Can Wyong’s very own “iron horse” Isorich bring up yet another win on Saturday, furthering his remarkable home track stats?
Certainly, according to trainer Wayne Seelin, who said the rising 13-year-old is “feeling good and really happy” and ready to race well in the 1200m BM68 at the club’s Christmas Eve meeting.
“He’s got an amazing record at Wyong and there’s no reason why he can’t bring up another win on Saturday,” Seelin said. “He just loves the track and has only been out of the placings in seven of his 21 starts there.”
In fact, eight of those starts were winning outings, making up half of the geldings 16 career wins.
His latest Wyong victory was on November 24 when he saluted the judge in the same grade and distance.
As in most of his 147 career starts, he was sent out at big odds, returning $61 for the Isorich faithful, many who were on track to cheer him home.
“It was a fantastic win that day and we’re hoping he can do it again. It would be nice if he can get another result before he finishes up. There were excuses for him at Wyong last start when he finished well back over the 1300m. He was wide the whole way and if he doesn’t win the speed battle early, he doesn’t try so hard.”
Isorich was beaten more than six lengths in the Wyong race on December 14, having finished not far behind the winner at his previous start at Newcastle on December 3.
“He’s never really loved Newcastle. He led that day and only really got grabbed in the last 50m. The straight there is the extra 100m longer than Wyong and the tempo of the races is always solid over the 1200m.
“So, it’s never really suited him. You can’t just go to Wyong all the time, so we had to run him there but he’s back at this favourite track this time and ready to go.”
Isorich was a $7500 yearling who has returned his connections, including Seelin and Paul Watson, more than $800,000 in prizemoney.
He has been part of Seelin’s stable for more than half of his training career and he admits he’ll be sad to see him retire at the end of 2022/23 racing season.
“That’s racing. I knew life before him, and I’ll know life after him and he won’t be far away. He’ll have a home here in the top paddock.
“It’s been a buzz training him and I’ll keep looking for another one to replace him.”
The first race gets underway at 12.40pm.
Race 1- 12.40pm: THANK YOU TO ALL RACE DAY STAFF 4YO & UP MAIDEN (1300m):1 JABALI BELLE, 2 Oakfield Blue Bell, 3 Galactic Angel, Ranhita.
Race 2 – 1.15pm: GIVE THE GIFT OF MEMBERSHIP – MID YEAR SPECIAL JUST $30 CLASS 1 (1000m): 1Flying Shelly, 2 Command Approved, 3 Rotorua, 4 Meod.
Race 3 – 1.50pm: TAB.COM.AU MIDWAY 3YO MAIDEN (1100m): 1 CHIPPER, 2 Adore The Rush, 3 Coolex, 4 I’m A Shaker.
Race 4 – 2.25pm: MAGIC MILLIONS YEARLING SALES 10-16 JANUARY MAIDEN (1100m):1WINDSHADOW, 2 Hot Sundae, 3 Our Lady Stardust, 4 Rubicks Choice.
Race 5 – 3.05pm: MERRY CHRISTMAS FROM WYONG RACE CLUB CLASS 1 (1350m): 1 IRONBARK ARTIE, 2 Sirens Star, 3 Pinky, 4 Karuta King.
His father took out the Wyong Magic Millions and later had success on the Gold Coast and Sovereign Fund could well follow in his footsteps after his debut win in the MAGIC MILLIONS WYONG 2YO CLASSIC.
The Snowden’s trained star colt Capitalist, who took out the Wyong race in 2015, went on to claim success in both the Gold Coast feature and the Golden Slipper the following year.
Sovereign Fund has impressed both the stable and champion jockey James McDonald, who believe he’s got what it takes to take out the $2m Gold Coast 2Y0 Classic in January.
“It was a tradesman like performance today,” McDonald said, after bringing up a treble with the win. “He’s a ready-made two-year-old, big and strong, and he’ll cope with a preparation that’s involved with getting him to the Gold Coast.
“If he improves off the win today, and he should, he’s got the tactical speed and is tough enough to be a good chance. He’s a nice horse.”
