Horse racing: John Sprague-trained mare Penny Fling wins at Taree

file pic
file pic

Five-year-old Port Macquarie mare Penny Fling “grew another leg” with a dominant, easy six lengths win at Manning Valley Race Club’s TAB meeting at Taree on Tuesday.

It was her second distance race in seven days, after she was a gallant length second to Wyong’s Pinot Gris over 2012 metres on her home track last Tuesday.

Trainer John Sprague had reservations about backing her up at such a short interval but the mare “was going too good.”

“I thought she was due for a spell as she also had a win over 1700m at Grafton early last month,” he said.

He and owners Peter and Lesley White, of North Haven, are daring to dream the Lookin At Lucky (USA) galloper may turn out to be a country cups horse.

Jockey Ben Looker said he had a nice run in transit and “she still had plenty left” at the winning post.

Five-year-old Taree mare Lobban Hood, trained by breeder, owner and trainer Robert Barnes, was at first thought to also be a middle distance aspirant.

But she dented those plans in romping to a half-length win over 1000m in the Saxbys Soft Drinks Fillies and Mares Maiden Plate.

“She is bred on both sides to be a stayer,” Barnes said.

But he was happy to have her racing soundly after overcoming a “crook knee.”

I thought she was due for a spell as she also had a win over 1700m at Grafton early last month.

Trainer John Sprague

Lobban Hood was sporting brand new colours on apprentice jockey Chloe Baker who was all smiles with the mares performance in leading all the way, just holding off the fast-finishing Port filly Our Trolley Dolly.

The riding honours went to Josh Adams who grabbed a winning double with resuming four-year-old gelding Aristograts in the Hydra Hose Summer Cup Day-December 24 Class 3 Handicap over 1000m and five-year-old mare Kopite in the Hannam Vale Cup Day-December 18-Benchmark 63 Handicap over 1250m.

Aristograts settled last but came with a slashing run wide out to score by 2.5 lengths in running its last 600m in 34.33s for Newcastle trainer Benjamin Smith and part-owner Mike Wilson.

Adams said he was happy to be posted about six-wide mid-race as the gelding was slow away but in the run home “he absolutely killed them…it was just a matter when I go.”

Kopite’s trainer Adam Duggan from Gosford had faith that his galloper was “too good for them” vindicated with a stylish 2.25 lengths win over Wyong mare Stradance and Wyong gelding Sleepwalker.

Previously, Kopite had recorded two placings at the track from two starts and “had been unlucky up here.”

Adams took advantage of no speed on early to be moving forward three-wide before turning on the pace in the straight.

“I thought I had the best horse in the race,” he said.

He absolutely killed them…it was just a matter when I go.

Jockey Josh Adams

Rank outsider five-year-old gelding Winton gave punters and Newcastle trainer Jeremy Smith a shock, scoring a half-head win for jockey Luke Cumberland at only the galloper’s second start.

It was the heavily-backed favourite Testaview in the Mid Coast Automative Group Maiden Plate over 1600m.

Muswellbrook four-year-old gelding Hermano, trained by Todd Howlett and ridden by Andrew Gibbons, showed his consistent form with a half length win in the XXXX Gold Entires & Geldings Maiden Plate over 1000m.

Five-year-old gelding San Sierra, trained at Newcastle by Grant Marshall and ridden by Alison Threadwell, led all the way to just last by a half-length in the Inglis Classic Sale At Riverside Stables Class 2 Handicap over 1250m.

Racing returns to Taree on December 18 for the Hannam Vale Cup Day TAB meeting.