Pagoh ends strong to take first victory
PLAN A: Jockey Chris Kearney puts trainer Kaye Hill’s Plan A in place to give Pagoh his first victory – the 1200m Grand Hotel Class B Handicap at the Gayndah Races on October 11. PAGOH, a previously unplaced and “frustrating” horse, thrilled his owners with his first win on Saturday at the Gayndah races.
Co-owner and Gympie trainer Kaye Hill let out whoops of delight, and declared the 1200m Class B Handicap win a “big effort”.
“He’s even gone further over 1400m, so it’s a bit shorter today for him,” Hill said.
“We had a Plan A, but we were thinking we might go with A, B, C, D.
“(In Plan A) he was supposed to lead – but he didn’t; but he kept in near the fence and he just flew home – he just flew.”
Hill said Pagoh and stable mate Commander Bond received no special preparation for the Gayndah races.
“They work every day and tune them up with a couple of gallops,” she said.
“Chris Kearney is riding both of them. He’s never ridden them before in a race.”
Co-owner Barry Fitzhenry paid tribute to both Hill and Kearney, after saying Pagoh was not an easy horse to train.
“He’s a frustrating horse... He’s shown plenty of ability, but he just hasn’t been putting in,” Fitzhenry said.
“It (the win) is surprising because Chris Kearney won a race for us 12 months ago in Sydney under similar circumstances.
“We had another grey horse that stopped putting in (and) Chris sorted him out for us.”
Jockey Chris Kearney said riding a horse with “no form” took experience, and he’d followed advice to get Pagoh in front early.
“He gets a bit dubious and doesn’t want to go forward, but they run him off his legs early,” Kearney said.
“I pushed him down the hill to the corner and once he got in the clear, once he straightened up, he led down and won the race quite handsomely.”