Kerry Weir has foxed his rivals at the Murrumbidgee Turf Club on Tuesday after Crocodile Cod won the 1600m Maiden Plate and Foxlike surprised them in the 1200m Benchmark 58 Handicap.
Crocodile Cod was the hot pot in the opening event, starting the $1.60 favourite after running six consecutives minor placings in the lead up to today’s event.
The Cluster gelding, who had Brodie Loy in the saddle, did it the tough way though; battling it out with Club Legend for the entire Wagga straight, edging the Theresa Bateup runner for a 0.02 of a length victory, while Princess Joy Joy was a further 3.43 lengths away in third.
“It was a good win, he had three days in the paddock and was meant to be gone for a spell but when the noms (nominations) were that bad, I thought we would nom and have a crack at the $11,000,” Weir said.
“He is in the paddock now. The owner is happy, the horse is happy and the trainer’s happy.”
Weir believes the three-year-old, that is owned by Noel Penfold and the Murray Cod Thoroughbred syndicate, will go on to make a nice stayer after his breakthrough maiden victory.
“He will come back a better horse. He is only three and has had 12 runs this prep (preparation), which is enormous and after Brodie (Loy) got off him, he just said he is a clean-winded horse that will run all day,” Weir said.
Weir’s second winner was Foxlike, who certainly wasn’t as popular with the punters, starting 60/1 on the NSW fixed odds board.
Despite being a despised roughie, a clever ride from Brendan Ward had the six-year-old up on the speed from the outside draw.
Once up with the leaders and on the heavy Wagga surface, the Foxwedge gelding straightened up and held on for a 0.65 of a length victory over Kruanui, while Rocky High finished in third.
Simon Miller was originally down to ride Foxlike but was unavailable and Brendan Ward picked up the ride on the Tumut runner.
“He (Brendan Ward) asked me what I wanted him to do; and I said do whatever you want to do, just drive him out and see if you can be up there running third or fourth,” Weir laughed.
“He did drive him out alright and they deserved the win, it was a good ride.”
Weir was quietly confident of a good result leading into the event and said the old boy never looked like losing at the top of the long Wagga straight.
“If you watch the replay, Wardy looked over his shoulder to get to the outside and once he straightened him up, they never looked like running past him,” Weir said.
The Tumut trainer said conditions did suit Foxlike though, who was second up after a 22-week spell.
“He is a funny horse, all those Foxwedge’s are the same; you need to get them on their day but being an older horse and on a softer track really helped him,” Weir said.
Weir almost had a third winner on the day, when Cape Cluster finished a nice second in the 1400m Maiden Handicap, beaten only 1.67 lengths by the Michelle Russell trained, Taliano.
The Cluster gelding was a clear last after two furlongs but found the line well for connections and should be another one to follow.