in the $100,000 Thackeray Steeplechase at Warrnambool on Sunday July 7.
Wil John made his steeplechase debut with an impressive victory at Hamilton last month and trainer Ciaron Maher says a start in the Thackeray may be on the cards for the eight-year-old, who has won three of his five hurdle starts.
“We were thinking of running him in a steeplechase at this year’s Warrnambool carnival but he had a couple of minor issues so we eased up on him,” Maher said.
“He’s got over those issues and shown a lot of promise in hurdles but I always knew he’d be a better steeplechaser.
“I’d say we’d use the Thackeray as a stepping stone towards the big steeplechases later in this season.
“I’m sure Wil John will show even more improvement once he gets out over more distance.
“The main race we’ve got on his agenda is the 2025 Grand Annual. I’m sure he’ll be suited by the 5500 metres of the Annual and the 33 fences.”
Wil John has won $644,275 in prizemoney from 31 starts overall.
Training talks continue
The Warrnambool Racing Club will review its training-track policy following a meeting with trainers last Thursday.
WRC chief executive officer Luke Cann said preliminary discussions with the trainers were beneficial.
“The main issue releated to horses having access to grass gallops on Tuesdays and Saturdays,” Cann said.
“We understand trainers would love to give their horses gallops on the grass before they race especially when they have to go to Melbourne but it’s a fine line.
“We’ve just come off the back of a big May carnival and our track staff are still repairing the track. They have put a lot of sand in on the damaged sections and done plenty of seeding and fertilising work to try to bring the surface back up to scratch.
“We can’t forget the dry weather before the carnival forced us to irrigate the track in April, something that hasn’t happened for years.
“We’re looking forward to having more discussions with trainers in the future.”
Cann added that new lighting on the sand training track should be installed within weeks.

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