‘Old boy’ does it again

Old stager Byblos Boy proved age is no barrier, winning as an 11-year-old at the Sapphire Coast on Saturday. Photo: Daryl Duckworth Photography.

At 11 years of age, most race horses are well into retirement and far gone from their glory days on the race track.

That isn’t the case for the Peter Korn trained Byblos Boy, who recorded his seventh career win at the Sapphire Coast on Saturday. 

In fact, the son of Byblos has recorded his previous six wins as a 10 or 11-year-old, after an injury-interrupted career kept him from reaching greater heights during his prime racing years. 

The Korn runner certainly proved there was no slowing him down in the 1000m benchmark 50 Handicap either, with jockey Aaron Sweeney taking him to the front, before easily kicking away for a 1.53 lengths win over Red Opera and Sarzana. 

“He has been good this preparation,” Korn said. 

“He likes to get out in front and for things to go his own from a good barrier and that’s what we got on the weekend.”

The former Tumut trainer, that is now based in Queanbeyan, has Byblos Boy on the quick back up at Canberra today. 

“At the moment he is really well and I’ve got him at Canberra on Friday and if he gets a draw and the weather is not too bad, the old boy won’t be too far out of it,” Korn said. 

Korn and Byblos Boy could come to Tumut the weekend after that, with the 1200m Benchmark 58 Handicap in their sights. 

“We might go to Tumut,” Korn said. 

“If we can get in the 1200m there and get a nice draw, he would run them a long way. The way he is going, he is on top of his game and going really well.”

Korn could potentially have a busy day at Canberra on Friday, with Princess Kall engaged in the 2000m Maiden/Class One Handicap and Uno Tops going around in the 1200m Class One. 

“She (Princess Kalli) is going to Canberra on Friday and she will be tough to beat over the 2000m and the little grey horse wants a small field and we will see how he goes.”

Winners and losers

The Andy and Sue Groves owned Wondalga, who was ridden by apprentice hoop Julia Presits, put in his best career run at Wagga on Saturday, finishing second in the 1600m Maiden Handicap. Photo: Daryl Duckworth Photography.

Wondalga went very close to his maiden victory at Wagga on Saturday, finishing second and beaten only 0.46 of a length in the 1600m Maiden Handicap.

The Mick Miladinovic trained galloper was well supported from $21 into $12, and looked close to winning with apprentice hoop Julia Presits even finding the lead momentarily aboard the five-year-old, before the Gary Colvin trained Sizzling Cat stormed home for the win. 

Owners Andy and Sue Groves will be pleased with the run of their Zariz gelding that is out of their good producing mare, Bold Shift. 

• • • • • •

Tumbarumba sprinter My Solaki has finished fourth in the 1200m Class Two Handicap at Wagga on Saturday, beaten only 2.3 lengths in wet and wild conditions. 

The George Dimitropoulos runner was ridden by Heni Ede and fanned wide, before finding the line nicely, beaten by Mad As Zariz. 

Connections will draw confidence from the run, with the Supreme Class gelding looking likely to win again in the near future. 

• • • • • •

Kerry Weir should be pleased with the first run of One El, who led them up in the 1000m Maiden Handicap at Wagga. 

The three-year-old Sun Of May colt had Brendan Ward in the saddle and jumped well from gate four before running them along. 

The youngster tired in the final furlong, beaten 5.74 lengths, and will now go for a spell and should come back as a nice four-year-old. 

• • • • • •

The Rick and Todd Broad owned Dancin’ Till Dawn was a little disappointing at Wagga on Saturday when starting the $2.10 favourite to only finish fifth and beaten 3.37 lengths in the 1300m Maiden Plate. 

Ellen Hennessy had to take the Norm Gardner trained three-year-old back from the wide alley, before getting home late in the contest. 

• • • • • •

In the last at Wagga on Saturday, locals had no luck in the 1300m Benchmark 58 Handicap.

Norm Gardner prepared the locally owned Reason To Smile, who finished sixth and was beaten more than 10 lengths, while further behind her was the Tim Donnelly trained and locally owned Pushkar, who finished second last and more than 15 lengths off the eventual winner, Glorious Dream 

• • • • • •

At the Sapphire Coast on Saturday, a large group of local owners saw Bendethera return from a spell to finish second in the 1400m Benchmark 50 Handicap. 

The Jayden Minehan runner had Scott Pollard on board and was beaten 1.72 lengths by the Doug Gorrel trained, Bid of faith. 

The six-year-old will be better for the run and could be one to follow next time out. 

