By David Gilbert
NARACOORTE trainer Sue Murphy failed to land a winner at Penola last Sunday, but you could not wipe the smile from her face all day.
That was due to her stable star Hasta La War running the race of his career the previous day at Caulfield in the Group 2 Herbert Power Stakes over 2400 metres.
We knew Hasta La War was a good stayer in the Adelaide ranks, having won there at his previous start on September 21, but he was in uncharted waters against some of the best stayers in Australia last weekend, all trying to gain a start in tomorrow’s Caulfield Cup.
As such, Hasta La War was easy in betting ($12-$18-$17) at easily the biggest test of his 17 career starts.
The six-year-old gelding did the Limestone Coast proud by running home strongly for third, beaten two lengths to pick up prize money of $27,000 for his Naracoorte owners.
“He ran his last 600 metres in 34.2 seconds,” Murphy stated, which is astonishing time for a stayer.
“He was that strong at the end, Linda had trouble pulling him up after the race.
“After that run, Hasta La War now has a rating of 85 and he will now go to the Geelong Cup on Wednesday, October 20.”
The winner of the Geelong Cup automatically gains a start in the Melbourne Cup on November 2.
CITY DOUBLE AT VASTLY DIFFERENT ODDS
THE Naracoorte stable of Greg Scholefield continues to rack up winners in Adelaide.
Just for good measure, Scholefield snared a double at Globe Derby Park last Saturday night with pacers at vastly different odds.
It came as no surprise to see Stratofortress ($1.50 fav.) go on his winning way in the NR 50-60 pace to make it four wins from his past five starts, all in Adelaide.
Michael Smith again had the drive and Stratofortress won by 10 metres after leading most of the way.
Schoefield’s double was completed when Jawsoflincoln, having his first start for the stable, was able to lead from gate seven for Gaita Pullicino and caused somewhat of a boilover as a $23 chance in the two-year-old pace for colts and geldings.
The youngster is owned by a group of locals including Mick Lamond, some of whom are involved with both the Kongorong and Hatherleigh football clubs.
“I bought him as a yearling in Sydney and he has been racing in Victoria with the Courtney Slater stable at Beeac (near Colac), and we were keen to have him race in Adelaide in the upcoming Golden Nursery and Southern Cross series,” Lamond explained.
“He ran a good fourth behind some smart horses at Terang in mid August and had another two runs in country Victoria before coming over here.
“We can now look forward to him running in a heat of the Golden Nursery tomorrow week as he ran quick time (mile rate of 1.56.7) last Saturday night.”
GOT THE RIGHT REWARD
BROTHERS Jim and Don Pegler made the trip to Morphettville last Saturday to see the return to racing of Spin The Reward, a four-year-old gelding they part own with fellow local Tom Ellis.
Two runs last campaign on soft tracks at Gawler and Murray Bridge had resulted in unplaced efforts and the betting moves ($11-$16) suggested the Peter Hardacre trained Spin The Reward may need the run at his first outing for two months.
The Pegler brothers were rewarded in the best possible way when Spin The Reward rattled home from back in the field to win the 1050-metre BM 68 event by more than a length.
“Quite a few of my horses had campaigns in the winter on wet tracks and did not handle them,” Hardacre pointed out.
“They are all performing much better now that the tracks have dried out, as was the case on Saturday.”
Hardacre had five runners at Morphettville last Saturday, the highest number he has ever had on one day at a city meeting.
He was unlucky not to get a double as the more fancied stablemate Thrill Kill made up about eight lengths in the straight to finish second after a very tardy beginning in race three.
“Thrill Kill did the same during the Warrnambool carnival back in May when he missed the start for jockey Dean Yendall before flying home.” Hardacre stated.
DESERVE HIGH PRAISE
PRAISE of the highest order must go to the Penola Racing Club for the efforts they made to allow the public to attend last Sunday’s Kalangadoo Cup meeting at Penola.
It was a case of yes, no, yes in regards to the public being permitted to attend the meeting due to the ever changing Covid-19 restrictions.
When the restrictions were lifted on Friday afternoon, it would have been quite easy for Penola officials to put the matter of having the public on course in the “too hard” basket.
However, with less than 48 hours to make the changes, Penola officials, led by efficient, hard working secretary Belinda Holland, worked quickly and tirelessly to give the community an opportunity to attend a sporting event.
“It was a topsy turvy week,” Holland admitted.
“But it was worth it to see people on course enjoying themselves.”
Admittedly, the crowd was small as many people had obviously decided on doing other things when the restrictions were in force, but those who were there were grateful to have been given the late opportunity to attend.
The Kalangadoo Cup went to the favourite Black Syrah ($3.10-$2.70-$3.50), trained by Belinda O’Loughlin in what was an all Mount Gambier trifecta with Action In Cairns and Mulga Lil filling the placings.
Black Syrah is somewhat of a Penola track specialist with three wins from only four starts there and gave jockey Dominic Tourneur the second leg of a winning double for the day.
The five-year-old gelding races best when held up for a late run and Tourneur bided his time until the top of the straight when Black Syrah quickly dashed past his rivals to win his seventh career race.
Fellow jockeys Kayla Crowther and Justin Potter also chipped in with doubles for the day, as did trainers Darryl Dodson and the Strathalbyn based Peter Moody.
Today: Murray Bridge gallops (cup day)
Wednesday, October 20: Naraccorte gallops