Warwick Farm based Laurie Wray was concerned her colt Cosimo ($3.50) wouldn’t make his Wyong race after a traffic accident held them up enroute to the course.
Normally a two-hour trip, the drive took Wray over three hours and she arrived at the track with minutes to spare.
The drama was forgotten after the two-year-old put on an impressive display to take out the 1100m DREW CHIVAS MEMORIAL MAIDEN by two and a half lengths.
“We nearly didn’t make it and I was very worried,” Wray said. “I was phoning the stewards and luckily we made it. He ran super today.”
Cosimo was having his first run for Wray, having previously been trained by the Peter and Paul Snowden.
She said she thought the race would be ideal, after he was narrowly beaten at his last start at Wyong on June 26.
“He has worked so well at home. His work last Tuesday morning was enormous, so we came here full of confidence.
“This is probably the easiest race he’s come across to be fair to the horse, he’s been in much harder races than this.
“We will get him home and see how he settles down and go from there.”
Wray said Cosimo, who was purchased as yearling for $260,000, had been on his best behaviour since joining the stable.
The colt had previously been under a steward’s warning for his racing manners.
“Since I’ve had him he’s been an absolute gentleman. We took the blinkers off him and I thought Koby Jennings has got great hands, he wouldn’t get into a fight with him and he did so well today.”
Cosimo beat the Lees trained Londinium ($5), with Coltrane ($8.50), from the Waller stable, a close third.
Another convincing win by the Andrew McDonald trained filly Happy Mo ($5), who held out some of the more fancied runners to bring up her second career victory from just seven starts.
The win over 1000m in the RYAN’S METAL ROOFING CLASS 1, secured a double for Jeff Penza.
Happy Mo pinged the gates and was taken to the front by Penza, maintaining the lead throughout.
She fought on strongly in the straight to record a half length win over Crimson Ticket ($4.30), trained by Jim and Greg Lee, with the Lees trained Progression ($13), a length and three quarters behind in third.
McDonald was full of praise for the filly and the rider.
“She did really well today and we are very happy,” he said.
“She is ultra consistent and you can’t ask for much more than that.
“She finished third at Muswellbrook last start but it’s a tough track this time of year so she was probably unlucky there but she saved it for today.”
McDonald said he left the riding tactics up to Penza.
“I left it up to Jeff. He knows what he’s doing and he got the job done for us today.”
Owner Gary Hamilton described Happy Mo as a “good, honest filly” and said McDonald was doing a great job with her.
“Two wins, two seconds, a third and fourth from just six starts is great,” he said.
A breakthrough win for the John O’Shea trained China Gale in the 1350m K2 CONCRETE CONSTRUCTIONS MAIDEN PLATE.
The Pierro gelding, who was a $450,000 yearling purchase, was resuming from a spell and coming off two trials at Gosford and Wyong.
He had previously been unplaced in five starts.
Punters had plenty of faith in the three-year-old gelding who started $2.35 favourite.
Jeff Penza took the sit just behind the leaders in the small field, before sprinting through on the rails around 200m from home and scoring a convincing length victory.
Stable representative Lyle Chandler said it was good to get a win for owners, Domeland, who were new clients to the stable.
“It is good to get a win for them and see this horse break through,” Chandler said.
“He went well today and I think John will just take him through his classes now and see how he goes.
“He is bred to get over more ground and should improve off this win.”
Penza described it as a “very good win.”
China Gale beat the fast finishing Waiheke ($3.30) from the Waller stable, with the Gerald Ryan trained Elementae ($2.80), just over a length behind in third.
An upset of sorts in the 2100mCURE BRAIN CANCER – DIPG AWARENESS MAIDEN with the Waller trained Schoolmates ($12.00) outstaying his stablemate and favourite Night Breaker ($2.35).
The winner, a $310,000 purchase by Redoute’s Choice, had only been placed once in seven starts and was coming off a last at Gosford on July 3 over 1900m.
Foreman Steve Page said despite the last couple of runs they had expected Schoolmates to race well at his first attempt over the 2100m.
He was complimentary of the ride by Lee Magorrian.
“I wasn’t really that surprised,” Page said.
“I thought he just needed a strong ride and he got that today.
“He got himself into a nice position and once he got to the front he just kept battling on.
“I thought he fought on well through the last 100m considering the way he was going on the turn. He was being scrubbed along a bit and I thought he finished well.”
