There were emotional scenes in the enclosure following the running of the CHARLIE ZAMMIT MEMORIAL MAIDEN HANDICAP, which was taken out by the James Cummings trained Persia ($3.60).
Zammit, who had a long association with the Wyong Race Club, passed away suddenly early this month.
In an ironic twist the strapper of the winner, Michael Dorn, had an association with the family having previously strapped Brixton Town, a horse Zammit had raced successfully for a number of years.
A large number of the Zammit family greeted the winner when he returned to scale.
Persia, coming off a second at Newcastle on debut, looks to have a bright future finishing strongly to win by a long neck. The victory brought up a double for jockey Glynn Schofield.
James Cummings’ stable representative Sam McLeish said he believed the addition of ear muffs on Persia had made a difference. “She got to the line really well. It was a good race at Newcastle but she got a check.
“We were pretty confident today and hopefully she will go forward from here.”
Schofield said he believed there was “a bit more to come from her” and the filly would further improve with racing.
A three-year-old Street Cry filly, Persia beat the Bjorn Baker trained Missybeel ($4.40), with the fast finishing Brooke ($41) trained locally by Bob Holloway, a length and a half behind in third.
A treble of wins to Corey Brown and the start of a promising campaign by the Brett Partelle trained Invincible Quest ($3.80) capped off the Wyong program.
Brown rode the lightly raced five-year-old gelding to a dominant two and a quarter length victory in the 1000m MAGIC MILLIONS AT WYONG THURSDAY DECEMBER 21 BENCHMARK 74 HANDICAP.
Partelle was “very, very happy” with the win and plans to target the 2018 Magic Millions.
“He is a very talented horse and I think we will have a nice preparation with him,” Partelle said.
“He’s a work in progress still. He was hot headed last preparation and I gave him a good break and we worked on a few of those issues. “I’ll see how he pulls up but the Magic Millions is the ultimate goal.”
Invincible Quest, who has had five starts for three wins and a third, claimed a new class record with the win.
He beat the Perry trained Grammar School ($6), with the $3.40 favourite Smooth Tycoon, from the Bjorn Baker stable, third.
Corey Brown brought up his double after bouncing back from a fall in the previous race to take out the 1350m H & H CATERING-NSW REGIONAL CATERER 2017 CLASS 1 HANDICAP on short priced favourite Masterati ($1.75).
Brown fell from Discussions shortly after the start of the race but fortunately escaped injury.
Less than 40 minutes later he steered the four-year-old to a length victory over the Waller trained Cedarwood ($3), with Storm Master for Mitchell Kearney ($41) a further length behind in third.
The win brought up a double for Brown.
A large number of owners from the Proven Thoroughbreds syndicate cheered the Joe Pride trained galloper when he returned to scale.
Masterati, who was coming off a win at Newcastle on September 5, looks to be a promising prospect earning praise from Brown and stable representative Hayley Devlin.
“He’s a lovely horse and when the penny drops 100 percent he will improve even more,” Brown said.
“He is very professional but still very looky and very new.”
Devlin said they would likely take Masterati to a mid-week metropolitan race.
“If he pulls up well we will head that way,” she said. “It is good to see him put it all together today. He is a nice horse.
“Jamie Waller does a nice job of getting like-minded people together for these syndicates and it is great to see them all here on a Sunday.”
The locally trained Spinning Gold ($4.80) made the most of his home track advantage to grind out a tough win in the CHRISTMAS PARTY’S AT WRC CALL NOW BENCHMARK 60 HANDICAP over 1600m.
Trainer Damien Lane was full of praise for the seven-year-old and jockey Jason Collett, who brought up a winning double with the victory. “He’s a tough old gelding who enjoys racing,” Lane said.
“He’s been up for a while but I’ve been waiting for a wet track. He did a good job on top of the ground today.”
Damien said the gelding’s last start at Mudgee was on a very hard track which he didn’t appreciate.
“I thought I’d bring him back here where the track isn’t rock hard and Jason couldn’t have ridden him any better.
“He got some cheap midsections and was about to toughen it out in the straight.”
Lane said he would keep Spinning Gold, now a winner of seven races, in work and hope for some rain.
