The Adam Duggan trained Sir Elton looks set for a promising career after recording his second successive win in smart time at Wyong’s Give Me 5 For Kids Charity Race Day.
Starting $1.65 favourite the three-year-old blitzed his opposition to win the CENTRAL COAST BULLDOGS MASTERS RUGBY LEAGUE CLASS 2 over 1100m by more than three lengths.
The Your Song gelding franked his debut win at Gosford on May 25 and had no problem making the step up from maiden to class 2.
Tommy Berry took Sir Elton to an early lead, before pulling away in the straight to record an eye-catching win.
Gosford based Duggan purchased Sir Elton as a yearling for $175,000 and races him with small syndicate.
“He’s a pretty smart horse and it’s exciting to see how far he can go,” Duggan said.
“I was a little bit nervous meeting this stronger field today but now I don’t know why I was.
“He’s as smart a horse as I’ve had, that probably doesn’t mean a lot but he’s good.
“It’s a month in between runs today, and I reckon he will improve again on this.”
Duggan said he will target a metropolitan race for Sir Elton’s next start.
Berry, who brought up a winning double in the race, was full of praise for Sir Elton.
“He looks pretty smart, he’s just a racehorse,” Berry said.
“Your Song has definitely stamped him. He’s a real good type with a lovely temperament.
“He beat them very easily today, so I think once they get the blinkers off and get him to switch off, they’ve got a very nice horse on their hands.
“He will easily go to better class races.”
Lashes ($4) trained by Matthew Smith was second, from Siege Warfare ($41) from the Todd Howlett stable.
The win was part of a winning treble for Berry, who shared the riding honours with Blake Shinn.
In-form Blake Shinn shared the riding honours with Tommy Berry, both leading jockeys bagging a treble.
Shinn rode a double for Kris Lees and the third for Bjorn Baker.
Hong Kong bound Shinn is coming off a successful Brisbane Winter Carnival and will head back to the sunshine state this Saturday hoping to claim another Group 1 aboard Godolphin galloper Pohutukawa in the Tattersal’s Tiara.
He goes into the weekend full of confidence after booting home favourites Front Sight and Our Candidate for Lees, before he combined with Baker to take out the GIVE ME 5 FOR KIDS CHARITY CUP BENCHMARK 64 HANDICAP on another short priced favourite Doctor Zous.
Lees produced an Australian Bloodstock stayer who will target metropolitan distance races in the winter and a Goree gelding who looks to have a bright future.
Front Sight was the first of the Lees winners, dominating the 1350m CASANOVA OYSTERS & SEAFOOD MAIDEN.
Blake Shinn believes the gelding is a good horse in the making.
The Star Witness three-year-old was sent out $1.14 favourite and justified the price with Shinn pulling away from the field in the final stages of the race winning by more than three lengths.
“This win will bring him a lot of confidence and he’s a very progressive horse,” Shinn said.
“He’s proven that he’s up to city class so we know he can handle that which is a good sign.
“There is certainly plenty of scope about him and he’s a big strong fella. The mind has just got to catch up with his size and strength.
“It was a good win. They made him earn it, but he was very strong to the line.”
Kris Lees, who trains the horse for Goree Stud, said Front Sight will be a nice horse.
“He’s still a bit raw but I think he’s a nice horse in the making,” he said.
“The Godolphin horse pressured him a bit on the corner but when Blake moved on him, he let down really well.
“I think he is a nice horse over the winter who will continue to improve.”
Front Sight beat Zakat ($9), with Judicator ($12) from the Gerald Ryan stable, third.
Imported stayer Our Candidate ($1.26) brought up his first Australian victory taking out the 2100m HUCKEL EXCAVATIONS 4YO&UP CLASS 1 & MAIDEN by almost two lengths.
The four-year-old was having his third Australian start having previously recorded one win over 2400m.
Lees said while the horse had been a bit further back than expected in the run, due jumping awkwardly, it was good to see him finish strongly.
“Blake had him in a stalking position to take up the running whenever it suited. I probably thought he was going to win a little bit easier. He’s still got a bit to learn, he floated a bit late but that will bring his mind into it,” he said.
“He’s a nice horse going forward. He will continue to improve off today.”
Consistent three-year-old Zoustar ($2.10) had to survive a protest before claiming the 1350m Benchmark 64 and bringing up Shinn’s treble.
The Zoustar gelding, who brought up his third win from just seven starts, was coming off a second at Hawkesbury on June 9.
Shinn led throughout, fighting off a late run by Zoustar to win by a half-length.
Jack Bruce, representing trainer Bjorn Baker, who also trained a double on the program, praised the ride by Shinn.
“It was a good ride, ten out of ten. He’s an honest horse but the ride won him the race.
“Blake tried to hold him together as long as he could which was good because pulled up stumps at Hawkesbury with 50 to go, so it was good to see him do that today.
“He’s big, tough, honest and consistent so it’s more money in the bank and another good win.
