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  • Provincial Racing NSW


Updated: Jan 19

A bit of homework and plenty of patience paid off for Rodney Bailey yesterday when his promising four-year-old Norton Road was a dominant winner on debut at his home track.

Bailey purchased the son of Stratum Star from an Inglis online sale in March 2021 for the bargain price of $7500.

He had been impressed with the bloodlines on the mare Ransack’s side, who was sired by Lonhro.

“I did a fair bit of homework on him when I saw him listed for sale and was impressed with the breeding, particularly on the mare’s side. I knew they had picked a well-bred mare to put to the stallion, to get him going along a bit. He was a good type and definitely a bargain buy,” Bailey said.

“He was very immature when we got him home and I knew he would take time. Then he kept going shin sore, so we had to give him a few preparations before we got him right.”

Bailey unveiled Norton Road at a trial at Rosehill on December 29, instructing jockey Reece Jones to give him a quite trial.

“Reece said he jumped out of the barriers and just sped away. I knew he was a speedy type and he really showed it that day.”

Bailey opted to start him in the 1200m DE BORTOLI WINES PROVINCIAL MAIDEN at Wyong and he was sent out $2.45fav on the strength of his eye-catching trial.

He didn’t disappoint, apprentice Anna Roper taking him to the lead and maintaining it throughout, kicking away in the straight to win by more than two lengths.

“He’s got a fair bit of ability and hopefully he might go on with it. It was exciting today and I’ll give him three or four weeks off now before deciding where we will go.

“He’s got a high cruising speed and big, long stride, so I’m sure he will get over more ground.”

Norton Road’s win was celebrated by the entire Bailey family, with his daughter Bridget the official owner, in her first foray into horse ownership.

Favourites dominated the first five races on the program with Lee and Cherie Curtis’ Still Alice ($2.40) setting the tone in the first race, the 1000m PBL LAW GROUP MIDWAY MAIDEN.

Jay Ford gave the Epaulette filly, a $300k yearling, a perfect front running ride to bring up her first win at start two.

Curtis said he expects the filly to get up to city grade and over more ground,

“She’s got a bit of class, I think she’s a nice filly and we’ve always thought a lot of her, but she was always a bit behind and needed a bit of time,” he said. “I think she’ll keep improving and get up to at least city grade.”

Another well rated ride saw Up And Comer ($5EF) win the 1600m SKY CHANNEL SUPER MAIDEN for Annabel Neasham and Chad Schofield.

Up And Comer came from mid-field on the turn, Schofield circling the field and hitting the front on straightening, holding off his rivals to win by a half-length.

Riley Loy, representing the stable, said they had been confident the Press Statement filly would run a good race.

“We’d been happy with her work out and pretty confident today she’d run a nice race. She definitely suits a mile and could look to go a bit further.”

The fast-finishing Morton Pier looks like one to follow.

Joe Pride is excited about the prospects of his filly Cosmanova ($2.70fav), who made it back-to-back wins in the 1100m TABCORP F&M BENCHMARK 64.

“She’s a filly with a stack of improvement to come,” he said. “She’ll head to the paddock now but over time as she gets older, she’ll get better as her pedigree comes through.

“There’s a bit to look forward to, with two wins on the bounce. We’ll give her a little break to strengthen up more and then see her at the end of the season.”

New Zealand bred mare Dawla bucked the favourite trend when she came from behind to win the CARLTON & UNITED BREWERIES CLASS 1 over 1200m.

Apprentice Zac Wadick took advantage of the slow tempo, coming from the rear on the turn and storming home to win by three quarters of a lengths.

It was Wadick’s second win for his boss Brad Widdup, since joining the stable in December.

Scone visitor Innervoice returned double figure odds ($13), upsetting the more favoured runners in the 1350m GO ELECTRICAL F&M BENCHMARK 64.

The six-year-old Poet’s Voice mare, trained by Lyle Chandler, scored her third career win at start 32.

Winning rider Mitchell Bell said there were excuses for her last start performance at Scone.

“We weren’t afforded the runs we needed at Scone, going up the inside didn’t suit her. There was good speed today and from the wide draw we were able to get momentum up around the 600m and keep it. She’s a different horse again once she gets to the outside of them, a lot more confident and she hit the line well.”

Mark Minervini’s Star Impact $5, fought on strongly for second, while there appeared to be no excuses for the Maher/Eustace favorite Lady boss ($3.60) who finished third.

Another upset in the last with the short priced favourite Katsumoto ($1.55) well beaten by the Con Karakatsanis trained Black Duke ($11).

The Fiorente six-year-old, brought up his fourth win at start 40, with the stable believing the addition of blinkers and 3kg claim for Zac Wadick helped get the job done.

The dominant victory in the 1350m WYONG LEAGUES GROUP CG&E BENCHMARK 64 bringing up a double for Wadick & the riding honours for the day.

Stewards reporting Katsumoto had pulled up lame in the near-fore fetlock, requiring a vet certificate before resuming racing.

Story Frances O'Shea, January 18, 2024 - Pics Steve Hart Photographics




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