Shepparton News

Barmah Al shows fight of a bull to score

- By Meg Saultry

Barmah Al’s brave finish at Wagga on Saturday has brought about a major milestone — one with a $100,000 price tag.

The Daryl Archardtra­ined gelding held off a strong challenge from fiveyear-old mare Fiorzana in the $24,000 Benchmark 66 Handicap over 2500m to bring up his fifth win from 29 starts.

In doing so, Barmah Al has finally ticked over $100,000 in prizemoney won.

Having run second at Murrumbidg­ee Turf Club in July, a return trip north for his first NSW-based race for the new season paid dividends for the six-year-old.

“The race presented itself that it was the right class and distance,” Archard said.

“I thought he’d be a great chance in it.”

The bookies’ favourite, Barmah Al broke well and led early in a small field of seven, before eight-year-old mare Joe’s Joy took over clearly at the 1600m.

But the Echuca horse, with veteran jockey Brendan Ward aboard, remained a front runner to eventually regain the lead at the turn.

Straighten­ing up, Barmah Al found Fiorzana coming home strong, but didn’t waver to edge ahead by a nose at the line.

“He’s really tough and won’t let anything past him if he can,” Archard said.

“Going the reverse way, he found it a bit awkward and was on his wrong leg and doing a few things wrong until he straighten­ed up and got on his right leg and then sort of balanced himself well and let down good.

“The other horse was coming at him, but he never got past him.

“On the line he was starting to go away from the other horse. “I think the other horse’s run peaked 100 m out.”

This latest preparatio­n for Barmah Al has proven to be a real winner for Archard and the team, with four of his five wins coming since April.

“He’s really struck form and he seems to be getting better,” Archard said.

“And I’ve worked him out a lot better too, in his training.

“He’s had 14 starts this preparatio­n and he doesn’t look like he wants to go for a spell.

“I think he’s won about $70,000 this preparatio­n alone.”

Alongside the firsts, Barmah Al has a second, one third, and three fourths to his name, signalling an even better record if one or two things had gone his way.

“They were really good class races, a fourth in a $50,000 race in Swan Hill, and a fourth at Sandown and Moonee Valley,” Archard said.

“And he wasn’t beaten that far. His record could have even been a bit better.” Archard said it would now be a month between races for Barmah Al.

“He’s pulled up quite well; he goes out on the grass for two to three days, which lets him recuperate and it lets us start again,” Archard said.

“November 19, there is a 2500m race at Moonee Valley on a Friday night for him, so we’ll probably aim for there.”

 ?? Picture: Pat Scala/Racing Photos ?? In form: Barmah Al now has more than $100,000 in prizemoney to his name after his latest win at Wagga.
Picture: Pat Scala/Racing Photos In form: Barmah Al now has more than $100,000 in prizemoney to his name after his latest win at Wagga.

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