Veteran Bows Out A Winner

I reckon horses know what we are saying about them.
I’ve lost count how many horses suddenly find form again after we give them “one more chance”.
We saw another instance of that at Tauranga last Saturday.  
Evergreen stayer Chettak scored an emotional win in his last race day start.
It was the perfect send off to a favourite of the Stephen Marsh stable.
“He won his first race day start, and now he wins his last ” beamed Marsh.
Marsh told how connections had made the decision to retire the rising 10 year old prior to the race.
“The syndicate that race him had already made the decision to retire him so what a way for the old boy to bow out” said Marsh.
Chettak had proven himself against the best company throughout his career.
Saturday’s win was the 9th of his 63 start career, with earnings of $373,000.
“He’s been a wonderful horse over the years and has become a stable pet” said Marsh.
Marsh pulled out all stops to try and send Chettak out on the right note.
“I told the owners I wanted Lisa Cropp on him because she gets on really well with him” said Marsh.
Cropp played her part with a well judged ride on the veteran.
“There was good speed on throughout and he relaxed beautifully” said Cropp.
Chettak loomed up outside the leaders just as the field turned for home.
Local galloper Our Star Pupil chased hard down the straight but was still a neck away at the line.
Third, a further long neck away, was Desert Lad.
Marsh admitted to getting quite emotional when he realised Chettak would win.
“Everyone at the stable wanted him to bow out as a winner and this is a great thrill” said Marsh
Chettak will still be a mainstay in Marsh’s Cambridge stable.
“He loves being in the stable so we will keep him around here as a steadying influence for the young horses” said Marsh.
Have a happy retirement old boy! 
 
Recent addition to the Gary Alton team, She’s Invincible, made it back to back wins when also scoring at Tauranga.
The 4yr old Elusive City mare prevailed by a narrow margin over 1200m.
Ridden by Michael Coleman, She’s Invincible came with a well timed run to defeat Jungle Joy and Precision King.
Alton has only had She’s Invincible for her last two starts.
“She arrived here from Andrew Scott’s stable and she seems to be enjoying it” said Alton.
Raced by a big syndicate, She’s Invincible is certainly living up to her earlier promise.
 
Nancho Bella also gained a well deserved victory at Tauranga.
The Lauren Brennan trained mare had post two second placings at her last two starts.
“She deserved that today because she really tries her heart out” said Brennan.
With Mark Sweeney aboard, Nancho Bella held out an unlucky Miss Sharapova, who had missed the start.
“The winner deserved the win, but my mare should have won” lamented Miss Sharapova’s rider Phillip Turner.
Maybe next time for her.
 
The last local winner at Tauranga was Pellegrini who scored for Murray Baker over 1400m.
Ridden by in form apprentice Alex Forbes, Pellegrini was completing a notable double after scoring at Te Aroha previously.
Forbes bounced Pellegrini to the lead and the pair held off all challengers over the final stages.
Pellegrini is racing in great form.
 
Speaking of great form, what about James McDonald’s outstanding form at Randwick last Saturday?
McDonald stunned Sydneysiders with four winners on Doncaster Day.
McDonald’s polished displays showed he is more than capable of holding his own against the Sydney riders.
Rumours are rife that he will shift to Sydney to further his career.
The world is his oyster.
 
Finally, don’t forget Travis Stakes Day for the Cambridge Jockey Club at Te Rapa this Saturday.
Great stakes on offer should attract good quality fields and it promises to be a fantastic day.
Hope to see you there!
 
Catch you next week.
 
Cheers
 
George.