Kody Nestor on the Brett Thompson trained-Great Choice after winning first up at Dubbo on Sunday. Photos: JANIAN MCMILLAN (www.racing.photography苏州美甲学校.au) Nicole Bendell, Sven Ditrich, Joel Hughes and Ararat Fire Brigade captain Greg Taylor. Picture: KEITH PAKENHAM, CFA PHOTOGRAPHER
WHEN the first person you run into at a race track is a Catholic priest it pays to take notice of what he says.
That was the case on Sunday when Mudgee parish priest Father Garry McKeown later enjoyed the thrill of being a part-owner of a winning horse.
Whether Father Garry told his congregation at mass on Sunday morning about his upcoming trip to Dubbo is anyone’s guess, but the money was right and Great Choice proceeded to donkey lick his opposition to win the Maiden Plate over 1000m.
Father Garry is part of a big syndicate of owners and admitted he was as nervous as he has ever been in his many years in the priesthood. Formerly from Coonamble, Father Garry has worked for many years in a number of parishes, including Blayney and Wellington, before settling in Mudgee where he and another racing man, mayor Des Kennedy, run the town.
Trained at Mudgee by Brett Thompson and ridden by Kody Nestor, the three-year-old colt went straight to the front and was never headed. That was his first race start and the quality of the win suggested it might not be his last success.
For Great Choice’s next start, listen in to Father Garry’s regular sermons at mass.
FORMER Victorian galloper Judge Smails provided local trainer Garry Lunn with his second win in seven starts after taking out the Morse Group Class 1 Handicap (1300m).
In an even betting race where Robert Thompson’s mount Hanzoff started as the $5 favourite, Judge Smails ($11) saluted with Glenn Lynch in the saddle.
The gelding has been racing below his best at recent starts, so there weren’t too many cheers from punters when Judge Smails hit the line.
YOU have to appreciate the energy of Albury trainer Kevin Hanley who has been all over the place with Odin’s Hammer in the past couple of months.
Despite all that travelling the gelding has been making the effort worthwhile and in the Hartwigs Trucks Dubbo Benchmark 55 Handicap (1300m) he won his third successive race after earlier getting the major share of the prize money at Forbes and Narromine.
Apprentice Amanda Masters was in the saddle again and after tracking the leader into the straight peeled out and won by 1-1/2 lengths over Zanda’s Law and Criminal Minds.
DUBBO Turf Club racing manager Mark Day assembled a great line-up of sponsors and particular some notable sporting personalities for his eight races.
Headed by Mark Thompson from Thompson Bros Transport; we also had Michael Fraser there from Signvision; Michael McKenna from the Morse Group; and Adrian Driscoll, Hartwigs Trucks Dubbo.
Sponsors I would suggest are hard to find these days but you can agree about the quality of the people involved on Sunday.
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