Brooke Somers, one of the state’s newest trainers, walked unsteadily into the parade yard, trembling and with tears streaming down her face after I Am Capitan (Paul King) won the Rapid Clean Cleaning Benchmark 60 (1100m) at his first start since April at Wyong on Sunday.
It was her first winner after having her licence for only two months and came with the horse she has a lot of affection for. “I just love this horse so much,” the Hawkesbury based Somers said.
“He is a stallion but the gentlest, kindest, most intelligent horse you can imagine.
“This is a day I will never forget and I have done it with a horse owned by Rob Williams from the Superhorse Syndicate.
“He showed so much faith in me in giving me this horse and I am glad I can repay him in this way.”
Somers was a show rider who competed in Australia and Europe for 15 years before returning home and joining the Joe Pride stable nine years ago.
“Joe taught me so much and I am so grateful to him,” Somers said.
“I was pre-training this horse for him and when I got my licence it was decided I could train him.
“I also want to thank Paul King.
“I ride most of my work but Paul comes down for the fast gallops.”
Somers was joined in the parade yard by her partner Mark Stoneham and his children Samantha and Sam.
King brought I am Capitan from second last early to finish down the centre of the track and beat the Kim Waugh trained Five Stars Partner with the odds on favourite Thorn In My Side third.
The Ken Tynan trained nine year old I’m Danny finally broke through, at his 65th start, to score a win on his home track when he led all the way for Andrew Adkins to win the Rapid Clean Safety Benchmark 65 (1600m).
It was his ninth start on the Wyong track and came on a quick back up after running second at Tamworth six days earlier.
“In the past he has played up every time I have brought him to the races here because it’s his home track,” Tynan said.
“I have been gradually building him up to get him over a bit of ground and I was not worried about the quick back up although I wasn’t all that confident either.
“I was prepared just to settle for a place cheque but he has done the job and all credit to Andrew.
“He is such a good little rider and I was really lucky to be able to book him.”
Adkins said the horse had dug deep and shown a lot of fight when challenged near the line.
I’m Danny lifted to win by half a neck from Dylan’s Romance.
Tynan said a lot of the credit for the win belonged to his farrier and his work rider and also to fellow trainer Richard Nilsson.
“Richard has put me on to a natural product that helps their joints and it is helping to hold this horse together,” Tynan said.
Wyong Race Club committee member, Denis Hanley, had his first winner on the track when the Kim Waugh trained Uptown Lad (Tim Clark) won the Central Coast Cleaning Contractors Maiden (1350m).
It was his third start from a spell and he is likely to go back to the paddock.
“He is a really nice horse and I have an opinion of him but he is not there yet,” Waugh said.
“I think another spell will do him the world of good and eventually I think he is going to get over more ground.
“I bought him in Melbourne and only paid $50,000 for him because he was immature.
“He looks a bargain now.”
Uptown Lad which has developed into a big, rangy three year old is raced by Hanley along with a syndicate of other owners including Waugh’s husband Mark.
Clark settled Uptown Lad in third place on the fence, shifted out approaching the home turn and set out after the leader and favourite Snipes to over haul that horse and win by a length with another seven lengths to the third horse, the Kristen Buchanan trained More That Kalookan.
The Crown Oaks plan for Not To Be Caught is in serious doubt after she ran second, as an easing favourite, in the Rapid Clean Catering Maiden (2100m).
Trainer John Sargent was obviously disappointed after the run and after the comments from jockey Michael Walker following the race.
“She wasn’t good enough, she was just one paced,” Walker said.
Sargent said that in all likelihood the filly would go to the paddock.
“It is doubtful that she will go to the Oaks now,” he said.
“She needs a break and time to strengthen up.”
Walker flew to Wyong after riding at Caulfield yesterday to test Not to Be Caught as an Oaks candidate and also took five other rides for Sargent plus one for Bryce Heys.
The race was won by the Paul Cave trained Loud Enough, a four year old trained on the hills on his farm.
“This horse hates going to the track, he just bales up and refuses to do anything so my step son works him up the hills and he thrives on it,” Cave said.
“The only time I take him to the track is for a jump out.
“He thinks he is going to the races.”
While Walker had Not to Be Caught nicely placed in fourth place, one off the fence Buckley was in an even better position, in third place on the fence.
He popped off the rails nearing the turn, got a lovely run when Not To Be Caught drifted a little wide and always had the measure of Not To Be Caught in the straight, beating that horse by three quarters of a length.
Nothing seemed to be going right for Sargent and Walker until the second last race, the Richeeney Benchmark 60 (1100m) which they won with Echappe.
Prior to that they had another two second placings and a second last while Walker also had a third for Heys.
Sargent said he was especially pleased to win the race for one of the filly’s owners, Greg Tomlinson from Nearco Stud.
“I have trained a lot of horses for Greg over the years,” Sergeant said.
Walker had Echappe running in third place on the fence but appeared to be trouble and without a run coming to the turn.
However he managed to find a gap and go on and win by a long neck from Phoebe’s Lass.
“The good jockeys can do those sort of things,” Sargent said.
New trainer Mark Newnham has led in three winners in his short career and two of them have been at Wyong.
That third one came when Posmaster General (Josh Parr) led all the way to win The Entrance Leagues Club Maiden (1000m) at his fourth start.
Postmaster General went to the line full of running to win by one and a quarter lengths from Call The Coppers (Michael Walker) to again leave the second horse with the bridesmaid tag.
He has now had four starts for three seconds and a third.
Newnham believes the drop back to 1000 metres was the key to the win.
“Two starts back he ran second here over 1200 metres and I think it was too far for him,” Newnham said.
“He is a relax and sprint horse but I think this is as far as he wants to go.”
Parr agreed, up to a point, with Newnham.
“He gives the feel that he would get 1200 metres but you might be right,” Parr said.
Newnham said his team at Warwick Farm was rapidly growing.
“We are up to 18 horses now but only four or five of them are racing,” he said.
“The rest of them are unraced babies but they take a lot of time because you have to teach them.”
Gerald Ryan described Mariquita as a nice filly progressing after she settled in the run to easily win the Warren Richardson Birthday Maiden (1200m) for James Innes.
“She has had a tendency to miss the start then over race and she did that when she ran second here when she was resuming,” Ryan said.
“However today she settled nicely and James rode her really well.”
Innes settled the mare in fourth place early before she sprinted in the straight and went on to beat the Sargent trained Celestial Choice by one and three quarter lengths.
Innes said that when he gave the mare a squeeze to move forward she responded quicker than he expected.
“I got to the lead earlier than I wanted but she won nicely,” he said.
The Anthony Cummings trained Houdini Hal showed the benefit of a freshen up and a trial by winning the Rapid Clean Packaging Class Two (1350m) to take his record to two wins from three starts at the track.
Jockey Bobby El-Issa, having his first ride on the horse, settled the horse in fourth place before going on to beat the Damien Lane trained Another Larga by three quarters of a length.
“I am riding a lot of work at Randwick and putting in the hours and it’s starting to pay off by picking up rides like this,” he said.
“I spoke to Anthony this morning and he asked me to try and get a sit.
“There wasn’t a lot of speed on and it suited us.”