Paul Snowden agreed Sovereign Fund had the ability to win the Gold Coast feature. He’s come a long way in a short space of time.
“This has always been the main form race going north and he’s a pretty strong and tough. He will improve off today’s win and has the constitution to get up there in good order.
“He was a very unassuming horse early, very shy and didn’t like to be cluttered up around other runners, which was very evident in his first trial. We’ve done a lot of work with him on the track and tinkering with a bit of gear. He keeps ticking boxes and putting his hand up.”
Snowden said they had been confident leading into the race.
“What gave us confidence today was the initial fast tempo and the fact we drew so well. If everything jumped clean and decided to put tempo into the race, when knew we’d get a lovely cart into the race.
“James summed it up particularly well and he was the strongest late, which is what we wanted him to be.”
Sovereign Fund, a $550,000 Magic Millions yearling, earned late support starting at $6 on the back of his recent trial at Canterbury, where he finished second behind The Novelist, a subsequent Kembla winner.
He is now listed as an $11 chance at the Gold Coast and will join stable mates Empire Of Japan, the current $5 favourite and Godfather $11.
Dubbo galloper Quasimoto ($51) flashed down the outside to finish second, giving trainer Clint Lundholm a “great thrill.”
Summer Loving ($4), trained by Waterhouse/Bott was third, while the Widdup trained $3.70 favourite, Fire Lane, finished fourth.
John O’Shea is Gold Coast bound with not one but two three-year-olds after a quinella by stablemates Hell I Am and Shalailed in the MAGIC MILLIONS WYONG 3YO & 4YO STAKES over 1200m.
Hell I Am, a $150,000 Magic Millions yearling, was sent out $2.70 favourite and the win was never in doubt, courtesy of another great ride by James McDonald.
He had intended to go back from the outside barrier, but a muddling start landed him just behind the front runners.
It turned out to be the perfect spot, with Hell I Am hitting the front on straightening and speeding away in the final stages to win by almost two lengths.
The Hellbent gelding came into the race with impressive form, putting together three wins in his previous preparation, all on rain affected tracks.
Punters were confident a good track wouldn’t affect him, and they weren’t disappointed.
Shalailed was impressive in defeat, with the stable sharing a good opinion of the Shalaa colt.
Racing Manager Alex Maher was full of praise for McDonald.
“What a ride. We didn’t expect him to be up there, but it all panned out pretty well. He’s a lovely horse going forward. He’s a lot more mature than he was and has grown up a bit,” Maher said.
“I wouldn’t write off the second horse, he’s also a lovely horse. It’s good to see them both performing on top of the ground. They’ll both have one more run now and then head to the Gold Coast.”
Hell I Am now shares equal favouritism at $8 for the race and McDonald is a fan.
“He only had one soft trial coming into this but has come on immensely from that. He felt terrific on top of the ground and is a lovely horse.”
Kristen Buchanan’s Oakfield Triumph ($81) ran on strongly to finish third and also looks to have a bright future.
It was a fight to the line for the two greys Jack Duggan and Youthfull in the MAINSTREAM FINANCE SERVICES PTY LTD BM64 (2100m)with the $2.50 favourite Jack Duggan getting the bob on the line.
Jason Deamer’s American import brought up his third win at start 14, with Tim Clark in the saddle.
The five-year-old outstayed Youthfull ($3.90) in the final stages, the Brad Widdup trained mare, wayward in the straight.
Deamer was pleased with the efforts of his five-year-old gelding, raced by Dynamic Syndications, having his first outing at the 2100m.
“It was a real staying test, and he was strong at the finish,” he said. “Tim rode him very well. He put him to sleep, and he relaxed nicely and was able to sit and smoke his pipe until he pushed the go button. He had a fight on his hands but got the job done. It was great to see him back to the winner’s stall today.”
Chappelli ($7.50) trained by David Payne was third.
The O’Shea stable has big wraps on Irish import Master Copy who brought up his third Australian win in the WYONG LEAGUES GROUP CLASS 1 over 1600m.
The four-year-old broke through for his maiden at Kembla on November 22 over the 1400m and made short work of his opponents at Wyong, looking the winner a long way from home.
