Gaven­lock’s first city win­ner is no Plonka

The Sunday Telegraph (Sydney) - - RACING - RAY THOMAS

COFFS Har­bour trainer Warren Gaven­lock pre­pared his first city win­ner with Coun­try Cham­pi­onships hope­ful Plonka.

“I’ve been train­ing on and off for 15 years and I’ve had a few plac­ings down here but this is my first city win­ner,’’ Gaven­lock said af­ter yes­ter­day’s 1200m TAB High­way at Rose­hill Gar­dens. “He’s a nice horse, too.’’ It was Plonka’s third win from seven starts.

Well-rid­den by Ja­son Col­lett, Plonka ($6 equal favourite) dashed clear to win by 1½ lengths from Gumshoe ($8) with Zar­doro ($6.50) a close third af­ter he bun­gled the start.

Ac­quit­tal ($6 eq fav) got into an awk­ward spot back in the field and was do­ing his best work on the line to run sixth.

Col­lett de­scribed Plonka as a pro­gres­sive horse.

“It was a re­ally good per­for­mance,’’ he said.

“He landed in the per­fect spot then, when we got into clear air, he put them away eas­ily.’’

Gaven­lock said he is likely to give Plonka a spell and prob­a­bly aim the sprinter at the rich Coun­try Cham­pi­onships se­ries next au­tumn.

Gumshoe made a de­ter­mined run out wide but Sa­man­tha Clen­ton said her mount had ev­ery chance. Zar­doro was back last on set­tling and didn’t have the best of runs in tran­sit, even­tu­ally work­ing his way out wide to find clear gal­lop­ing room in the straight and fin­ish­ing strongly just in­side Gumshoe.

Jockey Tommy Berry said Zar­doro ran well again and sug­gested that the geld­ing would be bet­ter suited over fur­ther, where he could set­tle closer to the lead.

As­terius wins the Tooheys 150th Birth­day Hand­i­cap.

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