Dubaiinstyle books a Wyong Gold Cup berth

 

Phillip Pollicina is hoping for a chance to claim his second Wyong Gold Cup if Dubaiinstyle backs up in the $160,000 race on Friday.

The six-year-old earned a spot in the prestigious race with a dominant win in the 2100m TRAVEL ASSOCIATES ERINA WYONG CUP PRELUDE – CLASS 4 HCP.

Pollicina was an owner of Beyond Thankful, who claimed the Wyong Gold Cup in 2015, and is hoping trainer Kris Lees will start Dubaiinstyle in next Friday’s Cup.

“It would be great to have another runner and chance to win,” Pollicina said.

“I was part of a big syndicate when Beyond Thankful won but this time it’s a smaller group and even more exciting.”

Dubaiinstyle was never threatened with jockey Andrew Gibbons taking him to an early lead and dictating terms, before drawing away in the straight for a dominant three length win.

Lees stable foreman Cameron Swan said they would see how the horse pulled up before deciding on a run in the Cup.

“That will be up to Kris but he went well today backing up from Taree a week ago, so he’s tough,” he said.

“Gibbo rated him beautifully in front. I was concerned that he might not settle but Gibbo, after riding him the other day, got a bit of confidence out of him and was keen to go forward. It worked out well.

“There was no cause to panic at any stage of the race. He seemed to have them all covered.”

Gibbons, who is having a career best start to a season with 14 wins, said Lees had left it up to him how to ride Dubaiinstyle.

“He said ride him for feel and he’s the sort of horse that can go a touch keen. Ideally I would of liked to have ridden him with cover but they were looking for a leader so I thought I’m on the best horse I’ll take it up.

“I got an easy time. He’s tough and I think if he went to the Wyong Cup he’d be the sort of horse who would race better in good company, with more genuine speed.

“He wouldn’t have to do the donkey work and he’s up to that grade.”

It was a Lees quinella with stablemate Go Benny ($4) finishing second, two lengths ahead of Mr Smartee ($12) trained by Tas Morton.

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The John Sargent trained Come Along ($6) upset the short-priced race favourite to score a narrow victory in the 1350m REMEMBERING MURRAY DOYLE 3YO MAIDEN PLATE.

It was fitting that former AJC Chairman David Hall is a part owner of the winner, in a race honouring former Wyong Race Club Chairman, the late Murray Doyle.

Hall said he hadn’t been to Wyong for many years and it was great to see how the club had progressed.

The $230,000 yearling purchase, sporting the colours made famous by Think Big, appreciated the step up in distance to 1400m, with the stable confident his best form will come over more ground.

Campbell Ashby, representing the stable, said there is plenty of improvement still to come for the three-year-old gelding.

“It was a great ride by Jeff and I think you will see the best of this horse when gets up to the mile and more,” Ashby said.

“We put the nose roll on today because he can run around a bit for some reason and it made a difference.

“It kept his head down and focused and it was a good win.”

Ashby said they would see how the horse pulled up before deciding to either spell him or step him up over more ground.

Come Along beat Le Lude ($1.80) from the Thompson stable by a neck, with the Hawkes trained Rivalry ($5.50), third.

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James Innes Jnr claimed his first Group victory on Saturday at Rosehill taking out the Ming Dynasty and continued the form with a win on the short-priced Omar ($1.80).

Trained by Gerald Ryan, the Snitzel gelding held off a challenge by the Damien Lane trained Rastafarian ($9.50, to grab a narrow win in the THE ROYAL HOTEL WYONG BENCHMARK 64 over 1000m.

Having his third start, the gelding is owned by prominent breeder George Altomonte from Corumbene Stud.

Blake Ryan, representing his father, said he felt the soft track had taken a bit of speed out of Omar.

“It was good. James is riding with a lot of confidence and he came out and summed the race up well,” Ryan said.

“With the sting out of the track today it dulled his sharpness a little bit. He’s a fast horse, who has been able to go straight from a maiden to a benchmark race. Mr Altomonte will be happy, dad will be happy and it’s good for the horse.

“I reckon he’ll run 1100m with a bit less pressure in the race as well. It was good to see him put two together. He’s going the right way.”

Innes said he had concerns during the race.

“I was thinking how far on the point of the turn but off the bridle with a bit of cut out of the track there was a bit of a question mark.

“He definitely zips off a hot tempo on a good track, but I had my heart in my mouth for a little bit today.”

Second Island ($9.50), trained by Greg McFarlane, was a half-length behind in third.

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Allan Kehoe looks to have bagged a real bargain with Tikkitala after the gelding’s impressive three length win in the 1100m CARLTON DRAUGHT WYONG GOLD CUP FRIDAY AUGUST 31 4YO&UP MAIDEN.

The five-year-old was having only his second start, coming off two trials wins at Newcastle.

Kehoe owns the gelding with David Ruttley from Glenthorne Park.

He was given the horse by its previous owner after it was discovered he had wind issues.

“The owner didn’t want to go on with him, so she gave him to David and I,” Kehoe said.

“He had the wind operation and had a good break at David’s place.

