Juvenile joy for Godolphin
TASMANIAN-BRED and owned gelding Mister Songman went within a half-head of winning at his interstate debut at Rosehill Gardens in Sydney yesterday.
Mister Songman raced outside of the leader to the home turn and, after appearing a spent force, found another gear and forged to the lead but was nabbed in the last stride by first-starter Kapajak, from the Team Hawkes stable.
Mister Songman was prepared last season by Tasmanian Hall of Fame trainer Royston Carr for whom the gelding won four of his seven starts as a three-year-old including the 3YO Cup (1200m) and the 3YO Trophy (1400m).
The four-year-old’s owners, John and Elizabeth Burke, decided to place him in the care of the Sydney training combination of Gai Waterhouse and Adrian Bott, who gave him two trials before settling on Saturday’s benchmark 78 handicap over 1100 metres.
“Gai and Adrian were quietly confident he would run well first up for the stable, and they were right,” John Burke said.
“The plan was to bring him to Sydney and give him three runs and see whether or not he would make the grade but, on this first-up effort, I think his future might be in Sydney.”
Bott suggested the gelding would relish stepping up in distance.
“I am confident the horse will be better when he gets to 1400 metres and maybe even a mile (1600m),” Bott said.
“That was a nice effort for his first start and he is only going to improve.”
Mister Songman was backed in from $10 to start the $4.60 second favourite behind three-year-old Skyray ($4.20) but it was the only other threeyear-old in the field to deny the Tasmanian victory.
Kapajak (by Lonhro) was well backed, firming from $26 to start at $15 fixed odds with Ladbrokes.
Burke was unsure when Mister Songman would have his next start but he confirmed the gelding would not be back in Tasmania for any races during the Tasmanian Summer Racing Carnival in February.
Golden Mile (1650m) to be run in Devonport next Friday has attracted 17 nominations, including potential cups candidates Eastender, Bidirectional and Underplay.
Also among the nominees is talented mare Speedonova who will be out to win the race and secure ballot-free entry into the Devonport Cup to be run overt 1880m on January 9.
The Golden Mile is the first of two races to offer the winner ballot-free entry into the Devonport Cup. The Sheffield Cup (1650m) to be run on December 23 offers the same benefit to the winner.
Final acceptances for next Friday’s Devonport meeting close on Tuesday at 9am. ATHIRI is the latest promising two-year-old to roll off the Godolphin juvenile production line, with a brilliant debut win at Rosehill Gardens yesterday.
The James Cummingstrained Athiri produced an impressive bit of acceleration to score a dominant win in the Elderton Homes Made You Look Sprint (1100m).
“That was a ripping debut from a very uncomplicated filly,’’ Cummings said.
“She sweated on a run for half a furlong, it didn’t faze her, her attitude is her greatest strength and when the gap came, she sprinted quickly.
“She has a wonderful attitude but she’s not robust like some of the colts we saw in the yard that’s for sure
“But I think we have just unveiled another good attribute of hers and that is a very powerful turn of foot.’’
Athiri ($6), ridden by Glyn Schofield, was held up for a run from the top of the straight until about the 200m where she burst between runners and raced away to a two-lengths win from another first starter, Accession ($12), with Stronger ($7) three-quarters of a length away third.
This was Godolphin’s third successive Sydney Saturday two-year-old winner at Rosehill in as many races. Kiamichi started the sequence on November 10, there was no two-year-old race a week later before boom colt Tassort won on November 24.
Tassort went straight to the spelling paddock to be prepared for the Golden Slipper after his outstanding debut and Cummings suggested Athiri will be following a similar preparation.