It seems as though pregnancy agrees with the Wayne Carroll-trained Fashion Tip, who proved a little too good for her rivals in the Adelong Cup on Friday.
The Zoffany mare is in foal to Kermadec, and since being served has won three races, taking her prizemoney earnings to over $115,000, including winning the feature race on Gundagai-Adelong Race Club’s New Year’s Day meeting.
The six-year-old, who was ridden by Blaike McDougall, started a $6 chance in the 1400m Benchmark 66 Handicap. She looked an easy winner throughout the run and on the home turn.
Still, Fashion Tip had to dig in for the win in what turned out to be a photo finish result over the Doug Gorrel-trained Imitation Game; the Wagga runner held on by 0.04 of a length, while Delivered was a further 4 lengths away in third.
“It was a good win, and it is now the perfect time to be retiring her. She has reached her level,” Carroll said.
“It really is the right time to retire, she has ticked all the boxes with what she can do, and she will be a nice broodmare.”
Funnily enough, Fashion Tip was never meant to contest the Adelong Cup, with her second last start at Corowa meant to be her farewell to racing, yet Carroll decided to back her up at Gundagai.
“Her last race was meant to be at Corowa, but she missed the start and she pulled up well after the run, and she certainly loves Gundagai and we thought we would give her another opportunity,” Carroll said.
“It worked out well. What she has down now, it is perfect timing for her. Her rating has gone to about 65 and 66, and it meant she would have been carrying big weight in 66 races or stepping up another level and she isn’t a big filly by any means, and it would knock her about.”
The popular Wagga trainer was pleased to win the 2021 Adelong Cup, and he thought the strong non-TAB country cup was a testament to the strength of racing in the Southern Districts Racing Association at this current time.
“Racing is just getting stronger and stronger and that race being a non-TAB cup and still so strong proves that,” Carroll said.
McDougall was happy to see Fashion Tip retiring as a winner too, after guiding the old girl to good wins at Corowa in September and November before Friday’s success.
“She is a very honest little mare,” Carroll said. She was only two (wins) from 30 when I first got on her and now, I think won three or four on her and she will go out six wins.”
Bookies make out at Gundagai
The annual Adelong Cup meeting was dominated by visiting trainers, and not surprisingly, by the state’s leading jockey and Albury-based hoop, Blaike McDougall.
The bookies also made out at Gundagai, with every favourite beaten, and punters left with their wallets feeling a little lighter than usual.
The first race on the card was the 1400m Maiden Handicap and Berrigan visitor Shilleagh Meyervale tasted success with Simply Skilful winning by 0.94 of a length from Curioso, while Your Hand In Mine came third.
The four-year-old had previously missed a place in her 16 career starts, but Bradley Vale rode the Skilled mare a treat to victory.
In the second race, the 1000m Maiden Plate, Tough James lived up to his name, holding on for a tenacious 1.81 lengths win over the Kerry Weir-trained and race favourite, Deemed Corrupt, with Words Unspoken finishing third.
Border-based trainer Garry Worsnop combined with Blaike McDougall for the good win, after Johnny Kissick was unavailable for the ride.
The third race on the card saw Goulburn trainer Sarah Murray-Leslie prepare Danetree Belle for victory in the 1000m Benchmark 1000 Handicap.
Kayla Nisbet gave the seven-year-old a lovely run before careering away for a 1.81 lengths win over Sugar Bay Leonard, who caught the eye for second, while Sheez Menzies finished a good third after doing all the hard work early in front.
Wayne Carroll and Blaike McDougall combined on Fashion Tip in the Adelong Cup, which was the meeting’s penultimate event, just holding off Imitation Game and Delivered for a good win in the $11,000 1400m Benchmark Handicap.
McDougall picked up his hat trick of winners in the final event, with Idle Fancy bolting in for an easy 3.1 lengths win over Shady Diamond and Nessledo in the 1180m Class One Handicap.
The win gave Wagga trainer, Darrell Burnet, the first win of his training career and rounded out another good day of racing at Gundagai-Adelong Race Club.