Paige said Night Breaker had battled on gamely for second.
The Rodney Bailey trained Lohan Princess ($51) was two lengths behind the winner in third.
A good ride by Grant Buckley secured victory for the Waterhouse/Bott trained Fearless Girl ($7), breaking through for her first win in the JUST CONVEYORS 2YO MAIDEN HANDICAP over 1200m.
The win was the first leg in a winning double for the stable, with Falcon Island tasting success in the Benchmark 67.
Buckley had planned to lead on the Fearless Girl but a slow start and quick early tempo resulted in a change of tactics, with Fearless Girl settling mid-field.
Hugging the rails into the straight, the filly hit the lead about 200m from home and was able to hold out the fast finishing Love Seat ($21) to score a half-length win.
The two-year-old All Too Hard filly was bred by Gerry Harvey and sold for $110,000 to the all-female Fearless Girl Syndicate.
Several of the syndicate were on hand to cheer on horse and rider when they returned to scale.
She was having her second race start and resuming from a spell, having been given three trials by the stable.
Tony Steele from the Waterhouse/Bott stable said they were “over the moon” with the result.
“I didn’t expect that so we are very happy. She didn’t jump that well so Grant settled her nicely mid-field. Coming around the turn she balanced up well and was really strong in the straight,” he said.
“We can’t ask for much more than that. It was a great result.”
Steele said Fearless Girl’s three trials had been promising.
“She hadn’t won any of them but she had shown us enough and the jockeys have been happy with how she’s been working the last couple of weeks.
“Gai and Adrian will see how she recovers and find another suitable race for her and I don’t think it will be long before she’s in the city.”
Partners ($5) trained by Scott Singleton was third, a length and a half behind the winner.
A well-rated front running ride by Rory Hutchings secured the second win for the stable with Falcon Island ($1.80) taking out the 1600m CITRUS CLEAN BENCHMARK 67 HANDICAP.
The Harbour Watch three-year-old, raced by Dynamic Syndications, dictated the terms throughout the race, drawing away in the straight to score an effortless eight and a half length win.
Tony Steele said it was hard to believe the ease of the gelding’s win.
“He jumped out superbly and that’s what we wanted and that was the key to his win,” Steele said.
“The shorter straight here really suited him and he was able to get away with a very strong win.
“Rory rated him very well in front. He deserved the win and I think he could be heading back to town now.
“He started off his prep at Randwick and he’s improved and improved and now got another win to his name.”
The Damien Lane trained Spinning Gold ($15) was second, with Don Pellegrino ($17) from the Perry stable, two lengths behind in third.
Catmosphere ($3.30) could be headed for another metropolitan run following his dominant victory in the 1350m KEVIN R SHEATHER CLASS 2 HANDICAP.
There was strong support for the Matthew Smith trained gelding despite his last start failure at Rosehill where he finished last in a field of 10.
Jockey Nick Heywood took him to an early lead, dictating the terms throughout the race before drawing away in the straight for a convincing four length win.
Nathan Davies, representing the Smith stable, said there had been excuses for his last two runs.
“Two starts ago he almost got put over the fence at Kembla and he got taken on at Rosehill last start. They went pretty quick that day and all the leaders stopped,” Davies said.
“It was nice and easy today. He travelled sweet in the run and never looked like getting beat.
“The plan was to go straight to the front and Nick carried the instructions out to a tee.
“He got to the front, kept improving and got the job done.”
Davies said on the strength of the win it was likely Smith would look for a metropolitan race.
“I think he has earned a return to town after that.”
Oakfield General ($11) trained locally by Damien Lane was second, with the Perry trained The Outcast ($21), a length behind in third.
A good win by the Snowden trained favourite Lady I Am ($2) to take out the
1200m CLEAN N CARE CLASS 2 HANDICAP.
Ridden by Chad Lever, the three-year-old I Am Invincible filly was coming off a fourth at Canterbury on July 4.
Stable representative Lindy Wharekura said the dry track had definitely been a telling factor in the three quarter length win.
“Being on top of the ground really helped her today,” she said.
“She was third up and had two runs on soft tracks prior to today.
“We were keen to try her on the better going and got that today.
“Peter and Paul are still working her out and getting her right.
“They consider her to be city class and she will take plenty of confidence out of today’s win.”
Lady I Am beat Gretzky ($8) from the Hawkes stable, with New Zealand import Grand Soleil ($6), having her first start for the Lees stable, third.