Dan McCarthy trained horse wins on Cox Plate day
TALENTED gelding Ashlor’s amazing run of form at Moonee Valley continued at Cox Plate Day on Saturday with the five-year-old saluting for Wangaratta trainer Dan McCarthy.
Ashlor was too good when it really mattered, outlasting equal favourite Desert Lashes by half a length in the Bendigo Bank Handicap (955m) as the two battled it out over the last 200m.
The victory took Ashlor’s golden run at Moonee Valley to two wins, two seconds and a third from just five starts, meaning she is yet to miss a place at the track.
Starting from the outside barrier, Ashlor quickly jumped out of the blocks to sit comfortably behind Desert Lashes inside the first 200m.
With the pace quite high in the sprint, it always looked a two-horse race as the front runners turned the corner with 200m to go.
Ashlor always looked the winner but was made to work overtime for the victory as Kerrin McEvoy kept Desert Lashes well in contention.
But the Wangaratta-trained gelding did enough to get past the post first with McCarthy telling racing. com immediately after the race the final 200m felt like forever.
“It felt like we were at Flemington,” he said.
“Just before the corner he looked like he was going to win and then right on the corner he started wobble.
“But then he found enough to win so it’s great.”
The win was even more special for McCarthy given he was determined to train a winner on Cox Plate Day after revealing last week it was his late father’s favourite meeting of the year.
Speaking after the race, McCarthy said it was an emotional win for a number of reasons. “It really is quite amazing,” he said.
“I grew up coming to Cox Plates – my dad was on the committee here for 15 years or so and this was his favourite day.
“Brendan ( my brother) got a winner last year and I thought and I thought that was an amazing feeling for me but to get one myself, and for the people involved, it’s a great feeling.”
“It does become emotional – I absolutely love this horse.
“We put a fair bit of work into it – training race horses is a hard caper and when you win it gets a bit emotional.”
McCarthy is set to skip the Flemington carnival after previously admitting Ashlor doesn’t like the famous track and says a potential trip to Perth in December is on the cards.
McCarthy has entered Ashlor in the Winterbottom Stakes and admitted his rating was getting high enough to take on better horses in bigger races.
“His rating is getting up there, so he deserves it,” McCarthy said.
“It should be high enough going on last year but it’s pie-in-the-sky stuff, we’re well aware of that, but it’s racing.”