He was sent out at $1.65 favourite and given a super ride by James McDonald, just behind the leaders. He took him to the front on straightening, riding hands and heels to the line to win by a length and a half.
“We are looking forward to bigger and better things,” Racing Manger Alex Maher said. “He’s one of the better imports we’ve had, and John has a good opinion of him.”
McDonald agreed in his first ride back from Hong Kong after being named the Worlds’ Best Jockey.
“He’s a lovely horse. Still a bit new but he’s got plenty of pace and a good mind and that will take him a long way.”
Wayne Seelin’s Every Effort ($61) put in an improved performance to finish second on his home track, over another local Damien Lane’s Oakfield Redgum ($8).
It looked like a Godolphin victory in the 1350m GOLD COAST YEARLING SALE 10-16 JAN MAIDEN, but the stewardshad other ideas upholding a protest by the ridder of the runner-up Josh Parr.
Aboard the Mark Newnham trained Wild Irish Rover ($3.40), Parr claimed interference in the final 50m after he was bumped by Mr Wallace ($2.20fav), ridden by his brother-in-law Tim Clark.
With only a nose separating them on the line, it was always going to be a touch and go decision, with stewards awarding the win to Parr after a lengthy protest.
The winner, having his sixth career start, was coming off a third on the Beaumont track on November 22, when he was beaten less than a length over the same distance.
The Snowden trained Nullify ($4.80) finished third.
Alibi Dot Com brought off some big bets to take out the 1100m EBH BUILDING GROUP MIDWAY BM64.
Trained by Greg McFarlane, the Your Song mare, gave Tim Clark a winning double.
The five-year-old caught the eye with a second at her previous start over the 1100m at Gosford on November 30.
She was backed in from $9 to $3.70 favourite returning some big bets.
McFarlane believes Your Song is up to Metropolitan grade.
“It was a brilliant win today. She looked to have left plenty in the tank and I think she’s a city horse,” he said. “We’ve taken our time with her, and she’s come along leaps and bounds. She just needed time to find her feet and hopefully its onwards and upwards now.”
Damien Lane’s Oakfield Mahogany ($4) was second, with O’Not A Doubt ($31) trained by Joseph Khalifeh, third.
The powerful Lees stable wasn’t to be denied on the day, taking out the last with Australian Bloodstock four-year-old Mobstar ($9.50).
The Shalaa gelding was too strong for his rivals when resuming in the 1300m PBL LAW GROUP PROVINCIAL BM68.
Dylan Gibbons came from the rear of the field on the turn, storming down the to win win by more than two lengths, eased down on the line.
Stable representative Cameron Swan said Mobstar had returned a much better horse.
“I was watching the racing and thinking Dylan had plenty of horse and just needed the luck to get out and when he did, he put them to bed very quickly,” Swan said.
“He showed a really good turn of foot and has come back a much better horse.
Claire Lever’s Grace Bay ($3.80) finished second, ahead of another Lees runner Terrameades ($10) third.
When it comes to feature races Damien Lane would like nothing more than to see his colt Bare To Witness win Wednesday’s 2YO Magic Millions Classic on his home track.
Lane came close to taking out the $200,000 feature last year with Wealthy Investor, who rocketed home in the final stages to finish third, beaten by a long neck.
He has taken a similar path with Bare To Witness, giving him a trial, then a Metropolitan start in the lead up to the Wyong Magic Millions.
The 20th running of the 2Y0 Classic has attracted a strong field of 12, with many of the top Sydney stables represented.
Lane is confident his $50k yearling by Star Witness has the ability to match it with some of the more fancied runners, provided he gets the right run in the race.
“I would have preferred to have drawn a little closer, but he has definitely come on since his Sydney run, he’ll just have to be a bit sharper early,” Lane said.
Bare To Witness couldn’t muster early speed in his only start at Rosehill over the 1100m on November 22 but made up plenty of ground in the final stages to finish fifth.