“He makes his own luck. He’s up on the pace always and he’s got a good kick. He carried 61 today but will go up in grade now so might get a bit of weight relief.”
Zoustar beat Quick Finance ($6.50) trained by Kevin Moses, with Smiling Manolito ($10) from the Waller stable third.
In Lighten Me was welcomed back to the enclosure by a large number of excited owners after taking out the HUNTER2COAST EQUINE SALT THERAPY 3YO MAIDEN at her first start in almost 12 months.
The Star Witness filly had some niggling issues that resulted in trainer Gerald Ryan giving her a lengthy spell.
She returned to work and was impressive at two trials, with punters sending her out $2.20 second favourite.
Sustained support for the Godolphin filly Arboreal saw her firm into $2.10 favourite shortly before they jumped.
Tommy Berry, who kicked off a treble with the victory, took an early lead on In Lighten Me and held out the fast finishing Arboreal on the line.
Stable representative Sterling Alexiou said it hadn’t been ideal to lead but Berry had been left with no choice.
“It wasn’t the best way to ride her, but Tommy rode her like the best horse in the race and took bad luck out of the equation,” he said.
“Her previous form suggests she will get further in time, so it was a pretty good job first up off a fairly decent lay off.
“I thought the second horse had her covered about 50m out, so Tommy did a good job to get her over the line.”
Berry said his only option had been to lead.
“It wasn’t our preferred option, but it was either there or three wide, so I just took the bull by the horns and got to the front.
“We got a nice easy time mid-race but she’s going to be a better horse when she can follow the speed. When the second horse came at me late, she fought it off strongly.
“It was first up today, and she’s got plenty of improvement and it’s great to see a big bunch of owners here at the provincials.”
In Lighten Me won by a nose, with Freedom’s Fire ($16) from the Perry stable third.
Berry brought up his treble in the last riding Press Review ($2.40) to victory in the 1600m GO ELECTRICAL BENCHMARK 64.
Trained by Chris Waller the consistent Street Cry mare brought up her third win from 12 starts.
Clare Heuston, representing the stable, said the four-year-old still has a lot to learn.
“It was a gutsy win today and she’s still doing a few things wrong,” she said.
“When Tommy got her out, she still had a fair bit to do but she showed determination and got the job done.
“I think she will get over more ground too.”
Berry agreed the mare was still green.
“She is still not sure what to do. She found the line well today and will be a nice horse next preparation.”
Press Review beat Auburn Boy ($6) trained by Robert and Luke Price, with Sawtell ($8) from the Brett Dodson stable third.
Another favourite greeted the judge in the BLITZ HOMES MAIDEN over 1000m with the Bjorn Baker trained Perigord ($3.10) proving too strong for his opposition.
Resuming from a spell, the I Am Invincible gelding was placed at all four starts last preparation and had looked smart in two trials.
Jockey Jay Ford took a sit toward the rear, rounding the field on the turn and drawing away in the straight to win by a length and a half.
Jack Bruce, representing trainer Bjorn Baker, said gelding the three-year-old had made a difference.
“He still provides us with a few headaches. We would of liked to have seen him go forward today but he’s got a good turn of foot and it was nice to see him put it all together.
“I’d like to think he can get to town now.
“I thought it was quite a soft win in the end. Jay didn’t really test him because he had the race won around the 200m. It’s good to see, he’s still got a lot to work on but he’s improving all the time.
“Well done to the owner Mervyn Wood who has been very patient. He bred it and owns it himself so hopefully he’ll be winning more races.”
Ford said Perigord had the makings of a very nice horse.
“Jack said the stable had always liked him and he’d shown good ability but that he can let himself down at times.
“Obviously having him gelded and resuming him over a very short trip did the trick.
“It was quite a dominant victory and hopefully a sign of good things and he can go on with it this preparation.”
The Joe Pride trained Zem Factor ($3.50) was second, with Godolphin’s $3.10 equal favourite Caesura, third.
Robbie Dolan earned plenty of praise after a rail hugging ride secured victory for Deliya ($10) in the 1600m RJAY’S INSTALLATIONS-WINDOWS & DOORS MAIDEN.
The Eurozone filly trained by John Sargent was narrowly beaten over the 1350m at Wyong last start but atoned for that beating race favourite Grand Eagle ($2), from the Allan Denham stable, with Discombe ($2.50) third.
It looked to be a race in two with Grand Eagle and Discombe fighting it out in the straight before Dolan grabbed a split along the rails securing a narrow win.
“He does his homework this boy and it’s paid off for him today,” Campbell Ashby, representing the stable, said.
“The track in the last few weeks hasn’t been suiting sweepers as well and he was the first to pick up on it. It’s won him the race.
“The plan was to sit a little bit handier.
“Last start when he rode her here, she flashed home and ran third. He stuck to the same plan today and got the job done.
“She’s grown and is getting her act together now and I think the owners are in for a lot of fun.”
Ashby said they would look for a similar provincial grade race for Deliya.