Dark Halo could be the horse to follow from Wyong’s GO Electrical Race Day following an impressive debut over 1100m.
The flashy son of Zoustar hit the ground running in the OMNI – HAGER – CABAC CG&E MAIDEN and despite maintaining a high cruising speed, was able to quicken in the straight and win by four lengths.
The $280k Magic Millions yearling had won his previous two trials for the Maher/Eustace stable, the latest at Rosehill by almost 10 lengths.
But he wasn’t without fault, stable representative Liam Ruddy describing Dark Halo ($2.25fav) as a “work in progress.”
“He’s been scratched at the barriers a few times, so it was good to see him stand there and do everything properly today. He’s here now and it was a really nice debut. Off the back of that you couldn’t be anything but excited.”
Dark Halo’s win brought up a double for Maher/Eustace and Jason Collett, with Costa Smeralda scoring earlier in the day.
It was a family affair in the 2100m SAL – MATCHMASTER – OMEGA POWER BM64, father and daughter Richard and Alysha Collett combining for victory with Whetu.
The late money was spot on for the Dundeel six-year-old who was backed in from $3.80 to $2.50.
He put paid to his opposition in the final stages, romping home by over eight lengths, to bring up his 4th career win.
“I probably slaughtered him last start, so I’m surprised I got back on,” Collett laughed. “There were five leaders in the race today and that worked out well. I was able to keep him in his rhythm, keep him in the open and go through the gears.”
The family connection continued in the HANECO F&M MAIDEN with Jason Collett piloting Maher Eustace’s well bred filly Costa Smeralda ($3.50) to victory.
There had been plenty of confidence from both the stable and Collett, who trialled the Exceed and Excel filly, that she would perform well on debut.
She didn’t disappoint winning the1100m race by a length after showing plenty of early speed.
“It’s good when a filly has got natural gate speed and takes luck out the equation,” Liam Ruddy said. “She quickened nicely in the straight, giving the impression she might do something as the spring continues.”
It may have taken Kris Lees’ Satirical Fan eight starts to break his maiden, but he certainly did it in great fashion, winning the ROBUS LIGHTING – HPM LEGRAND – ELECTRA CABLES PROVINCIAL 4YO & UP MAIDEN over 1600m by almost nine lengths.
Dylan Gibbons gave the So You Think gelding the perfect front running ride and was able to slip away in the straight for a very dominant win.
“He was beaten by a good horse last start, so we were confident today,” Danny Greer, representing the Lees stable, said. “I’d like to think he will go on improving as he steps up in distance.”
It was a race-to-race Lees/Gibbons double when consistent gelding Oakfield Prince ($2.05fav) took out the PSA – THORNE LIGHTING – APP BM64 over 1600m.
The So You Think six-year-old, raced by Bruce McKenzie, had been runner-up at his past two starts, but atoned for the losses with a three-length win.
“It’s onwards and upwards for him now,” Gibbons said. “It’s a good sign when they can put them away like he did today.”
Mark Cross’s locally trained Sian ($7) stormed home to finish third.
Gerald Ryan described the win by his All Too Hard gelding Let’s Try ($3.10) in the 1350m SCHNEIDER SUPER MAIDEN as “well deserved.”
The four-year-old brought up his first win at start six, with Brandon Lerena in the saddle.
“He’s come a long way this time in,” Ryan said. “He did heaps wrong early but this time around after a nice spell, he’s much more settled and manageable. Brandon rated him good today. He’s no star but will win a couple more races.”
Damien Lane’s Red Cobra, the $101 outsider of the field, flashed home for second.
Tim Clark made a successful return to Wyong at just his second meeting back after suffering an injury on Cup Day.
Clark rode the David Pfieffer trained Beneficio ($8) to victory in the 1100m SHARKRACK – IPD – EMERALD LIGHTING BM64.
The Magnus mare was having only her second start for the stable having previously raced in Victoria and brought up her second career win.
“It’s good to be back and in the winner’s stall,” Clark said. “This mare filled me with confidence in the run that she’d be in the finish a long way out. She fought it out really well.”
Kristen Buchanan’s Big Happiness could be in for a good preparation after finishing third, just a length behind the winner.
A long shot winner in the last, the 1350m KLEIN TOOLS – EVOLT – PRYSMIAN – BRILLIANT MIDWAY BM64 with Brett Lazzarini’s Mancconi ($37) upsetting the more favoured riders with Brock Ryan in the saddle.
There were some nervous moments for Lazzarini after a truck accident on the freeway delayed their arrival.
“I didn’t think we were going to get here at one stage, but we made it. He’s no world beater this horse but every time you put him down, he does his best. My wife owns 80% so it keeps her happy, “he laughed.