“He can’t afford to do that at Wyong, but he’s definitely improved since that run. Kerrin McEvoy will ride him, and he got a sit on him in an exhibition gallop at Wyong last week. It was a nice piece of work.
“I think he has similar ability to Wealthy Investor but might be a bit new, that could be his only downfall.”
Bare To Witness has some classy opposition to overcome, with $1.2m Exceed And Excel yearling Mach Ten resuming in the race.
Michael Freedman’s colt looked impressive winning a trial at Canterbury on November 29, after finishing third in the Group 3 Breeders Plate at Randwick in October.
Gai Waterhouse has dominated the race with five victories and the Waterhouse/Bott stable look to have another strong contender with Summer Loving, who will get every favour from barrier 1.
They have a big opinion of the $425,000 Exceed And Excel filly, who finished third in Golden Gift at Rosehill in November after being sent out favourite, and looked smart in her recent Canterbury trial.
Another local Tracey Bartley believes his mare Compassionate is primed to go one better than her second in last year’s $100,000 3YO & 4YO Stakes.
The Into Mischief mare was narrowly beaten by Annabel Neasham’s Wisdom Of Water, having been caught wide throughout from an outside barrier.
She has had better luck this year starting from three and will be ridden by Kathy O’Hara.
“She’s right at the top of her game and there’s nothing stopping her winning,” Bartley said. “I’ve set her for this race. She had a track gallop last week and I’m really happy with her.”
Mark Newnham’s Sneaky Paige will be one of the hardest to beat, the Deep Field mare has four wins to her name, including a Wyong victory, and was placed third at Listed level at Flemington on October 29.
The club hosts a seven-race card on Wednesday, the first getting underway at 1.45pm.
A treble for Brenton Avdulla, an impressive debutant and a long shots surprise win were among the highlights of our GO Electrical Race Day. The Ryan Alexiou trained Tsarina Sophie could be the one to follow from the meeting, bringing up her second win in as many starts. And the locals weren’t to be denied with Kim Waugh and Damien Lane book ending the meeting with Sir Godric and Oakfield Warpaint.
Race 1: LEDVANCE – HPM LEGRAND – PRYSMIAN – HAGER MIDWAY MAIDEN PLATE (1350m): A Wyong winner was never in doubt in the final stages of the 1350m Maiden and it was Kim Waugh’s $2.10 favourite Sir Godric who got the bob on the line. The Dundeel gelding fought out the finish with Tracey Bartley’s Frosbie ($3.90), the latter proving too strong in the final stages to win by a long neck. The pair put almost three lengths on the third placegetter Rabainreach ($9). Sporting the distinctive colours of two of Australia’s biggest owners Frank and Christine Cook, Sir Godric was having his third race start and second this preparation. Jockey Jay Ford signalled his intent early, settling him on pace beside the leader Frosbie, patiently holding his position until the final 50m. Waugh was full of praise for Sir Godric, believing the three-year-old is a future stayer in the making. “It was a super confident ride by Jay and great performance by what I consider to be a very progressive horse.”
Race 2: SHARKRACK CLASS 1 & MAIDEN PLATE (2100m): The judge wasn’t required by Mum’s The Boss ($2.30fav) who put more than two lengths on her rivals to bring up her second career win. The Foxwedge mare had to wait almost eight months to break through for her second victory, but trainer Brad Widdup found the perfect race at Wyong. Her victory was assisted by a well-rated, front-running ride from Brenton Avdulla, who brought up the first of a treble of wins. The five-year-old led from barrier to post, with Avdulla drawing away in the final stages. Stable representative Andrew Rabbett said they had expected the mare to race well. “It’s taken a while for her to win again but she has run in a few races that were beyond her at the time. She does have ability but has been slow maturing mentally. “She’s starting to figure things out and we knew the step up in distance would help.” Second favourite Vincenzo ($3.80), from the Ryan Alexiou yard, fought on well to the line, with the Gavenlock trained Tina’s Rock ($31) putting in a much-improved run to finish third.
