A race to race double to Damien Lane was fitting on a day paying tribute to our talented Wyong trainers.
Lane ended a run of outs with Oakfield Twilight taking out the 1350m BM68 & Princess Amira winning the 1100m BM64.
Doubles were the flavour of the afternoon with Mark Newnham training two winners Skylight Song and Street Gossip, while both Josh Parr and Tom Sherry bagged doubles.
There were some impressive winners with the Snowden trained Gilmore breaking her maiden by more than five lengths and Gary Portelli’s Itsagooddeel revelling in his first attempt over the 2100m to win by three lengths.
Race 1 – WYONG TRAINERS – CONTRIBUTING MORE THAN JUST WINNERS MAIDEN(1000m): The Snowden trained Gilmore put her rivals to bed with a dominant win in her fourth career start.
A $200k Magic Millions filly by Flying Artie, Gilmore had two starts in her first preparation, and was spelled following a fourth at Canterbury.
She was runner up when resuming at Hawkesbury after racing greenly in the straight but showed none of those characteristics in her Wyong win.
Josh Parr led from barrier to post, drawing away in the finals stages to post a five-length victory.
“Josh took her to the front and took all the bad luck out of the equation,” stable representative Colin McCullagh said. “It was good to see her finish off the way she did. I think it’s been a maturity thing with her. She was in a rush to do things last preparation, but Peter & Paul gave her time to get her to mature physically and mentally and it’s paid off in spades.
“We’ll get her back to town know where she belongs.”
Gilmore earned plenty of supper and was sent out $1.60 favourite She beat the Damien Lane trained Alegna ($16), with Sumo Star ($7.50) from the Portelli stable third.
Race 2 – SARA RYAN RACING MAIDEN (1350m):
An early double to Josh Parr and another favourite greets the judge, with the Mark Newnham trained Skylight Song too strong for his opposition.
The son of Your Song was resuming from a spell, having run three seconds in his previous six starts.
Parr engaged similar tactics to the first race, sitting just outside the early leader Twilight Rock. He hit the lead on straightening and was able to hold out the fast-finishing Star Legacy, to win by almost a length.
Newnham has always had a good opinion of Skylight Song, but said he needed time to mature.
“He needed to grow up mentally. He’s always been a terrific style of a horse who has shown above average ability, but he didn’t have a killer punch. He did today and was able to put them away.
“It was good to see him get the job done and hopefully there are many more wins to come.”
Newnham has had a long association with owner Frank Mittiga, having ridden his first horse for him as an owner.
Skylight Song started $1.90 fav, with the runner up Star Legacy from the Portelli stable ($8.50) & Bjorn Baker’s Twilight Rock ($7), third.
Race 3 – ALLAN KEHOE RACING PROVINCIAL MAIDEN (1350m):
Tom Sherry was full of praise for the Paul Perry trained Angara following the Frankel gelding’s debut win.
There was plenty of late support for the three-year-old who was backed in from $6 to $4 favourite.
Punters weren’t disappointed, with Sherry sweeping down the outside on Angara to nab a narrow victory on the line.
Sherry had settled the gelding toward the rear of the field early, taking him to the outside on straightening.
It was a race in two in the final stages, with Yamba’s Award ($4.80) fighting on strongly, but Angara gained ascendency on the line to win by a short half head.
“He’s a lovely horse,” Sherry said after the race. “He didn’t show a lot of gate speed and I had to get up him to keep him in touch with them. It was a nice race for him today and he will improve immensely from that. I think he’ll be a lovely miler.”
A $130k Magic Millions yearling, Angara is raced in partnership by Perry, with Frank and Christine Cook.
Allan Kehoe’s Gold Something ($18) was third, after leading for much of the race.
Race 4 – TRACEY BARTELY RACING MAIDEN (2100m):
A patient ride by gun apprentice Tyler Schiller helped secure victory for the Gary Portelli trained Itsagooddeel ($7).
Schiller, who had a wall of horses in front of him on the turn, waited until they fanned and was able to get a dream run along the rails. He sped away over the last 50m to win by more than three lengths.
The son of Dundeel was having his first attempt at the 2100m and relished the extra ground.
