Zara­tone real tonic

Sunday Territorian - - SPORT -

WHILE Kathy O’Hara was at home nurs­ing a sore head, Bren­ton Av­dulla stepped into the breach to ride one of her favourite horses to win the Starlight Stakes at Rose­hill yes­ter­day.

O’Hara suf­fered a con­cus­sion and a nasty gash when she fell at Rand­wick on Fri­day and was kicked by a fol­low­ing horse.

Av­dulla got on the free-run­ning Zara­tone ($7) in the Listed 1100m sprint and the veteran geld­ing made the race a one-act af­fair, beat­ing $1.80 favourite Heart Testa by 1¾ lengths.

Trainer Bjorn Baker said eightyear-old Zara­tone, who came to him ear­lier this year af­ter rac­ing for Nick Olive in Canberra, was a sta­ble favourite. ‘‘He is a lovely horse and such a plea­sure to have around the sta­ble,’’ Baker said. ‘‘My feel­ings are with Kathy. She’s rid­den him per- fectly all the time. Her health is para­mount and she’ll be back on him when she’s right.’’

Av­dulla said he didn’t have too much to do. ‘‘I was able to get a soft lead and he took off on the corner,’’ he said. ‘‘I can’t take much credit.’’

Baker said he would look for an­other suit­able sprint for Zara­tone in the com­ing weeks.

‘‘I think he’s the best I’ve had him since he came to me,’’ he said. O’Hara, who spent the night in hos­pi­tal, told her Twit­ter fol­low­ers she had a blind­ing headache and posted a gory pic­ture of her wound but she still man­aged to find the strength to watch one of her favourite horses win.

‘‘ go boy! So proud of him, well done!,’’ she tweeted.

Kathy O’Hara

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