Race 3: THORN – OMEGA POWER – PSA – SCHNEIDER MAIDEN PLATE (1600m): The step up to a mile suited Lonely Rock to a tee, the Fastnet Rock four-year-old bringing up his first win at start eight. And it was a huge upset with Ian Finn’s horse, the rank outsider of the field, returning $101. Warwick Farm-based Finn has always had an opinion of Lonely Rock, a $350,000 Magic Millions yearling, having nominated him for last year’s Cox Plate. Reece Jones pulled off a super ride, settling just behind the leaders, and despite being forced wide on the turn, was able to emerge from the pack in the final stages and snatch victory. Lonely Rock was having his eighth career start and had been unplaced in all his previous runs. He will certainly be worth following as he continues to step up over ground, as will Gary Portelli’s $2.15 favourite, Spitfire, who hung out badly in the straight, finishing fourth. The runner-up Kaisa ($16) trained by Lou Mary, also had excuses after being held up on the tun, while the Neasham trained Jamrock ($7.50), who finished third, isn’t far off a win.
Race 4: RED SMOKE ALARMS – OMNI – LEVY AGENCIES – IPD MAIDEN PLATE (1000m): Annabel Neasham’s impeccably bred debutant Anavinci ($4) kicked off her career in super fashion with a dominant win. And it was another great ride by the in-form Avdulla, who took luck out of the equation, by leading all the way to win by almost two lengths. The I Am Invincible filly had impressed at both her barrier trials, catching the eye with a win over the 794m at Warwick Farm on November 18. She was sent out $3.30 second favourite and with the impressive debut win, looks to have a bright future. Joe Pride’s $1.80 favourite Ramones was disappointing, with apprentice Tyler Schiller telling stewards he had been forced wide and without cover throughout. Godolphin galloper Coriolis ($18) finished strongly in second after a slow start, while the Snowden trained Fanagoria ($9.50) was third.
Race 5: MATCHMASTER – EVOLT – TRADER – APP CLASS 1 HANDICAP (1200m): Ponca ($4.20) made it back-to-back wins with a convincing victory, eased down on the line to win by a length. The win continued a great run for Hawkesbury-based Michael Freedman, who has trained eight winners in less than a month. By gun sire American Pharoah, Ponca was a $400,000 yearling and is raced by China Horse Club. She was coming off a last start victory at Gosford over 1200m. Tom Sherry gave the three-year-old a great, rails hugging ride, with the filly showing an impressive turn of foot in the final stages. Sophie Johnson, representing the stable, said it was a huge improvement by the filly. “She was super. It was a massive improvement from her last start. She just needed a bit of winding up last time but today she just glided along like it was nothing. She’s definitely improved.” The Hawkes trained Shines ($4.40), fought on well to finish second but the hard luck story belonged to Snowden’s $3.30 favourite California Press, who flashed down the outside to finish third, after missing the start by more than two lengths.
Race 6: HANECO BENCHMARK 64 HANDICAP (1000m): Finally, it was a win for the favourite, with speedy filly Tsarina Sophia ($2.60) keeping her unbeaten record intact with her second win in as many starts. The Russian Revolution three-year-old was resuming from a spell, having won on debut at Kembla in May and looks to have a bright future. She was spelled after the win by the Ryan Alexiou stable and looked smart finishing second in a trial at Rosehill on November 24. Punters were keen to support her, and she didn’t disappoint, with Avdulla placing her midfield after a slow start, before peeling to the outside in the straight and running down the leaders on the line. Mike Van Gestel’s consistent gelding No Statement ($6.50) put in another honest performance to finish second, with local galloper Bedtime Stories ($41) putting in a much-improved run to finish third. There were excuses for equal favourite Boomsong, who was untested in the straight.
Race 7: GENERAL TRADE SUPPLIERS PROVINCIAL BENCHMARK 64 HANDICAP (1600m): The locals were cheering in the last after Damien Lane’s Oakfield Warpaint ($8.50) brought up his fourth career win. The Exceed And Excel gelding was coming off a second at Gosford on November 30, where he was narrowly beaten over the 1600m. Lane kept him in the same grade and distance at Wyong and the five-year-old didn’t disappoint, winning by a length and a half. Tyler Schiller had the five-year-old just off the speed throughout before peeling wide on the straight and racing away on the line. The stable had been confident of a good run, with the gelding having great third up form. The Lees trained Handsome ($16) was slow the start but hit the line strongly to finish second in only his second Australian start, while another local galloper Mark Cross’s Sian ($3.40fav) finished third.
