IT’S all in 24 hours’ work.
Jockey Winona Costin was in Tasmania on Friday to land a feature race for co-trainers Gai Waterhouse and Adrian Bott, then returned home to ride the last two winners at Wyong yesterday.
The much-travelled Costin, who chalked up 84 winners last season and is approaching a career tally of 550, was successful in the Listed Tasmanian Guineas (1600m) on three-year-old Russian Roni, who clinched a hat-trick.
She was at Wyong principally to partner stablemate Bucks Party in a successful debut and then finished off a busy 24 hours by also winning the closer on Miss Checkoni for Gosford trainer Nick Mitchell.
Punters who went to the meeting expecting to clean up on three short-priced favourites were left bitterly disappointed when none were successful.
Asva ($1.55) managed third and Overriding ($1.26) was narrowly beaten before bookmakers took a set against locally trained True Crime, who was withdrawn from a Rosehill Gardens engagement to resume on his home track when trainer Kim Waugh opted not to run him on a heavy surface in Sydney.
After opening at odds-on, he got out to start at $2.20 and couldn’t pick up Costin’s mount Miss Checkoni, although he ran on well.
The seven-race program was conducted on a soft 7 track and there were no suspensions, although Blake Spriggs was reprimanded by Stewards after his ride in the sixth race and told to exercise more care when shifting ground in future.
RACE 1: DE BORTOLI WINES MAIDEN (1600m):
The ride won the race. Jockey Jeff Penza took off from second last on Gleefilly nearing the 600m when the pace was muddling, and hotpot Asva was behind the leading pair and being steadied off heels. Gleefilly ($4.80) continued on with her run, took the lead on the home turn and kept going to comfortably defeat Pioneer Lass ($10) and the $1.55 favourite. A lightly raced Kermadec three-year-old who cost only $35,000 as a yearling, Gleefilly was having only her fourth start and continues to show improvement. On this performance, she looks capable of stretching out further in distance. Jockey Mitchell Bell told stewards Asva started to race keenly when the speed slackened near the 700m. He added that when able to secure clear running at the top of the straight, his mount finished the race off only fairly. Kaisa, who finished last of the seven runners, pulled up 1/5 lame in the off foreleg and a vet clearance is required before she can either trial or race again.
RACE 2: BISHOP COLLINS CHARTERED ACCOUNTANTS BENCHMARK 64 (2100m):
FORMER French gelding Flambeur ($3.80 favourite) finally cracked it for his first Australian win. Trainer Matthew Smith was confident beforehand the seven-year-old could break his Aussie “duck” and jockey Ashley Morgan duly delivered. Nonetheless, it looked a bit dicey in the early stages when the seven-year-old was trapped wide until Morgan was able to secure cover in the back straight. He found the drop back to Provincial grade to his liking, having been runner-up to Made By Khan (who raced at Sandown Saturday) in a 2000m Midway Handicap at Royal Randwick on Christmas Eve. Under his 60kg today, he outstayed Nathan Doyle’s stablemates Celestial Fury ($12) and Brave Angel ($7). That pair are capable of getting into the winning list soon, both finishing solidly although never likely to overhaul the winner.
RACE 3: PRIORITY BUSINESS LAWYERS MIDWAY MAIDEN (1000m):
Well supported first starter First Class Molley was a late withdrawal when she became fractious in the barriers, reared up and lunged forward and momentarily got her head cast over the front gate. Stewards ruled she would have to barrier trial to their satisfaction being before permitted to start in a race. At his 16th start and after seven placings, Newcastle trained Super Freds ($4.60) shed his maiden status. Ridden by Andrew Adkins, the four-year-old settled near the tail but got a magnificent run through on straightening to run down Mr Kennedy ($7.50), who had kicked clear and looked a likely winner. Trainer Jay Hopkins said Super Freds was consistent, but usually found a way to strike trouble in his races and should have won a couple of starts back when runner-up at Taree. Separatist ($3.20 fav) was resuming and lost all chance when he didn’t make the home turn well and battled on to finish third. He will no doubt take improvement from this outing.
RACE 4: WYONG ROOS FOUNDATION F&M CLASS 1 (1350m):
Another “shortie” bit the dust here. Newcastle filly Overriding had made a winning debut at home in a 1200m Maiden on Boxing Day and was sent out at $1.26 against only four rivals. However, she never travelled like the good thing she was expected to be. She jumped awkwardly, then had to be steadied to avoid the heels of another runner near the 400m and shifted in under pressure from the 100m to 50m before being straightened. Just as she looked some chance of getting past Galactic Angel (third at $6.50), Definitely Maybe ($9) swooped and nabbed her in the closing stages. A $370,000 Gold Coast Magic Millions yearling, the So You Think four-year-old gave her trainer Matt Smith a double. While Overriding was beaten, she is definitely worth another chance.
RACE 5: GO ELECTRICAL CG&E CLASS 1 (1350m):
Wild Irish Rover ($6) won his Maiden on protest at Wyong on December 14 and jockey Andrew Adkins considered attempting a similar feat. His mount was narrowly beaten by Smooth Flight ($3.60 fav) and he asked to view Stewards’ footage to establish whether there were grounds to lodge an objection against the winner. Both Adkins and Stewards were satisfied there were insufficient grounds for a protest and correct weight was declared. Smooth Flight, a four-year-old by Air Force Blue, was having his seventh start and notched his second success. Watch The Clock ($7.50) followed up his recent Hawkesbury win with a solid third, running on gamely. Apprentice Georgina McDonnell was reminded of her obligations to fully ride her mounts out to the finish wherever possible after just holding fourth on Mancconi from By Nine, who was resuming and ran home stoutly and is looking for further ground.
RACE 6: CARLTON & UNITED BREWERIES MAIDEN (1350m):
The Waterhouse-Bott stable is happy to send inexperienced young horses to the Provincials to begin their careers – and such was the case with New Zealand-bred three-year-old BUCKS PARTY ($3.60 fav). He made his debut after overcoming a stress fracture and contesting four barrier trials and gave Winona Costin the first leg of her double. He did a good job too, beginning well and sitting behind Sir Tom before challenging that horse and taking over on straightening. Though hotly pursued in the closing stages, Bucks Party wouldn’t surrender and toughed it out to hold off Diaco ($21) and Mister Hemsworth ($7.50). The runner-up had done nothing in five previous starts, so this was an indication that he is turning the corner. Nice run also from fourth placed Competition, who drew awkwardly and hit the line with purpose.
RACE 7: WYONG’S NEXT RACES JANUARY 18TH & 22ND PROVINCIAL BENCHMARK 68 (1200m):
Bookmakers gambled and won when the third supposed “special” Kim Waugh’s True Crime couldn’t send most punters home with at least something in their pockets. Easing from odds-on to start at $2.20, True Crime was under pressure from the 600m and still found the line, but was no match for Miss Checkoni ($7), who enjoyed a comfortable run in transit and eased around the leader’s heels at the 200m to score decisively. Jockey Andrew Gibbons told Stewards in his opinion True Crime will derive a fitness benefit from the outing and be better suited over a longer distance. Miss Checkoni was considered good enough to tackle a heat of the Provincial Championships at Newcastle last March, so her win at her third run this preparation was certainly no surprise. She was dropping back from a last start fifth in city grade at Canterbury, and recorded her fourth victory. Local mare Mosht Up ($8.50) loomed up menacingly and finished third, whilst iron horse ISORICH ($13) faltered near the 100m before finishing fifth. Another local Oakfield Mahogany ($3.40) was strongly supported and appeared to have every chance when fourth.