Kim Waugh continued her great run of success with promising three-year-old Mighty Marmalade winning the 1200m www.wyongraceclub.com.au 3YO & Up Maiden in commanding fashion.
The stable has been in great form with nine winners since February 18, including last Saturday’s Provincial Qualifier with Uptown Lad, giving them a 50% strike rate for the past month.
Mighty Marmalade’s impressive win followed a second on debut at Wyong on February 20.
Jockey Brenton Avdulla, who brought up a winning double with the victory, positioned Mighty Marmalade ($2.50) towards the rear of the field and came wide around the turn, to produce a devastating turn of foot pulling away to win by 2.5 lengths.
Waugh was rapt with the win and believes the filly’s future is very exciting.
“It was fantastic, she works well at home and her trials have been nice, but at her last start she just did too much wrong,” she said.
“Even today she was still very green, but was able to show her great turn of foot.”
The filly is a half-sister to another of Waugh’s up and coming horses Newsfan, who is also owned by long time clients of the Waugh stable Mr and Mrs Yee.
“I have had plenty of horses for them and they are very nice people who are loyal and deserve all the success they get because they put so much money into the racing game,” Waugh said.
Avdulla was equally as impressed with the filly and her future prospects.
“There’s a good turn of foot on her, but she’s still hasn’t got much idea what she’s doing,” he said.
“She stepped away a lot better today than she has in her trial and her last run.”
“Once I got her around the bend and got balanced she let down like a really good horse who looks to have a nice little future.”
Promising three-year-old filly Petite capped off a running double for Godolphin and trainer James Cummings, with the daughter of Reset proving to classy for her rivals in the Winning Commercial Maiden Plate over 2100m.
The race was set alight when the Waterhouse/Bott trained Regal Cannon shot to an early lead, ensuring a fast tempo was set for the race.
Jockey Brenton Avdulla sat back behind the frantic pace and it was all too easy as he peeled around the tiring leader at the turn, to kick away for a 2.25 length win.
Stable representative Darren Beadman admitted the race was run to suit, but the filly’s effort was still admirable.
“It was a bit of a sit and steer job for Brenton,” he said.
“When they rolled along at a solid tempo it really suited her and she got into a nice rhythm, put herself into the race, was full of running around the bend and stayed on really well.
“They went along at a strong gallop, so I’d say on the back of that she could be competitive in a 2200m race in town.”
Avdulla was always confident with how the horse was travelling and believes she has further improvement.
“She travelled really comfortably and they went along at a quick gallop, so the leaders were always going to hit a wall,” he said.
“I just kept her comfortable, rolling along and she put her head in front at the turn which was probably a bit early, but she was too good for them.
“She’s still only a three-year-old so there’s a bit of improvement off today’s win.”
Godolphin continued their winning ways of the past few weeks with Stunts ($1.85) proving way too good for his opposition in the Hudson Homes 2yo Plate over 1200m.
Jockey Tye Angland took the son of Lonhro to the front and he cruised along at a steady pace, before accelerating around the bend to kick clear for a 2.5 length win.
“I wasn’t expecting to lead but he jumped well and put himself there,” Angland said.
“I waited a while for someone to take me on because I wasn’t going quick in front and from the 400m I quickened and made them chase me, but he proved too good.
“His first-up run was disappointing, but it was against much better horses than today, so I was confident I was on the best horse in the race.”
Beadman was pleased with the result and considers there is more to come for the talented colt.
“It was a tidy effort. They went at a pedestrian speed up front and ran home in 33.2 (seconds), so it was hard for backmarkers to make up ground,” he said.
“This win will be a good confidence builder for the horse as he’s always shown ability at home.
“He’s copped awkward gates in his past few starts and had to go back, so it was good to see him ridden in a more positive manner. “
The John Thompson trained Thy Kingdom Come ($2.80) proved a class above his rivals in taking out the 1350m Great Northern on Tap at Wyong Class 1 Handicap.
Jockey Blake Shinn sat patiently on the son of Lope de Vega, before peeling out into clear galloping room to record a comfortable 2.2 length win.
Shinn was full of praise for the three-year-old, who last preparation came up against some quality opposition in much tougher races.
“He bounced out, travelled well and really impressed me with how he won,” he said.
“He has always shown a bit of class. He won at Kembla last prep and looked like a really promising horse.
“John put him in a stakes race after that and although he didn’t measure up he gave me a nice feel.”
Thompson has more black type planned out for the horse’s future.