“We’ve been really keen to get him up in trip but had to be patient,” stable representative James Fartherssaid. “We were thrilled to get the reward today and great for the connections Elite Thoroughbreds.
“It was a fantastic ride by Tyler. He gave him every opportunity to put his best foot forward.”
There was no such luck for the O’Shea trained favourite Aunt Roberta ($2.10), who was slow to start, raced ungenerously and knocked up to finish third following a sustained run.
The Kearney trained Hardazhell ($26) was an eye-catcher, coming from last on the turn to finish second.
Race 5 – DAMIEN LANE RACING CLASS 1 (1600m):
Mark Newnham has a good opinion of his filly Street Gossip ($2.70), who proved too strong in her first run over the mile.
The three-yar-old by So You Think, a $140k Magic Millions yearling, had previously won over the 1200m at Warwick Farm and was coming off a fifth on the Kensington track over 1400m.
Newnham removed the earmuffs for the Wyong race with the desired result, the filly pinging the gates and enabling Sherry to take a sit just off the speed.
Despite being wayward on the turn, she managed to pull away from her rivals in the straight and win by more than a length.
“She’s always been a nice filly but has taken a while to come together. I think she’s got a bright future. She’s always had above average talent and I thought she’d get to a fairly good grade.”
Queenmaker ($3.60) trained by Edward Cummings was second, over the Portelli trained Regal Inheritance ($6.50) who was doing her best work on the line.
Race 6 – KRISTEN BUCHANAN OWNERS LOUNGE CLASS 1 (1350m):
An upset by the Mark Connors trained Vandelay Style ($13), who ran down the favourite on the line to bring up her second career win.
The $15,000 Magic Millions yearling is proving to be somewhat of a bargain buy, with more than $45,000 in prizemoney to date and the trainer expecting more wins to come for the four-year-old.
She was well ridden by Reece Jones who settled her to the rear of the field, coming from behind on the turn to overhaul the favourite on the line by a narrow margin.
It was a pickup ride for Jones after Brock Ryan was indisposed.
Connors said it had been a stop/start career for the Vandelay Style.
“She has given us a lot of trouble back home but has come back bigger and better than ever,” he said. “Credit to the staff, especially Mikayla Young who rides her in all her work and got her to where she is today. She’s a lovely big strong mare and I think they further they go the better she will get.”
Michael Freedman’s $2.70 favourite looked to have the race one before Vandelay Style appeared from the pack. Lehndorff ($3.80) trained by Mark Newnham was third.
Race 7 – KIM WAUGH RACING MIDWAY BM68 (1350m):
Damien Lane’s eight-year-old Oakfield Twilight returned to form to bring up his eighth career win ending a frustrating run of outs for the stable.
The Zoffany gelding was having his 56th career start and given a peach of a ride by Brad Rawiller.
Despite drawing the outside barrier, Rawiller was able to cross and eventually get a soft lead in front. He drew away on the turn and kicked to score by two and a half lengths.
Lane said it was good to get back on the board with a win.
“We’ve had a frustrating run without much luck and its good to finally get a win. Brad rode him a treat. He likes to get in front dictating and that’s what he did. He’s been a super horse for Bruce (McKenzie) and me. He might be past his best, but he’s still got a few wins in him.”
Oakfield Twilight ($5.50) beat Clarry Connors $3.40 favourite Peace Officer, with Impressive Lass ($7) trained by Clare Collett, third.
Race 8 – WYONG’S NEXT MEETING – APRIL 20, 2023 BM64 (1100m):
It was a race to race double for Damien Lane with his five-year-old Princess Amira ($13) edging out another local on the line, Rodney Bailey’s Mr Bingo.
The win came as a bit of a surprise for Lane who had expected she would need more time.
“She trialled super the other day, but I was surprised who forward she was today,” Lane said.
“Her first preparation for us was really good but she didn’t com e up last prep. She seems to have come back really well this time. It’s funny you can’t get a winner and then get two in a row,” Lane said. “It’s always good to get a win on the home track and hopefully the luck has changed and we’re on for a good period.”
Princess Amira, ridden by Jenny Duggan, brought up her third win at start 15, with five minor placings.
She beat Mr Bingo ($16) by a nose, with Cappelllettii ($6) from the Ryan/Alexiou stable third.