LAST week I reported that as I was writing the column John Marzol was making the six-hour trip to the Gosford provincial meeting on Thursday with last-start dominant winner Grey Drama, and pleasingly for all concerned the four-year old gelding repeated the dose with Nash Rawiller in the saddle.
His win last Thursday at Gosford was executed in exactly the same fashion as his previous first-up win at Goulburn two weeks before when he led all the way to cruise in by five lengths.
He lined up in the benchmark 65 (1000m) sprint against some handy opposition in the field of nine, carrying 59kg from an inside gate, and Nash had him in front on the fence after about 50 metres.
He bowled along in the front at his high cruising speed, increasing his lead in the run and put the race beyond doubt at the corner when shaking off all possible challengers to record an inspiring two-and-a-half lengths victory on the line.
His win came as no surprise to the punting public, who had installed him as the $2.10 race favourite.
Nash was interviewed after the race, singing high praise for the result, and with the likelihood of his next start coming in town, possibly at Warwick Farm, I’m sure Nash will be happy to be in the saddle again, subject to his obvious commitments to the Waterhouse and other big city stables.
That was just Grey Drama’s 12th run and his record now stands at six wins, two seconds and a third, and on the strength of Thursday’s win I’m sure we’ll be seeing more of the same over the summer season. Well done to John Marzol and all the lucky connections of this good one.
It was quite an amazing day for South Coast racing, with Nowra-based Rob Price claiming three victories and with Grey Drama’s win that made it four from eight races, well away from home.
Definitely watch for his next assignment with expectation.
There were some great performances, including two heartbreaking photo finish seconds, by our Moruya runners at Nowra on Friday, where as is becoming the norm the big fields were jam-packed with city-stable runners and jockeys.
Mike Gatty’s Rush To Judgment ran the best race of his four-start career when he rattled home to claim third in the maiden plate at his first run over the mile journey and at massive odds.
John Marzol’s Joke A Lot, a winner of his last two Moruya runs, ran brilliantly again in the class three sprint to claim a short-head/half-neck third in a three-way photo finish with James Geppert aboard.
John Law’s Circuit Sprint, with Jessie Whipp in the saddle, came in a close fourth in a four-way photo finish for the minors, a nose in front of Lynda Bundy’s Moorings Magic in the class one (1200m) event in a field of 15.
John Law’s Bay Prince ran the race of his life, again with Jessie aboard, when getting collared by Con Karkatsanis’ Moss Magic in the last stride to go down by a short-neck for second in the benchmark 55 (1200m) sprint.
I’d signalled a big run was likely in last week’s column for Bay Prince and he let no one down with his inspiring performance.
Almost an identical outcome occurred for Chris Hensler’s Jayko, who led up the straight and was nosed out for second by Warwick Farm-based Blended in the class two (1400m) event.
The day also marked Roly Saxton’s return to race riding in what turned out to be a warm-up for his sensational day at Narromine on Monday, where he posted a win (at $32.10), two seconds and a third from his five rides.
I expect to see Roly’s name in the riding lists for Dubbo next Monday – welcome back Roly!
We also had a few runners at Sunday’s Wagga meeting, the best result coming from Luke’s Gregory’s Fortress, who was grabbed just before the line after landing, being relegated by a half-length for second in the benchmark 68 mile, and he’s got his hoof right on the till.
A team of seven runners headed to Goulburn yesterday and Luke, John Gamble and Greg Backhouse have noms in for Canberra on Sunday – reports on those to appear next week.
Until next week, good luck and good punting.