Adelong carries punters to victory

Adelong, pictured here winning at Royal Randwick last preperation, was too good in the 1100m Benchmark 78 Handicap at Rosehill Gardens on Saturday. Photo: Bradley Photos.

Adelong certainly wasn’t feeling the weight of a town on Saturday when streaking away for a 2.5 length victory in the 1100m Benchmark 78 Handicap on Saturday.

The well-named Brad Widdup runner, who was ridden a treat by James McDonald, left her opposition for dead after drifting in the markets, eventually paying $2.90 to the delight of punters.

Out of the talented broodmare Snow Gums, Adelong now boasts four wins and two seconds from six starts and over $140,000 in prizemoney.

The four-year-old Medaglia D’Oro mare looks destined for bigger things and there is no doubt local thoroughbred enthusiasts will keep a keen eye on the in-form sprinter.

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Miss Kojiki was super impressive when running second in the $100,000 Inglis Challenge over the 1100m at Scone on Friday.

Bred in Tumut by Paul Sturt, the Real Impact filly that is out of Tell Tale, begun well from gate 13 and was put into a nice position by apprentice hoop Mikayla Weir.

The Todd Howlett runner then ranged up nicely and was just beaten by a better horse on the day, with the Kris Lees trained The Bopper running away for a 3.98 length win as the $1.40 favourite.

Still, the Tumut bred filly looks to have a bucket load of potential after the second placing and will be one to watch.

For the time being, Howlett will send Miss Kojiki for a spell before setting her for some nice three-year-old events next season.

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Todd Smart had little luck at Moruya on Thursday and Kembla Grange on Saturday, finishing out of the money with Divi, Miss Farloo and King Lenny.

Divi was no match for them in the 1010m Benchmark 66 at Moruya, finishing seventh and beaten 3.4 lengths.

Ridden by Ellen Hennessy, the Moshe Mare battled early for the lead and ran out of puff in the final stages.

The four-year-old has really struggled since arriving in NSW, finishing out of the money in four consecutive starts.

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Miss Farloo also failed at Moruya, finishing last of 14 runners in the 1300m Benchmark 58 Handicap.

Ridden by Aaron Sweeney, the old girl just didn’t fire and was well beaten in a tough country event and it will be interesting to see where Smart will take the eight-year-old Zizou mare next.

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Lastly, King Lenny was disappointing on debut for Smart, finishing ninth and beaten 3.3 lengths in the 1000m, two-year-old Maiden Plate at Kembla Grange on Saturday.

The Choisir gelding was close enough on the home turn but didn’t go on with things before being well beaten. 

Smart may opt for another run with King Lenny but it wouldn’t be a surprise to see the former Gundagai trainer turn out the two-year-old before bringing him back as a more mature three-year-old next season.

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Jounama put in a nice effort to finish fourth in the 1200m Benchmark 58 Handicap at Albury on Friday.

The six-year-old, who carried 60kg, worked home nicely, taking a lot of ground of the leaders to finish only 2.55 lengths of the pace.

The Zoffany mare definitely improved on her first up run and looks a big chance of getting back into the winner’s circle in her next couple of starts.

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The Rodger Waters trained Sizzleonthebridge struggled in the same 1200m Benchmark 58 event, finishing eighth and beaten 6.18 lengths.

The four-year-old Sizzling gelding had no excuses and just couldn’t go on with the job when in a good position on the home turn.

The Wantabadgery runner will now head for a well-deserved spell before coming back in the dryer months.

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Battle Master caught the eye at Pakenham on Thursday night, finishing third and beaten only 1.75 lengths in a 1400m Benchmark 64 Handicap.

The Mitch Freedman runner looked a big chance with Luke Nolen in the saddle and has been knocking on the door for a third career victory.

The Paul Sturt bred gelding, who is by Master of Design, now has a tidy record of 12 starts for two wins, four placings and nearly $60,000 in prizemoney.

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Cyborg just got a little too far back at Rosehill Gardens on Saturday, finishing eighth and beaten 3.9 lengths in the 1500m Class Three TAB Highway Handicap.

The Norm Gardner runner had Sam Clipperton in the saddle and after sitting last for most of the race,  he was taken wide before storming home.

Connections will be buoyed by the effort and will be hoping for a better draw next time out.

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The Steven Kemp trained Lara’s Double ran a nice race to finish third in the 525m fourth and fifth grade at Wagga on Sunday.

The consistent bitch was well backed to start $3.30 and finished 1.5 lengths off the eventual winner, Fire Up Keith.

Unfortunately, in the 320m fifth grade vent, Egler couldn’t go back-to-back, finishing sixth and beaten 11.75 lengths.

