The Riverine Herald - - SPORT -

A HORSE bred, trained and owned in Echuca-Moama flew the lo­cal flag to win the $20,000 bet365 BM64 Hand­i­cap at Echuca race­course on Satur­day.

Definia ran a text­book race from go to whoa with ap­pren­tice Lewis Ger­man get­ting the ride so his 2kg claim could get the top weight down to 60kg for the 1200m dash.

Trained by Gwenda and Mick John­stone the seven-year-old geld­ing, which is owned by half of the twin towns ac­cord­ing to the course caller, with six ca­reer win from 32 starts, lifted its earn­ings to $119,355.

Start­ing at 6/1 Definia paid $6.80 on Su­perTAB but ac­cord­ing to Mick John­stone “it’s a nerve wrack­ing way to back a win­ner”.

He was be­hind just be­fore the post, and be­hind just past the post, but put his head down at ex­actly the right mo­ment to be a nose in front on the line,” John­stone laughed.

It was a day of close calls for the sta­ble, in the open­ing race on the card, the $23,000 Echuca CIH Maiden Plate over 1200m, their first start mare Catch A Hero fin­ished in a dead heat for third with Ex­ceder.

“Definia car­ried the weight well and af­ter a good jump the young­ster on his back pulled up just be­hind the pace­maker,” John­stone said.

“We thought he had a good shot, he was down in class but up in weight, so the ap­pren­tice claim cer­tainly helped,” he said. “This was Lewis’ sec­ond ride on him and he did a great job keeping him on the speed be­cause Definia doesn’t overly like firm tracks and can’t af­ford to get too far back.

“That hap­pened last start but to­day, the race was as good as you can get.”

John­stone said Definia can be a tricky ride be­cause when he gets in the straight you can never be sure which way he is go­ing to go.

He said the horse tends to make up its mind when it reaches the straight.

On Satur­day he did shift as the field straight­ened but Ger­man kept him go­ing for­ward af­ter Hot Seat, the horse that had led from the jump.

“Lewis is a good left hand whip rider and he kept Definia go­ing straight while they caught up with Hot Seat,” he added.

“That was a good job and he got there just in time.”

Definia is out of Echuca Beauty, which has been a suc­cess­ful brood­mare for the John­stone sta­ble.

John­stone said all but one of her six foals had been win­ners.

“We will prob­a­bly move him up in class to a BM72 at Be­nalla on Septem­ber 28 and then see where he goes from there,” John­stone said

Whit­tle­sea trainer Peter Mor­gan and jockey Linda Meech com­bined to win the first race of the day (the $23,000 Echuca CIH Maiden Plate) with All A Spritz and then fin­ished the day on a high win­ning the last race (the $20,000 In­de­pen­dent Cranes Hand­i­cap over 1400m) with My Mother Says.

Mal­don train­ers Brian and Ash­ley McKnight also landed a dou­ble with Lone Sol­diers in the $23,000 Two Tarts Maiden Plate and then Yar­rayne Lass in the $20,000 Mur­phy’s Turf & Land­scap­ing Hand­i­cap.

The next Echuca races will be on Mon­day Oc­to­ber 15.

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