Not one, not two, but three wins for Ashley Maley in a career-best training performance. Megadon launched the day in the opener, Bad Wolf continued in race four and Sluice Box, in a rout, finished it in the last when he won by five lengths. The stable are good celebrators and you can only imagine what their reaction would have been if the old timer Red Publisher, a gallant runner-up in the Ngawyni Stakes, had got up.
That’s Funny Az was first up off 84 days, no trial and against top opposition, but Dion Luciani had the Snippetson gelding perfectly conditioned for his assignment in the Ngawyni Stakes. The rest of the field had every chance to run him down, but out in front for Brad Parnham, he proved too tough and strong over the 1400m journey. The five-year-old elevated to another level last time in and continued with that improvement.
3-THE FRONT BAR
It’s a reset for trainer Adam Durrant who said it best when The Front Bar came from the clouds to score a stunning win in the Crown Towers Plate (1000m).
“It was an outstanding effort and horses generally don’t do that. We might have to rethink movements with her in the next three or four months.”
The Front Bar, a daughter of Sessions, looked an impossible hope inside the final 200m, but under William Pike she unleashed a brilliant burst of speed to get over the top of Defending.
“He’s got all the ability in the world, but no brain and racing manners to go with it.” That sums up the thoughts of co-trainer Chris Gangemi on his well-named Notorious One who escaped trouble from the back of the field after a cool ride from Clint Johnston-Porter. The Animal Kingdom six-year-old has his quirks and can be stressful to watch, but Chris and his brother Michael will take it because there is no denying he has a motor when he puts it all together.
In just his second season of thoroughbred training former jockey and talented dual code horseman Michael Grantham continues to make an impression with his improving team. His current headline act is Kaptain Kaos who made a successful return after a hat trick of wins earlier in the year. The consistent four-year-old charged down the outside after being near last to the turn.
The great Bart Cummings once said: Patience is the cheapest thing in racing and the least used.”
You cannot level that accusation against trainer Dan Morton and owners of Wilchino. They were left with no other option in the early days after she suffered serious knee injuries, but they’re getting their rewards now. The speedy mare has turned the corner and looks the real deal with four wins from her last five outings. The horror show at Pinjarra when she finished last in June is just a distant memory now.
It was only fitting that Peter Hall’s final city ride was on Sowar for his great mate, Albany trainer Steve Wolfe. Hall retires after next week’s Broome Cup to take up a position as jockey coach with Racing and Wagering Western Australia. A guard of honour by fellow riders a worthy send off and reflective of his popularity and standing in the game.