HEAD­ING NORTH BRINGS RE­WARD

The Sunday Mail (Queensland) - - SPORT - NATHAN EXELBY @xlb­nathan_c­mail

TOW­ER­ING geld­ing Old North opened the win­ning ac­count for Godol­phin’s plan to use Queens­land’s off-sea­son rac­ing as an op­tion when he broke a long run of outs at Doomben yes­ter­day.

Old North hadn’t won since the Tul­loch Stakes of March 2016 af­ter which he failed to live up to big-race ex­pec­ta­tions.

So, Godol­phin and head trainer James Cum­mings de­cided on a dif­fer­ent path for him this time around.

“We just want to iden­tify the right races for our horses.

‘‘In the case of Old North, that race fit re­ally well into where he’s at right now,” Godol­phin’s new Aus­tralian man- ager Vin Cox said. “It’s not a fixed plan, just a case of as and when.”

Cox said Old North would likely head straight back to Syd­ney.

The race was an eye-pop­per for pun­ters.

I’m A Rippa was un­wanted in bet­ting and was then carved up in front when Divine Ser­vice raced him to the turn.

The first sec­tional of 43.21sec is sui­ci­dal around the Doomben 1350m and I’m A Rippa did a huge job to hold on for sec­ond.

Brad Ste­wart landed a raceto-race dou­ble with Jaden­tom and a bril­liant ride on Vault­ing Am­bi­tion.

It was a long over­due Satur­day suc­cess for Vault­ing Am­bi­tion.

At his sec­ond start in a race, he ran third to Too Good To Refuse and Most Im­por­tant, with the likes of Mr Epic, Craiglea Wan­doo and Man Of His Word be­hind him.

But he was in­jured af­ter that race and didn’t start again for more than 500 days.

He was the ben­e­fi­ciary of a bril­liant ride by Ste­wart who took the short cuts in the straight.

Trainer Lind­say Hatch noted Jaden­tom ($7) was ex­tra spe­cial to the fam­ily, given the mare is named af­ter his chil­dren, and he ad­mit­ted he got ex­tra sat­is­fac­tion from the win of promis­ing mare in the Sprite Hcp (1200m).

“She has al­ways had abil­ity and won her maiden by a big space but since then she has had real trou­ble with a hock.

‘‘It was the best I have had her for a long time,” he said.

Matt Dunn has Coun­try Cham­pi­onship am­bi­tions for Snitz who car­ried a big weight to win first up yes­ter­day.

Snitz will run at Doomben over 1350m in a fort­night, be­fore head­ing to Grafton for the Coun­try Cham­pi­onship qual­i­fier.

The sta­ble won that race last year with Per­fect Dare who then failed to han­dle the heavy con­di­tions in the Cham­pi­onship Fi­nal.

A top-two fin­ish is re­quired at Grafton to qual­ify for the $500,000 fi­nal, which is on April 7.

RIGHT DI­REC­TION: Old North strides to vic­tory at Doomben yes­ter­day. Pic­ture: Grant Pe­ters/Track­side Pho­tog­ra­phy

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