Suc­cess­ful hit-and-run raid

Benalla Ensign - - Motorsport -

Sey­mour train­ers staged a suc­cess­ful hit-and-run raid at Be­nalla’s last race meet­ing of the year on De­cem­ber 22.

Chris Nash and Barry Good­win won races while Be­nalla-based train­ers could only man­age a sin­gle win.

Barry Good­win took out the $15 000 Pro­file De­vel­op­ments over 1606m with the heav­ily­backed six-year-old geld­ing Free­doms greet­ing the judge.

One of two win­ners on the day for jockey Teodore Nu­gent, Free­doms had opened in bet­ting at 4/1 and had been pushed to 3.20 by the time the field jumped.

Af­ter track­ing the fron­trun­ner for most of the mile Nu­gent asked for an ef­fort in the straight and rid­ing hands and heels hit the line full of run­ning.

Good­win said they had ex­pected the horse to run well on its re­cent form.

‘‘He has been plagued with a few bad bar­ri­ers, leav­ing him caught wide and hav­ing to do a lot to stay in touch,’’ he said.

‘‘We ended up tak­ing him to a cou­ple of pic­nic meet­ings to get his con­fi­dence up and he de­liv­ered at Be­nalla.’’

Good­win said Free­doms had had 10 runs and some jump outs in his cur­rent prepa­ra­tion and with the win had earned a break for a few weeks to be fresh­ened up.

He doubted the horse would get a city run any­time soon, but af­ter some time in the pad­dock, get­ting in a few walks and some swim­ming, he pre­dicted he would do well on his re­turn.

‘‘I have only had him 12 months, and he had a bad ten­don in­jury in his off fore­leg when I got him, so it took a fair bit if care and re­hab to get him back on the track,’’ Good­win said.

‘‘He does not have any prob­lems with it now and he runs 1600m well, but we think we will get him out to 1800-2000m.’’

Chris Nash was not pre­pared to put his mort­gage pay­ment on Duke of Castille in the $15 000 Be­nalla Bowls Club Plate over 1406m.

The horse was, he said, a un­trust­wor­thy.

‘‘This was his first start for me bit and while I was a bit hope­ful I was even more re­served be­cause of his his­tory,’’ Nash said.

So were most pun­ters on the day.

On a track rated a good three Duke of Castille opened in bet­ting at 8.50 and steadily drifted out to 12/1.

Even that looked flat­ter­ing as the horse found it­self at the back of the field with favourite Hot Night at the 800m mark.

But jockey Si­mon Miller, who had come down from NSW for the ride, didn’t panic and started to go to work as the field rounded the bend for the turn home.

Forced six wide the horse was strug­gling to get into stride and wound up with a huge run down the out­side.

But com­ing from a long way back even at the 100m looked to have no chance — ex­cept he just kept get­ting faster and was pulling away as he hit the line.

Pay­ing $17.90 Nash prob­a­bly wished he had a bit more faith, but he was de­lighted with the re­sult and said his small in­vest­ment ‘‘would help the Christ­mas fund’’.

For­merly work­ing in Dar­win with his trainer fa­ther-in-law Stephen Brown, he and wife Alana now work out of Brown’s Man­ga­lore base where they cur­rently have 15 horses, but Nash said Duke of Castille was the only one he had in work.

‘‘The horse was orig­i­nally trained at Caulfield and also spent some time with Ger­ald Egan at Mans­field,’’ Nash said.

‘‘We are not get­ting too ex­cited just yet with the win — Si­mon (Miller) is a mate and I asked him to come down for the ride be­cause I did think he had a shot,’’ he said.

‘‘That com­bi­na­tion worked well for us.’’

Nash said he was still think­ing about the horse’s next start, with a Wan­garatta meet­ing on Satur­day a pos­si­bil­ity.

‘‘Si­mon said he thought the horse could step up to a longer run,’’ he said.

‘‘The race at Wang is still 1600m, but af­ter that, de­pend­ing how he goes, we might start try­ing him over 1800m and pos­si­bly even 2000m.

‘‘We will push him a bit and see what he does.’’

Duke does the job: Si­mon Miller rid­ing Duke of Castille to vic­tory in the $15 000 Be­nalla Bowls Club Maiden Plate at Be­nalla race­course on De­cem­ber 22. The next step for the horse is yet to be de­cided. Pic­ture:

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