Local latemail

Gundagai trainer Andrew Sheahan is racing at Canberra today and Albury tomorrow, with three runners engaged. 

Add On will jump from gate nine in the 1200m Class One Handicap in the nation’s capital and has Aaron Sweeney in the saddle. 

Tomorrow, Caribbean Gold has drawn gate two in the 1550m Class Two Handicap, but no jockey has been named, while Treasured Jewel is the first emergency in the 1500m Maiden Handicap and Michael Heagney is booked for the ride. 

• • • • • •

In the same 1500m Maiden Handicap, the Jim Scobie trained Sugarplum Mary looks very well placed in gate one and has attracted the services of Kayla Nisbet.

The Elvstroem mare has found the line well in recent starts over 900m and 1200m and gets her first real test over some distance. 

• • • • • •

Former Gundagai trainer Todd Smart will have two runners on his home track at Canberra today, with Hallo Poppet and Underthespotlight engaged. 

Hallo Poppet has Tom Sherry in the saddle and jumps from gate three in the 2000m benchmark 60 Handicap, while Underthespotlight will have the services of Alysha Collett and has drawn gate 10 in the 1400m Maiden Plate. 

• • • • • •

Tumbarumba trainer George Dimitropoulos will also travel to Canberra today, with pint-sized sprinter Mouse Almighty set to contest the 1000m Benchmark 60 Handicap. 

Nick Heywood is booked for the ride, but connections draw gate 10 in this handy little jump and run event.  

Jockey watch

Aaron Bullock rode another four winners this past week, first scoring on One Star Shinning for trainer Kriss Lees in the 1400m Maiden Handicap at Taree on Friday. 

Then on Saturday, Bullock rode a double at Newcastle, booting home Dundee for Kylie Gavenlock in the 2350m Class One Handicap and Shaddy for Richard Litt in the 1200m Maiden Handicap. 

On Monday, the Tumut product was racing at Muswellbrook and rode She’s Independent a treat to win the 1280m Benchmark 58 for fillies and mares for popular trainer, Paul Perry. 

Bullock has a big chance to add to his 23 winners this season at Scone today, hopping aboard seven chances and some short price favourites. 

False Step for Kris Lees in the first and King of Seas for Brett Thompson in the third look to be some of his better chances.  

• • • • • •

Nick Souquet hasn’t been in the winner’s circle since October 2, but gets his chance with three rides at Albury tomorrow. 

Souquet will ride the Peter Maher trained Picture Book in the 900m Maiden Plate, the Rob Wellington trained Foolish Boy in the 1500m Maiden Handicap and the Mitch Beer trained Chap’s Dream in the 1175m Benchmark 66 Handicap.

Russell disqualified

Popular Gundagai trainer Michelle Russell has been disqualified by Racing NSW stewards for 12 months after her galloper Taliano tested positive for Heptaminol, and Cobalt above the allowed threshold in a pre-race sample taken prior to the running of the 1400m Maiden Handicap at Wagga on July 14. 

Taliano, who went on to win the event, recorded Cobalt levels of 147ug/l and 166ug/L, which were above the 100ug/L threshold allowed for horses that were racing. 

Russell pleaded guilty to two charges under rule AR240(2), in that she did bring the racehorse Taliano to the Wagga Wagga racecourse on 14 July 2020 for the purpose of participating in race two, whereby the prohibited substances Heptaminol, and Cobalt above the allowed threshold, were both detected. 

Russell also pleaded guilty to the charge under rule AR104(1), in that she failed to keep accurate treatment records for Taliano in the period leading up to the event. 

The Gundagai trainer was disqualified for 12 months for the Cobalt charge, and three months for the Heptaminol charge, with stewards requesting that both penalties be served concurrently, meaning Russell would be allowed to reapply for her licence on October 21, 2021. 

Additionally, Russell was fined $300 for failing to keep treatment records. 

When determining the penalties, Racing NSW stewards took into account Russell’s guilty plea for all charges; the fact she had no previous breaches under the same or similar rules in which charges were issued; personal and professional circumstances; licensing history; principles associated with breaches under such rules; precedent penalties and principles of deterrence in sentencing.

Russell was not able to be contacted for comment, but Racing NSW have notified her of her right to appeal. 

Taliano was disqualified from the race, which will offer some good news to Tumut trainer Kerry Weir and his connections, who has now won the race after Cape Cluster was upgraded from his original second placing, meaning connections will be winning $11,200 in prize money for the win instead of $3,900 for second.