Ransom pays his way
A SOUTHERN campaign is in the offing for lightly raced galloper Ransom Reason, who offered further evidence of his potential with an exciting first-up win at Cluden Park yesterday.
The hulking five-year-old brought up the fifth win of a career restricted by leg problems to just six starts when he powered home in the $12,000 Happy NewYear Class 4 Handicap (1200m).
Ransom Reason ($3 eq fav) yesterday settled towards the rear of the field and had plenty of work still to do on turning for home.
But he ate up the ground for jockey Chris Whiteley to score by half a length from smart three-year-old Dominate King ($3 eq fav), who looked to have pinched a winning break.
Ransom Reason’s effort was even more impressive given the very fast time for the last 600m of 33.73 seconds.
Atherton trainer Janel Ryan was justifiably thrilled with the win.
‘ ‘ Wi t h h i m b e i n g a backmarker and the rail being out five-and-a-half metres, we thought he was some chance,’’ Ryan said.
‘‘But after this, I can’t see him being beaten up here.’’
Ryan said she had been quietly confident of victory when the field turned for home.
‘‘When he started moving forward at the 800m I thought, ‘this is it’, because I know what he can do when they straighten up,’’ Ryan said.
‘‘Chris said when they jumped he could have held him by a piece of thread but when he let him go he just motored up to them and let down in the straight.’’
Ransom Reason is raced by Townsville Turf Club committeeman Kevin O’Keefe, who bought the son of Red Ransom as an unraced, unnamed four- year-old for a modest sum at a Sydney dispersal sale.
Ryan hopes to venture south with a team including Ransom Reason in coming weeks.
‘‘There are a couple in the stable we’d like to take south, probably in the latter part of January,’’ Ryan said.
‘‘I just hope he pulls up all right, every start’s a bonus, every win’s a bonus.’’
Premier Gold Coast jockey Whiteley expected Ransom Reason to prove ‘very competitive’ in the south.
‘‘He’s a nice horse and looks like he’s going to go further,’’ Whiteley said.
‘‘He looks like he’s got a fair bit of class on them here.’’
Ransom Reason provided the second leg of a winning double for Whiteley, who continued a remarkable recent strike rate on his former home track.
‘‘Since I started coming back up here in July I think there’s only been one meeting where I haven’t ridden a winner,’’ Whiteley said.
Whiteley leads the Cluden Park premiership with 19 wins, six clear of reigning premier jockey Graham Kliese.
Earlier, honest sprinter Back of House made a deserved breakthrough with his decisive win in the Noel’s Place Class 2 Handicap (1000m).
Back of House ($3.30) overcame a wide barrier as he dashed clear in the home straight to bring up his first win in North Queensland.
GOT THEM COVERED . . . Atherton galloper Ransom Reason (Chris Whiteley) storms to an impressive firstup victory over Dominate King, centre, in yesterday’s Class 4 Handicap at Cluden