“He hasn’t looked back since. You wouldn’t know there had ever been a problem the way he is now.”

Kehoe said he had been confident going into the race.

“He trialled well both times and has been working good on the track.

“We thought he’d win today, and he didn’t let us down.

“I’ve got a pretty good opinion of him, so hopefully he can go on a win a few more races.”

Tikkitala ($16), ridden by Rory Hutchings, beat the $2.25 favourite Infinitely Pretty, trained by David Pfieffer, with Neruda ($7.50) from the Buchanan stable third.

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A well-deserved win by the consistent Spring Creek Star ($2.70) to break through for his second win in the 1350m STAR 104.5 BENCHMARK 64.

The Jarrod Austin trained Dubleo gelding has put together a string of placings and hard luck stories since last tasting success in March 2017.

He has been placed three times at Wyong this preparation and finally proved too strong for his opposition.

A relieved Austin said it was great for the horse and owners, who had been very patient.

“It was a good win and he’s very deserving,” Austin said.

“I was happy to see the favourite come out this morning and I knew we had a good chance.

“He races well around this track and there have been excuses for his last few placings, so it’s great to see him finally break through.

“Rachel rode him really well today. We’ve had a bit of success together.”

Austin said he would see how the horse pulled up but was reluctant to send him out for a spell.

“He’s been up for a while but is racing so well at the moment. I’ll probably look for a class 2 somewhere and take it from there.”

The win brought up a double for Rachel King, scoring earlier on the program on Elaborate.

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Ben Smith considers Elaborate ($3.50) has the makings of a good horse after his breakthrough win in the FRESH-R CLASS 1 HANDICAP over 1600m.

The Excelebration three-year-old, having his third start for the stable, was given a great ride by Rachel King, sitting just off the leader and race favourite Homework ($1.65).

Smith said the plan had been to pressure the favourite and take advantage of a pull in the weights.

“The decision to scratch from the maiden to the class 1 gave him a big difference in the weight and we thought we could roll forward and put a bit of pressure on the top weight,” Smith said.

“Hopefully that weight difference was the telling factor in the end and it was a good ride by Rachel today.

“He’s a really nice progressive horse but it’s just taken him a little while to put it all together race day. He’s shown plenty at home so hopefully he can keep taking the next step and keep improving and we will have a nice horse.

“I think he might even get a bit further later on, once he develops a bit more. He’s just turned three so there is plenty of scope there for him.”

King also considered the plan to pressure the favourite a winning one.

“We wanted to keep a lot of pressure on the favourite. We had a lot less weight, he’s a very fit horse and we were confident the mile today was definitely going to help him,” she said.

“He’s still got a bit to learn but he’s getting there.”

Raced by Dynamic Syndications, Elaborate scored a half length win over Homework, with the Kim Waugh trained Joy For Us ($6.50), a close in third.

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Short priced favourite Madame Markievicz ($1.24) greeted the judge by a narrow margin courtesy of a well-rated, front running ride by Christian Reith.

The O’Reilly mare held off the Kim Waugh trained Seeingisbelieving ($5.50) to take out the 1600m WYONG PRODUCE AND FARM SUPPLIES MAIDEN PLATE by a short half head.

Trained by Anthony and Edward Cummings, the four-year-old was coming off a narrow defeat over 1400m at Newcastle on August 11.

Stable representative Steve Oliver described her a “nice mare,” who would get better next preparation.

“She’s only a little thing but she stuck on well today and will take plenty out of that win.”

Christian Reith said he had benefitted from some easy sectionals during the race.

“I know the margin was only close, but she accelerated nicely from the 300m,” he said.

“The second horse gave her a good challenge but to her credit she toughed it out.”

Reith said the plan had been to lead and a good start had helped.

“I spoke to Anthony and Edward this morning and I said to them if we ride her positively we will take all the bad luck out of it.

“She was best horse in the race and we rode her forward and were able to get away with the win.”

Select Royal ($12) from the David Payne stable was almost three lengths behind in third.

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The John Sargent trained Come Along ($6) upset the short-priced race favourite to score a narrow victory in the 1350m REMEMBERING MURRAY DOYLE 3YO MAIDEN PLATE.

It was fitting that former AJC Chairman David Hall is a part owner of the winner, in a race honouring former Wyong Race Club Chairman, the late Murray Doyle.

Hall said he hadn’t been to Wyong for many years and it was great to see how the club had progressed.

The $230,000 yearling purchase, sporting the colours made famous by Think Big, appreciated the step up in distance to 1400m, with the stable confident his best form will come over more ground.

Campbell Ashby, representing the stable, said there is plenty of improvement still to come for the three-year-old gelding.

“It was a great ride by Jeff and I think you will see the best of this horse when gets up to the mile and more,” Ashby said.

“We put the nose roll on today because he can run around a bit for some reason and it made a difference.

“It kept his head down and focused and it was a good win.”

Ashby said they would see how the horse pulled up before deciding to either spell him or step him up over more ground.

Come Along beat Le Lude ($1.80) from the Thompson stable by a neck, with the Hawkes trained Rivalry ($5.50), third.

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