With stable star Kiss Sum in the paddock Tracey Bartley is relying on some of his other up and comers to get the job done on his home track this Thursday.
Bartley saddles up promising three-year-old Frosbie and consistent mare Lady Superspy at the club’s Go Electrical Race Day, and believes they are both primed to win.
“It was a frustrating preparation with Kiss Sum, so we’ve put him out for a spell. The preparation went a bit pear shaped with him being balloted out of a few races and because of that having too many trials,” Bartley said.
“We’ll bring him back for the Autumn. I haven’t got anything specific in mind but there are plenty of races and he’s good enough to measure up.”
So, with Kiss Sum taking a well-earned rest, Bartley’s focus is now on the rest of his team and he’s confident both his runners at Wyong can get the job done. Frosbie, a three-year-old by Scissor Kick was a bargain buy at just $8000 and has surprised Bartley with his ability.
He debuted at Port Macquarie on November 10 over 1200m and although finishing fourth, was only half a length off the winner.
He followed that run up with a third over 1350m at Wyong on November 24 and again wasn’t far off the winner.
He has drawn favourably in barrier five for the Midway Maiden and will be ridden by Serg Lisnyy.
“His run was terrific the other day and he’s ready to win. He’s going really well,” Bartley said.
“He’s drawn better this time and Serg has been on him both starts so knows him well. He probably needs a bit further, 1400m on a bigger track, but I couldn’t find a suitable race.
“He wasn’t an expensive horse and he’s got potential. I think his two runs have been really good and he’s quite surprised us actually.”
Bartley is equally impressed with his stable mate Lady Superspy and considers the mare a strong winning chance.
He will be hoping to book end the meeting, with the five-year-old lining up in the last race, the Provincial BM64 over 1600m.
With two wins and six placings from just 14 starts, Lady Superspy continues to impress her trainer.
“She’s on a bit of a backup from Gosford the other day and I’ve gone back to a senior rider with Kerrin (McEvoy). I’m just going to get him to put her more up on the speed rather than getting back on her.
“She got back too far last start and she’s got the speed to be up there somewhere. She’s a nice mare and I think she will win in town.”
The first of seven races gets underway at 1.50pm.
SELECTIONS: RACE 1 – 1.50pm: LEDVANCE – HPM – LEGRAND – PRYSMIAN – MAGER MIDWAY MAIDEN (1350m): 1 SIR GODRIC, 2 Frosbie, 3 Semper Invictus, 4 Ahead Of The GameRACE 2 – 2.25pm: SHARKRACK CLASS 1 & MAIDEN (2100m): 1VINCENZO, 2 Who’s In Winny, 3 Mum’s The Boss, 4 Tina’s Rock RACE 3 – 3.05pm: THORN – OMEGA POWER – PSA – SCHNEIDER MAIDEN (1600m): 1 JAMROCK, 2 Tekapo, 3 Apache Jewel, 4 Kaisa RACE 4 – 3.40pm: RED SMOKE ALARMS – OMNI – LEVY AGENCIES – IPD MAIDEN (1000m): 1 ANAVINCI, 2 Cardone, 3 Ishani, 4 Fangoria RACE 5 – 4.20pm: MATCHMASTER – EVOLT – TRADER – APP CLASS 1 (1200m): 1 SHINES, 2 California Press, 3 Captain George, 4 Ponca RACE 6 – 4.55pm: HANECO BM64 HANDICAP (1000m): 1 MEOD, 2 Tsarina Sophia, 3 Midnight Oasis, 4 Boomsong RACE 7 – 5.30pm: GENERAL TRADE SUPPLIERS PROVINCIAL BM64 (1600m): 1DA NANG STAR, 2 Lady Superspy, 3 Oakfield Warpaint, 4 Mussenphere