The Sunday Mail (Queensland)
Cavanough Straddie dream hangs on Fender string
THERE might have been a few raised eyebrows when Brett Cavanough recently floated Fender as a potential Stradbroke Handicap contender.
However, Cavanough could yet have the last laugh after the gelding produced an arrogant first-up win at Doomben on Saturday.
Fender still needs to post more wins and further spike his rating to be a serious player in big winter carnival races but few would doubt he has huge promise after watching him demolish his rivals. Having his first run since October, the Scone galloper sat outside talented Queensland filly Amiche and then powered past her in the straight for an explosive 1¾-length win in the BM78 Handicap (1200m).
The four-year-old son of Toronado would have won by further if jockey Ryan Maloney hadn’t gone easy on him near the line.
It maintained Fender’s unbeaten fresh record and Maloney was excited by the win and what could be around the corner.
Cavanough last week told The
Courier-Mail that he had a dream to get Fender into the Group 1 Stradbroke and Maloney is sure he is capable of a big-race win.
“I don’t think he could have been more impressive, being first-up he probably could have been a bit vulnerable,” Maloney said.
“But as soon as I asked for some effort, he put away Amiche like she was standing still and he ran slick time.”
As much as $5 was offered about Fender when betting opened last week and he was at one stage crunched into $2.60 on race day before easing to start $3.60 second pick behind Amiche ($2.40).
Cavanough’s dream that Fender can win a prestigious race during the winter carnival has been enhanced.
The Scone trainer said he would take the gelding back home and he would most likely next be seen in the $200,000 Wagga Town Plate on May 6 before returning to Queensland for a winter-carnival assault.
It was a big day out for Ben Thompson at Doomben with his riding treble equalling his personal best of three winners at a meeting.