It might not have been the winning result many had hoped for but the Tumut owned Cyborg put in a gallant effort to finish second in the Murrumbidgee Turf Club Guineas at Wagga on Friday.
The Norm Gardner runner, who is owned by Mick, Matt and Dene O’Donovan and Paul and Kathy Shanahan, was ridden towards the rear of the field by Brendan Ward and wasn’t really called upon until the final two furlongs.
In wet and wild conditions and on a heavy 10 surface, Cyborg worked home well to finish second, beaten 5.44 lengths by the John Sargent trained and Group One placed Foxborough.
Gardner was understandably proud of his three-year-old and said that Cyborg was only getting better in each and every run.
“He is a tough bugger and just gets better with each run and I was so proud of him,” Gardner said.
“He was a super, it took a Group One placed horse to beat him.”
The Canberra trainer took more than a Guineas placing out of Friday’s result and said that the performance opened up more doors for his Magic Albert gelding.
“We now know that he can handle a wet track, we also know he can handle a mile and he is improving all the time,” Gardner said.
Gardner did praise the Murrumbidgee Turf Club on getting through the two days of racing, considering the region was subject to four straight days of rain.
“The weather was atrocious, I can’t believe they were able to run the last event, the rain was coming in horizontally,” Gardner laughed.
“That track stood up so well though, it was that dark you couldn’t see the barriers but it was a testament to everyone involved to get through both days.”
Part owner Paul Shanahan was pleased with Cyborg’s efforts on a rain-affected Wagga surface.
“It was a good run really. It was a bit of an unknown on how he would go in the wet and over the distance but he went well,” Shanahan said.
Shanahan also explained that racing late in the day on Friday offered more challenges, with a chopped up Wagga surface not necessarily suiting back markers like Cyborg.
“It was one of the last races of the day and it would’ve been hard going, considering the surface and weather, It was a great effort I thought,” Shanahan said.
The Magic Albert gelding will now head to a 1500m TAB Highway Handicap at Rosehill on May 16 and connections will hope their charge can continue on with his hot run of form.