A change of tactics proved the key to the Tracey Bartley trained Fired Up (Jeff Penza) breaking back into the winners stall for the first time since October last year when he won the July 12 WRC Members Day Class Two (1600m) at Wyong on Thursday.
“We had been riding the horse forward but at his previous start at Cessnock Grant Buckley rode him and I asked him to drop him out and the horse ran a nice race,” Bartley said.
“I told Jeff to do the same thing today and I think we have found the key to the horse.
“If he is up forward and gets a bump or worried by another horse he drops the bit and won’t go on with it.
“He prefers being back and out of trouble and atleast he is wanting to try in his races.
“This was the right race for him and fortunately the rain that was forecast did not come.
“He doesn’t mind it damp but he doesn’t like it too wet.”
Fired Up came from last early to win by three quarters of a length from Charlie Royale (James Innes) with Zenaida (Jay Ford) a further four and three quarter lengths away third.
Choice Larga resumed from a spell to win the Show Your Support – Give Me 5 For Kids Charity Race Day June 30 Benchmark 60 (1100m) to give trainer Stephen Farley hope the horse is headed for a good preparation.
Choice Larga, ridden by Koby Jennings, fought off a determined challenge from Back In The Game (Chris Caserta) to draw away near the line and win by a length.
“It is good to see him back winning and it’s great for the owners,” Farley said.
“It gives us hope for a good preparation this time.
“He is getting a bit older and I think the softer going helped his joints a bit.
“He only cost $12,000 as a yearling and he has won well over $100,000 in prize money.
“The owners are all long time clients and several of them were in Sincero.”
Jennings settled Choice Larga in third place early and looked set to race away at the top of the straight.
However Back In The Game joined him on the turn and the pair settled down to a two horse war before Choice Larga drew away close to the line.
“That was a good training effort, to win first up,” Jennings said.
“He is a laid back sort of horse and the key was to settle him where he was comfortable and keep him happy.”
Sam Clipperton went to the meeting with four rides and left with a winning treble including two winners for John Thompson.
Clipperton and Thompson combined to win the TAB.COM.AU Maiden (1000m) with Fly Forward and The Become A WRC Members Maiden (1350m) with Caesar’s Ghost while Clipperton linked with the Peter and Paul Snowden stable to win the Ladies Day Out Sunday August 28 Class Two (1300m) with the lightly raced Chavish.
He was the only Snowden trained runner at the meeting.
Caesar’s Ghost, specked at long odds, raced away to win by four and three quarter lengths.
He opened in betting at $20 came in to $18 then eased out again to start at $19 on the strength of a string of unplaced runs in the city and on the provincials last campaign.
Foreman Ray King was not surprised by the win by Caesar’s Ghost but he was surprised by the margin.
“We thought he would run a nice race,” King said.
“He was gelded then spelled and ran a really nice trial at Warwick Farm leading up to this race.
“I am surprised with the margin but he is a horse that John has a bit of time for.
“John was racing him over longer distances last campaign and he will probably step him up again.”
Clipperton said the horse had been going well on the turn and had shown a nice turn of foot in the straight.
“He got a bit tired in the last bit but he was entitled to do that,” Clipperton said.
While Fly Forward was game in winning after going to the lead in the straight the Kris Lees trained Grexit was brave in defeat.
The two year filly, having only her second start and racing against older horses issued a strong challenge and was only beaten a short head.
Clippeton said Fly Forward had been trialling well and was fit and for that reason he went forward early.
“She has made natural progression while spelling and felt stronger,” Clipperton said.
Chavish now has two wins to his credit from his only three starts and Triple Crown Syndications have a nice horse on their hands.
He made his debut with a maiden win at on the Beaumont track at Randwick then was spelled and resumed with a fourth last month, also on the Beaumont track.
“It was a good win at Kembla but a really disappointing effort at Newcastle,” foreman, Jackson Beirs, said.
“He appreciates some cut in the ground and he should have a nice campaign through the winter.”
Clipperton said the three year old had rolled along nicely and dug deep near the line when the challenges came.
Clarry Conners was all smiles after Conarchie (Glyn Schlofield) defied a betting drift to return to form and win the Carlton Mid Wyong Gold Cup Friday September 2 Benchmark 75 (1350m).
“It is good to see him back in the winners circle,” Conners said.
“He has run some good races and not been beaten far but there always seemed to be an excuse.
“I own a share in him and I said to the owners, let’s get him up the line and back to winning form and it worked.
“He was a cheap horse but that takes him well over the hundred thousand mark in earnings.”
Glyn Schofield settled Conarchie in third place early before he and the Stephen Farley trained Kanguru (Tye Angland) settled down to a two horse duel in the straight.
Kanguru went to the lead at one stage but Conarchie fought back to win by half a length.
Hawkesbury trainer Connie Greig turned a deaf ear to the knockers and had the last laugh when Anytime Baby returned from a spell to win the Wyong Farmers Market-Every 1st and 3rd Saturday Benchmark 60 and gave Jeff Penza a winning double.
“She was any old price early and people were telling me to scratch her, that she was no good,” Greig said.
“Last preparation was a write off so I spelled her and she ran a really good third in a Hawkesbury trial and was just beaten into second placed by Kellyville Flyer.
“She does race well fresh and I told Jeff that if she was pulling at the top of the straight to let her go.”
Anytime Baby settled in second last place off a good temp set by the leader Stradance then swept down the centre of the track to win by one and a half lengths from Hu Hit Hu (James Innes).
The Gai Waterhouse trained Chloe’s Comet finally broke through to win the Property Market Maiden (1100m) at her eighth start and her first from a spell but she had overcome some difficulties to do so.
“She got bumped soon after the start and she never raced like a winner after that,” jockey Tim Clark said.
“However she had been was strong in the straight and on that effort she might get further.”
Waterhouse put blinkers back on the filly and Clark said that had helped as well.
Chloe’s Comet was well back early but Clark had her poised behind the leaders on the turn.
He had to switch around heels to get a clear run but she responded well to win by a long neck from the favourite Allegheny with Snitzel’s Image a further one and a half lengths away third.