Some weeks before High Dreamer won his maiden at Scone mid way through May trainer Paul Perry told his two sons he thought the then unraced three year old was one of the nicest horses he had trained for a long time.
The son of High Chaparral, a big, strapping striking individual, then failed at his next two starts at Randwick and on the Beaumont track at Newcastle before turning in a dominant performance to win the Wyong Race Club Members Day Benchmark 65 (1600m) at Wyong today.
“After Scone everything went pear shaped,” Shannon Perry said.
“He went to Randwick over 2000 metres on a heavy track and went terrible and he wasn’t much better over 2040 metres at Newcastle.
“This was a far better effort today but he is just a big, dumb horse at this stage.
“Dad’s away on holidays and I am not sure what the next step is.
“Once he stops growing and matures in the head I think he will be a very nice horse.”
His rider, Tye Angland, could not have agreed more.
“He is a big boy with a big body but he is not there in the mind,” Angland said.
“It was a nice win and he gave me a good feel and once he grows up he will be a nice horse.”
Angland allowed High Dreamer to settle in fifth spot early, circled the field and came away to win by two and a quarter lengths from Bold Beginning.
That win gave the Perry stable a double after Rory Hutchings had earlier turned in a great ride on Last Witness to win the WRC Membership Only $55 Class Three (1200m).
Hutchings let Last Witness settle back at the rear of the small field, circled the other runners approaching the turn then came away to win by a length from the favourite This Is Australia.
“We came here confident but we realised tempo and tactics was going to be important in the small field and Rory did his job perfectly,” Perry said.
“Coming back in distance from his last start over 1350 metres at Rosehill was also a factor.
“He just doesn’t seem to get that journey.”
Class shone through when the Joe Pride trained Kentucky Miss (Sam Clipperton) powered home against a quality field to win the Ladies Day Sunday August 28 Two Year Old (1000m).
It was her first start since finishing sixth in the Group Two Magic Night at Rosehill in March and she went into this race with the benefit of a quiet trial behind her.
Clipperton let Kentucky Miss settle off the back of a hot speed up front then powered home in the straight to win easily by one three quarter lengths from King Of War (Kerrin McEvoy).
“That was a super win and it is good to see her come back so strong,” foreman, Hayley Devlin, said.
“She won her maiden with class then had no luck in three races after that.
“I know they were group races but things did not go her way.”
Clipperton said the strong speed had played into his hands.
“She is a lovely filly and has a lovely rhythm,” Clipperton said.
“She had a bit of a blow after the race so there is obviously room for improvement.”
Pride later landed a double when Timing, ridden by Jay Ford, led all the way to win the Carlton Mid Wyong Gold Cup Friday September 2 Class One (1100m).l
It was the filly’s second successive win after scoring in a Canberra maiden last month.
“I think this is her time of year with the rain affected tracks and hopefully she can go on and win a couple more,” Devlin said.
Ford said the 1100 metres was as far as she wanted to go.
“I think 1000 metres is her best distance but I was impressed with the way she went through the line,” Ford said.
“She has a high cruising speed but rather than find a sprint she just maintains that high cruising speed.”
Timing slipped away from the remainder of the field in the straight to win by a length from La La Loopsy.
Kris Lees may head straight to town with Granite Belt after the three year old carried top weight, ran about in the straight yet still beat older horses to win the www.tab.com.au Benchmark 60 (1350m).
“I would like to go to a mid week with him but I think he would get too much weight,” Lees said.
“A Saturday meeting is probably the best option.
“He is a nice horse but he has been a work in progress.
“Like most of the Kiwi horses he has needed time but he is slowly learning his craft.”
Adkins settled Granite Belt in second spot behind Gentleman Joh but approaching the turn the leader was a spent force and Kite Hill took up the running.
In the straight Granite Belt hung in slightly and Kite Hill hung out slightly causing some interference to Musical Family (Taylor Marshall).
Musical Family’s trainer, Wayne Seelin, lodged an objection against both horses but stewards dismissed the protest considering the margins between first and second and fourth.
Granite Belt won by a length from Kite Hill with a further long neck to the third horse Lindwall with another three quarters of a length to fourth.
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Glyn Schofield has predicted a bright future for the James Cummings trained Rockafella after the three year old finished powerfully to win the Mercure Hotel Kooindah Waters Maiden (1000m) on debut.
“He is a horse with a lot of upside and I think he has a bright future,” Schofield said.
“I gave him a flick behind the saddle at the top of the straight just to remind him what it is all about and he really lengthened.
“James has put together a great team of workers at his stable and they all work together and it shows when they bring a horse like this to the races and it performs like that.”
Schofield settled Rockafella just behind the leader and favourite Call The Coppers (Sam Clipperton) but finished quickly over that horse in the last 100 metres to beat him by one and a half lengths.
Call The Coppers caused a delay at the start when he dumped Clipperton, cantered up the 1350 metre chute then stood and waited to be caught before being passed fit to start.
The Greg McFarlane trained Miss Bunny Hop might have been sporting a woolly winter coat but it did nothing to diminish her finishing burst to win the Central Coast Holden Fashion Marquee Cup Day Maiden (1000m).
However the win also meant an enforced holiday after she bled from both nostrils.
It was her third run back from a spell and she was much more settled in the parade yard.
“She is a big mare and still tried to put me over the fence a couple of times as I was leading her around,” McFarlane said.
“She needs a few runs to bring her to her top and to settle her down.”
Christian Reith said he had been forced, by circumstances, to ride Miss Bunny Hop closer to the lead than he would have liked.
“The way the race panned out meant I could not ride her as quietly as I wanted,” Reith said.
“She has a nice, fluid action and I think she will get further if she is ridden more quietly.”
Miss Bunny Hop arrived late to overhaul Allegheny (Sam Clipperton) and win by half a head.
Trainer Pam Webber welcomed the fact that Lethal Dream, as she put it, “had his professional hat on today” when he survived a tight photo to beat the favourite and win The Property Market Three Year Old Maiden (1600m).
“He is very immature but at least he stuck his big stupid head out on the line,” Webber said.
“In the parade yard he was doing U turns and wanting to go home but he got it right where it matters.
“He deserved that win because he has been running good races from bad barriers but he is never going to win a race by a big margin.”
Jockey Chris O’Brien said the horse had pricked his ears and wanted to stop and wait for the others when he hit the lead.
“Once the other horse came at him he knuckled down to the job again,” O’Brien said.
“I think he will get a mile and a quarter or a mile and a half once he gets older and stronger.”
Lethal Dream, on the outside, dived on the line to beat Duke De Vega (Rory Hutchings) by a nose in a finish that appeared to favour the inside horse.