Jo Anne Leeson and her Testa Rossa gelding, Tindal, combined to score their second consecutive win in the Minilya Sprint (1200m) at Carnarvon on Saturday.
Tindal defied his rating and proved there was still plenty of life left in his ageing nine-year-old legs when he bloused out favourite, Iconoclast, by a short-head.
In a driving finish where a length separated the first four placegetters, Tindal, with a 4.5kg weight advantage over a gallant, Iconoclast, prevailed in an exciting finish.
“I was confident he would run well and I was surprised he started at the price he did,” said Leeson.
“He has been Carnarvon’s best horse for 12 months and I don’t think people realise how good he is.”
Tindal came to Leeson’s stables two years ago after previous stints with eastern states trainers: John Sadler, Robert Hickmott and Wendy Roche.
His was formerly raced by leviathan owner, Lloyd Williams, in partnership with his wife and son, Nick, scoring his most significant victory in the Beyond Sportswear Stakes at Flemington as a three-year-old.
With prize money approaching $400,000 he has developed a real affinity for the Carnarvon track, notching six wins and three placings from 11 starts since stepping out for his debut last season.
The only blip on an otherwise perfect campaign and one that Leeson wants to correct in September was the Carnarvon Cup (2000m) when he placed a disappointing 11th to Kardy.
“He had been up a long time and reached the end of a massive campaign,” said Leeson.
“He had enough and the signs were probably there earlier.
“There is no issue about him running the trip.”
Tindal, the reigning Carnarvon Horse of the Year, capped a perfect day for Leeson after stable mate Raucous Laughter scored a powerhouse win from behind in the Northern Aspect Construction Handicap (1400m).
The Ferocity seven-year-old, who started a $3.40 favourite, was settled towards the tail of the field by jockey, Lisa Staples, before coming over the top of on pace runner, Bicol Street to score by just under a length.
Devilish Intent was just a breath away in third place, continuing a frustrating day for trainer, Noel Pateman and jockey, Andrew Masters.
Raucous Laughter gave Staples the third leg of a dynamic treble to consolidate her position at the head of the jockey’s premiership after she guided Moon Man to an easy win and arrived late on Albany galloper, Bonacious Princess.
Moon Man, racing on pace, inflicted more heartache on raging favourite, Trade My Pago, who placed for the fourth straight time this campaign.
Veteran rider, Danny Miller, closed out the meeting with a signature ride on Cat Five, leading throughout to win by three lengths.
Apprentice Kate Fitzgerald produced a similar performance on Redhage, who shook off a strong challenge from Gaintlike.
RWWA: Julio Santarelli