New record for White Cap
RACING: Bundaberg flyer White Cap shattered the course record with a scintillating win in the feature sprint at the Gladstone Turf Club's (GTC) first race meeting for 2012.
Fittingly in what promises to be a record year for the GTC with substantial prizemoney increases in the pipeline, White Cap became the first horse in the history of racing at Ferguson Park to break 50 seconds for 850 metres.
Ridden by Rockhampton's Luke Dillon, who is in career best form, trainer Dale Wright's White Cap (Street Cry (IRE)-Le La Tan) eased in the betting to start at $4.60 but he ran his well-credentialed rivals ragged to win by 2.75 lengths, registering 49.67 seconds.
Which means his win in the Lee Kiernan Open (850m) will now go down in the record books as being the standard bearer for the distance, bettering the ill-fated Regal Mountain's previous best of 50.20 seconds.
The sizeable crowd on hand, smallish by Gladstone standards while it would be judged large by a majority of rival country race clubs, cheered home Dillon's previous winner, the Phillip Pengelly-trained Red Ace ($1.80).
Described by the jockey as "dumb in some ways", Red Ace switched off when cruising in the lead at the 600-metre mark of the $14,000 Bruce Davis QTIS Maiden (1194m), which the jockey admitted alarmed him.
"He was cruising and travelling easily and then pricked his ears as if to stop. I had to dig him up and then he extended and raced away. When he learns what racing is all about, he will be a handy horse," Dillon said post-race.
Red Ace certainly raced away all right as he won by an extending 5.5 lengths from Hard To Handle (Desiree Gill, $5.00).
Pengelly, who always presents his horses in perfect condition, said Red Ace (Show A Heart-Lady Isabella) cost $6500 as a yearling.
"I bought him at a Magic Millions Yearling Sale and remember the auctioneer David Chester commenting he was the cheapest horse of the sale when he was knocked down for $6500. He was very small as a yearling but then again I think at the time his sire Show A Heart stood for $27,000," Pengelly said.
Rockhampton apprentice jockey Carly-Mae Pye gave a faultless riding display aboard Vic Vagg's Cally Greenlake ($2.50) to take out the Phil Pengelly Class 2 (1517m).
Cally Greenlake beat the very unlucky Tim Cook-trained Ghiaccio (Dillon, $4.20) who came out about eight lengths behind the field at the start.
"He reared just as the gates opened and then again when he left the barrier. I didn't know what to do as he may have been deemed a non-runner. I decided to chase the field and I'm glad I did," Dillon said.
Rockhampton trackwork rider Brent "Mullet" Talbot took the credit for the win of troublesome Minto's Dream (Trinity Bannon, $3.30) who led throughout to win the Kim McArdle Maiden (850m).
Minto's Dream, according to Talbot, is "a bit of a unit" which she demonstrated at the Taroom races a week earlier when she bungled the start and tailed the field as a short-priced favourite.
In between, Minto's Dream was transferred to Gracemere trainer Alan Jones for whom "Mullet" continues a long association.
"I'm the only one that can ride her. She has thrown me four times so far but I'm real happy she won today," Mullet said.
Laurie Gough's Bundaberg-trained Fomal Winter (Desiree Gill, $3.50) won the Class B Handicap (1194m).