“He was the class horse of the field today, but it was just good for him to come back well first up after being gelded,” he said.
“He is more genuine now, raced a lot more professionally and put them away like he should have.
“The plan is to head toward the Carbine Club (1600m Group 3 at Randwick on April 7.”
It may have only been a two-horse race but that didn’t stand in the way of a brilliant finish as both horses battled neck and neck down the straight in the www.tab.com.au 3YO Maiden Handicap over 1350m.
In the end, it was the Rebecca Brewer trained Fields of Glory ($2.30) who got the bob of the heads, to record a victory by the narrowest of margins, over the Ron Quinton trained Supreme Rhythm ($1.55).
Brewer admitted she wasn’t confident heading into the race, but her was feeling better after the four-early scratchings.
“I thought at least we have a fifty-fifty chance of winning,” Brewer quipped.
“The plan today was to give him a good educational run, as he’s still very much a baby and is extremely immature.
“He is still learning his trade and has a few quirky behaviours, but he can only benefit from the run.”
Jockey Alena Skerritt said that she had never been in a two-horse race before, comparing it to riding trackwork.
“It was a lot like riding work and it was actually very quiet and calm,” she said.
“All you had to do was just stay calm and do the right thing.
“You don’t want to let them get away from you and you want them to work and think a bit.
“I thought they had us for a bit, but he’s done well to get back and win.”
The Joe Pride trained Our Mantra ($2.80) provided an upset of sorts in the De Bortelli Wines Class 1 Handicap over 1600m, when he flew past short priced favourite Decroux ($1.45) to record a half a length victory.
Our Mantra turned the tables on the favourite from their last start where he was beaten four lengths by Decroux, but Pride said there was an excuse.
“It was a wet track last start and our bloke doesn’t like anything worse than a soft 5,” he said.
It wasn’t all easy for Pride with the trainer admitting there were a few nervous moments.
“We had some concern with the big weight (62kgs) and Corey said he wanted to get off the fence but wasn’t given that opportunity until late,” Pride said.
“When the run did come he sprinted very well under the big weight.
“I always had him pinned as a stakes horse and now that we’ve seen him win over a mile, it opens some more doors for him.”
Brown was equally impressed with the effort of Our Mantra carrying the big weight.
“He surprised me today with how well he sprinted under a big weight,” he said.
“He’s a funny character, he gives 110% one day and the next day it feels like you’ve lost him.
“I was happy to be positioned behind the favourite and my bloke dug deep to win like he should be winning.
“I think he’s a city class horse, but he just has to switch on 110% all of the time.”
Young trainer Matthew Vella and his tough sprinter Bella Vella combined to take out the Lakes Printers Benchmark 73 over 1100m.
Bella Vella ($7.50) found herself out in front and a sitting duck for the favourites entering the straight, but the filly proved to strong and held on to record a gutsy half length win.
Vella had entered the daughter of Commands in two races on the Wyong card but pulled the right rein starting in the BM 73.
“I went to this race as there were a couple of smart ones in the Class 2 that I wasn’t to keen to take on,” he said.
“It wasn’t easy, but she’s a very gutsy filly who just tries her heart out.
“She’s very consistent which is good for me to keep going.
“It was a terrific ride by Grant (Buckley) who is a good mate of mine, so its always great when he rides a winner for me.”
Buckley was quick to praise both the filly and Vella.
“She’s just all guts. Every time I’ve ridden her she just keeps giving,” Buckley said.
“The 1100m suited her. I got a good cart into the race and she fought on strongly to the line.
“All credit to Matty. He’s just starting off and he gives 110% to his horses and has owners supporting him, which is great to see.”
The Jason Coyle trained Tapavino proved top strong late for her more fancied rivals in the Go Electrical Tuggerah Class 2 Handicap over 1100m.
There was a solid tempo set with hot favourite Easy Eddie ($1.30) challenged for the lead, while Tapavino and jockey Winona Costin sat patiently behind waiting for a run to appear late, then burst through to win by a nose.
Coyle admitted the horse does plenty wrong, but it was good to see her breakthrough for a victory.
“She’s probably a seven-furlong horse that races like a 1000m horse, as she’s always doing things wrong,” he said.
“She has been building towards this and her runs over a shorter trip have been really good.
“Even though it was a small field we still got a solid tempo. She relaxed the best she has this prep and was able to be strong through the line.
“She is a nice consistent mare that handles her racing really well, as she’s a big strong horse.
“We will be taking baby steps but hopefully she can get up to 1400m.”