“He will improve further if we get a wet track.”
Collett also described Spinning Gold as “tough.”
“I tried to hold him together as long as I could and when the other horse came up to him I thought he might give in but he fought on.”
Spinning Gold beat the Paul Perry trained Dynamic Dynasty ($5.50) by three quarters of a length, with Jeff Englebrecht’s The Iron Maiden ($6.50) a length and a quarter behind in third.
The Chris Waller trained Huang Yaoshi ($2) justified his favouritism in the WWW.TAB.COM.AU 3YO MAIDEN HANDICAP with an impressive debut win.
The Hinchinbrook colt was eased down on the line by jockey Glynn Schofield and put almost two lengths on his opposition over the 1600m.
The promising Huang Yaoshi was having his first start in New South Wales having previously been trained out of Waller’s Melbourne stables.
It was the winner’s third race start, coming off a fifth over 1400m at Sandown on September 6.
Stable foreman Andrew Clarken said it was likely Huang Yaoshi would now head to a mid-week Sydney race.
“It was a good win and he did everything we expected of him today,” Clarken said.
“He’s been in our Melbourne stable and his owners are from there.
“He didn’t have much trouble with them today so I would think he will go to a mid-week Metropolitan next.”
Schofield, who settled the favourite just behind the leaders before moving up on the turn and drawing away, described him as “still quite raw.”
The minor placings were filled by the Paul Perry trained Aruba ($6.50), with the second favourite, African Rainbow ($2.90) a short half head behind in third.
A dominant five length win by the John Thompson trained Tutu ($1.55) to take out the 1350m GREAT NORTHERN ON TAP AT WYONG MAIDEN PLATE.
Ridden by Jason Collett, the four-year-old Wanted mare, broke through for her first victory at start six.
Collett believes there is further improvement to come for the mare if she can switch on mentally.
“Physically she’s fine but she’s still a bit scatty. The blinkers today definitely helped,” he said.
“Once she can get over this mental thing she will be better again.”
Thompson’s stable representative Elizabeth Kalbfleisch echoed Collett’s thoughts.
“She was pretty impressive today and the blinkers really switched her on,” she said.
“At her last start she started to lay in when another horse got ahead.
“She is a nice strong filly and it was a good ride by Jason.”
Tutu beat the Waterhouse Bott trained Antonio’s Pride ($5.50), with Bold Dapper ($9), trained by Greg Hickman, a long neck behind in third.
I Am Invincible filly Shudabeen ($1.30) continued the winning run of favourites to take out the 1000m MELBOURNE CUP DAY LUNCHEON BOOK NOW MAIDEN PLATE.
Trained by Tim Martin, the three-year-old overcame a slow start to score a one and a half-length victory.
Winning jockey Corey Brown said it was a “really good” win considering she was really nervous.
“She is a lovely horse but she has so much nervous energy. It was a real credit for her to win that way,” Brown said.
“She does have a city win in her.”
Martin’s stable representative Justin Webb was happy with the win and said Shudabeen could head to Melbourne for the carnival. “She is a nice horse going places,” he said.
“She got a little bit wide early on but was nice late and that’s good.
“I think Tim will take her through her grades and maybe a sneaky race over the carnival.”
Shudabeen beat See Me Out ($41) trained by John Steinmetz, with second favourite Faba ($4) from the Gary Moore stable third.
Snitzel mare Right As Rain ($1.80) brought up her second career win in good style to take out the GO ELECTRICAL RACEDAY AT WYONG THURSDAY OCTOBER 12 CLASS 1 HANDICAP by a length and a half.
The four-year-old was resuming from a spell and coming off two trials, the latest at Randwick on September 12.
Stable foreman Jackson Beirs said the win would be a good confidence boost for Right As Rain.
“She trialled really well at Randwick and it is good to get another win with her here today,” Beirs said.
“This will do her confidence a lot of good. She has plenty of speed and put them to bed really well.
“She has been factious in the barriers in the past but was good today which is what we were after.
“It was a good patient ride by Nick (Heywood).”
The Grant Allard trained Neretva ($6.50) finished second, with the Bend It Like Benny ($10), for local trainer Damien Lane, third.