The connections of Cattledog Cod are the epitome of patient, with the seven-year-old very lightly race with only 18 starts to his name since debuting at the trials in December of 2015.
The O’Lonhro gelding that is out of Konia broke down as a two-year-old, which required screws in his leg, meaning racing consistently and for long campaigns wouldn’t be possible.
Still, Tumut trainer Kerry Weir has persisted with the talented, yet enigmatic sprinter, and was rewarded with his fifth career win in the MTC Mad Scramble at Wagga on Friday.
Cattledog Cod had been 61-weeks between runs and hadn’t won since December 2018, before started the big odds of 34/1 in the 1000m Open Handicap, even getting out to as far as 80/1 in the lead up to the event.
With Simon Miller in the saddle, the popular Tumut runner found the lead easily from gate three and led from pillar to post, holding off challengers for a half-length victory over Forever Newyork and Newtown is Coming.
“It was a gusty win, especially with him being first up for 18 months and coming off a soft trial,” Miller said.
“They had their chances to beat him but he was too good.”
Miller has been Weir’s go-to-man of late, but never expected Cattledog Cod to hold on against some accomplished country sprinters, especially being first-up after such a long spell.
“Weiry said just let him go, don’t be too aggressive out the gates, but I honestly didn’t expect to get to the lead that easy, he ran the first half quick but in his own time,” Miller said.
“I was pretty confident once he straightened, he kept toeing for me and normally you need to give them a niggle on the turn at Wagga, but I didn’t have to do anything on him until the 250m.
“I was a bit worried when Forever Newyork came up and eye balled him and thought he might run out of steam there, but he dug in well to fight him off.”
Cattledog Cod’s owner is Noel Penfold, who is a long-time supporter of Weir and he was understandably ecstatic after the win before admitting he was another pundit who didn’t expect Cattledog Cod to kick on in his first race back after spending more than a year in the paddock.
“It was fantastic. I thought they would run him down to be honest but knowing the horse, I know what he can do when he is going well,” Penfold said.
“He just digs in and he shows us how gutsy he is.”
Penfold went on to explain that his old stager, who on his day is one of the best sprinters in the region, hates getting beat and often lifts when challenged, such as he did on Friday.
“He’s done that before; he had a horse go past him once and it made him turn on and he got back to the lead and won,” Penfold said.
“The big fella is like Kerry; he just doesn’t like getting beat,” Penfold laughed.
The Wagga breeder and owner, who is synonymous for his horses carrying the ‘Cod’ suffix, explained that his prized sprinter could have been anything if it wasn’t for an injury early in life.
“It’s just a pity he broke down when he was a two-year-old. We had to get a screw put in his leg, so we just give him a really good spell each time,” Penfold said.
“He could have been anything on the track, we will never know just how good he could have been.”