The youngster, who won first up at Temora last weekend, found trouble in the early stages and just never recovered.  

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The Tumut owned Caccini will step out at Kembla Grange today when contesting the 1200m Benchmark 70 Handicap.

The Norm Gardner runner has Jess Taylor in the saddle and connections get some luck, drawing gate one.

The Nicconi gelding looks a chance in the fourth run of his preparation but there is some good winning form about in this race and it won’t be an easy task.

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Michelle Russell will take two runners to Wagga Riverside on Thursday with her maidens Not Certain and Citizen Scientist nominated to race.

Not Certain has been entered for the 1050m Maiden Handicap after finishing last over the 1000m at Wagga in October last year.

The six-year-old Danerich gelding trialed on May 10, finishing fifth and beaten 8.13 lengths over the 1000m at Wagga and will need to improve for this event.

Citizen Scientist looks Russell’s best chance of a winner, having been entered in the 1200m Maiden Plate,

The Brothers War gelding was impressive last start, finding the line well to finish fourth in a 1000m Maiden Handicap at Goulburn and should appreciate the extra furlong in this race.

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Kerry Weir also heads to Wagga on Thursday with two maiden runners, preparing Crocodile Cod and O’bella Bai.

Crocodile Cod will step out in the Maiden/Class One over the 1660m and should be a big chance based on recent efforts.

The Cluster gelding caught the eye when finishing hard for a second placing over the 2000m at Wagga  last start and it looks as though Weir has been forced to drop back in distance due to a lack of staying events on offer for his maiden runner.

O’bella Bai should step out in the 1050m Maiden Handicap after a long spell from the racetrack.

The O’Lonhro mare, who hasn’t raced since finishing last in a 1000m Maiden Handicap at Wagga on July 8 last year, is coming back from injury and it will be interesting to see how she performs on return.

Jockey watch

Nick Souquet was rewarded for his tenacity on Friday, booting home two winners at Albury.

The Tumbarumba product, who is temporarily based in Corowa, made it two wins from two rides on Chap’s Dream, leading the Mitchell Beer runner to victory in the 1000m Class One victory.

The Dream Ahead mare just got home, winning by 0.2 of a length and paying $7 on the NSW tote.

Souquet was also on Nevada Dane in the 1000m Benchmark 66 for Rob Wellington.

The California Dane gelding was unwanted in the markets, drifting to $11 before winning by 0.3 of a length after a top ride from Souquet.

Wagga to host Young Cup

With the Covid-19 pandemic making it difficult for non-TAB meetings to go ahead, the Murrumbidgee Turf Club has stepped in to host the Young Cup on Thursday.

The Young Cup would typically be held this Saturday, and is one of the most popular Southern District events, annually attacking over 1000 people and some terrific racing.

The six-race-program will be held on the Wagga Riverside course and is sure to offer up some great racing.

In the 1660m Benchmark 74 Young Cup, there is only six runners nominated but they were extended and that could become more if trainers decide to nominate.

At the moment, Bravado Lass will attract the punters’ interest, with the in-form Gary Colvin runner winning three times in her last six starts, including a last start Leeton Cup victory.

The seven-year-old Zariz mare is loving conditions of late and will be one to watch in the $12,000 feature event.

Andrew Dale will also prepare Parliament for the feature event, with the last start Wagga winner suited to the mile and is expected to go well on the potentially soft surface.

The five-year-old Crowded House mare, who won the Cootamundra Cup late last year, is a winner of $100,000 in prizemoney and is arguably the class runner of the field.

Group One fantasy for connections

The second night of the Riverina Region Championships certainly didn’t disappoint at the Riverina Paceway on Friday afternoon with five enthralling heats being run and won in crowdless conditions.

Headlining the program was Ideal Fantasy, who cruised to the line to win the fourth event on the card by 2.1m over Topsie Grinner and Sports Candy, recording an overall time of 2:44.0 and a mile rate of 1:56.3; the quickest of any heat.

The Terry Judd trained and Peter McRae driven five-year-old looked in control the whole time and will be one of the big chances in the $100,000 Group One final on Friday night. 

The other four heats were very well contested, with Cee Cee Ambro winning for Wayne Sullivan and Blake Jones; Mister Donald greeting the judge first for Saul and Bayley Duck; Darren and Adam Richardson combining with Ultimate Risk; and the powerhouse duo of Ellen Bartley and Blake Jones qualifying Brooklyns Best in the final race.

These five winners join Western Sonador, Rocky Creed, We Salute You, Streamliner and series favourite, Whereyabinboppin, who all won their heats the Friday prior.

The all important gate draw that will be released by Harness Racing NSW later in the week and could very make or break the chances of leading contenders.