Sey­mour train­ers swoop on Be­nalla meet­ing

Seymour Telegraph - - SPORT -

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

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

Barry Goodwin took out the $15 000 Pro­file De­vel­op­ments over 1606 m with the heav­ily-backed 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 has 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 any time 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 of care and re­hab to get him back on the track,’’ Goodwin said.

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

❝This was his first start for me and while I was a bit hope­ful I was even more re­served be­cause of his his­tory. We are not get­ting too ex­cited just yet with the win❞ Chris Nash

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

The horse was, he said, a bit un­trust­wor­thy.

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

Even though it was the open­ing race on the card, 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 but with lit­tle sup­port.

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

Find­ing his horse forced six wide it looked as though the Duke of Castille was strug­gling to get into his full stride and even as the line drew closer he was still get­ting into gear.

For­tu­nately he got ev­ery­thing go­ing in the one di­rec­tion and switched on the af­ter burn­ers to be­gin mow­ing down the horses ahead of him.

With me­tres to go Duke of Castille had gone around ev­ery horse in the race but com­ing from a long way back never looked to have a chance of get­ting there — ex­cept he just kept get­ting faster and in­cred­i­bly was pulling away as he hit the line.

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

For­merly work­ing in Dar­win with his trainer fa­ther-in-law Stephen Brown, he and wife Alana (a re­tired jockey) 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 cur­rently had in work. He said they still go back to Dar­win an­nu­ally for the win­ter rac­ing there.

‘‘The horse was orig­i­nally be­ing trained at Caulfield be­fore also spend­ing 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 is 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 1600 m but af­ter that, de­pend­ing how he goes, we might start try­ing him over 1800 m and pos­si­bly even 2000 m.

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

Pic­tures: Ross Hol­burt/ Rac­ing Pho­tos

Teodore Nu­gent (above) pushes Free­doms to the fin­ish­ing line at Be­nalla just be­fore Christ­mas to win the $15 000 Pro­file De­vel­op­ments BM58 Hand­i­cap. Pic­tured at left in­cor­ri­gi­ble run­ner Duke of Castille, back from a long spell, re­turned to the mount­ing yard af­ter win­ning the $15 000 Be­nalla Bowls Club Plate over 1406 m.

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