Ashlor salutes

Dan McCarthy trained horse wins on Cox Plate day

Wangaratta Chronicle - - Sport - BY JEREMY WIL­SON jwil­son@ne­me­dia.com.au

TAL­ENTED geld­ing Ashlor’s amaz­ing run of form at Moonee Val­ley con­tin­ued at Cox Plate Day on Satur­day with the five-year-old salut­ing for Wan­garatta trainer Dan McCarthy.

Ashlor was too good when it re­ally mat­tered, out­last­ing equal favourite Desert Lashes by half a length in the Bendigo Bank Hand­i­cap (955m) as the two bat­tled it out over the last 200m.

The vic­tory took Ashlor’s golden run at Moonee Val­ley to two wins, two sec­onds and a third from just five starts, meaning she is yet to miss a place at the track.

Start­ing from the out­side bar­rier, Ashlor quickly jumped out of the blocks to sit com­fort­ably be­hind Desert Lashes in­side the first 200m.

With the pace quite high in the sprint, it al­ways looked a two-horse race as the front run­ners turned the cor­ner with 200m to go.

Ashlor al­ways looked the win­ner but was made to work over­time for the vic­tory as Ker­rin McEvoy kept Desert Lashes well in con­tention.

But the Wan­garatta-trained geld­ing did enough to get past the post first with McCarthy telling rac­ing. com im­me­di­ately af­ter the race the fi­nal 200m felt like for­ever.

“It felt like we were at Flem­ing­ton,” he said.

“Just be­fore the cor­ner he looked like he was go­ing to win and then right on the cor­ner he started wob­ble.

“But then he found enough to win so it’s great.”

The win was even more spe­cial for McCarthy given he was de­ter­mined to train a win­ner on Cox Plate Day af­ter re­veal­ing last week it was his late fa­ther’s favourite meet­ing of the year.

Speak­ing af­ter the race, McCarthy said it was an emo­tional win for a num­ber of rea­sons. “It re­ally is quite amaz­ing,” he said.

“I grew up com­ing to Cox Plates – my dad was on the com­mit­tee here for 15 years or so and this was his favourite day.

“Bren­dan ( my brother) got a win­ner last year and I thought and I thought that was an amaz­ing feel­ing for me but to get one my­self, and for the peo­ple in­volved, it’s a great feel­ing.”

“It does be­come emo­tional – I ab­so­lutely love this horse.

“We put a fair bit of work into it – train­ing race horses is a hard ca­per and when you win it gets a bit emo­tional.”

McCarthy is set to skip the Flem­ing­ton car­ni­val af­ter pre­vi­ously ad­mit­ting Ashlor doesn’t like the fa­mous track and says a po­ten­tial trip to Perth in De­cem­ber is on the cards.

McCarthy has en­tered Ashlor in the Win­ter­bot­tom Stakes and ad­mit­ted his rat­ing was get­ting high enough to take on bet­ter horses in big­ger races.

“His rat­ing is get­ting up there, so he de­serves it,” McCarthy said.

“It should be high enough go­ing on last year but it’s pie-in-the-sky stuff, we’re well aware of that, but it’s rac­ing.”

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