Vet­eran shows class in Cup

South Western Times - - Sport - Justin Fris

Mark Bairstow’s 10-year-old run­ner Toned showed a del­i­cate bal­ance of class and ex­pe­ri­ence to hold off Ne­varda and claim the Freo Col­lie Cup (2000m) on Satur­day at the Col­lie Race Club.

Mak­ing its first start of the sea­son, the geld­ing’s trial form had been solid at Lark Hill, how­ever, he didn’t skip a beat when it came to the busi­ness end of the fea­ture race.

Post-race, Bairstow was de­lighted with how Toned con­tin­ued to per­form at a high level with age.

“Even though he is at the vet­eran stage now, he still wants to race and is still very keen to race,” he said.

“And he’s just one of those horses that has won a cou­ple of races ev­ery year. Ev­ery year he seems to be able to get him­self up and get into top form and win some races, which is great.”

Ne­varda, the Stephen Miller­trained five-year-old who fin­ished a mere 0.2 lengths off the vic­tor, ap­pears to have raced him­self back into form, fol­low­ing his vic­tory at York on Oc­to­ber 11.

Aside from the Cup, in­trigue also swirled around the meet­ing’s other fea­ture – the Ap­ple­cross Elec­tri­cal and Test­ing Ser­vice Sprint (1400m) – with ex­pe­ri­ence again prov­ing an in­tan­gi­ble in­gre­di­ent.

Af­ter plac­ing his last two starts, Den­nis Couper’s nine-year-old Dongjie Wu held his nerve against fel­low vet­eran North­pace – with young rider Peta Ed­wards gain­ing a qual­ity win to her ever-in­creas­ing port­fo­lio.

Mark Bairstow

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