Al’s Briefs in front of Mista Busy at the finish line at the end of race four.
Al’s Briefs in front of Mista Busy at the finish line at the end of race four.

There is no brief stay at top for Al

RACING: Bundaberg trainer Darryl Gardiner is proud of the horse he affectionately calls ‘the old warrior.’

The Gardiner trained Al’s Briefs was the star of the show at Thabeban Park at the XXXX Gold Christmas Races.

In the final event of the year, the gelding won race four, the Iron Jack Open Handicap (1212m), by 1.3 lengths.

It was Al’s Briefs third win in a row in a Bundaberg meet after claiming wins on November 5 and September 7.

“He just loves the sand tracks,” Gardiner said following the race.

“He races better in Bundaberg but he has won on all types of surfaces and won in Gladstone, Gympie and Rockhampton.”

Al’s Briefs winning three in a row at three consecutive meets hasn’t happened since Davey won three in a row during last year’s racing.

The gelding has now won 18 races out of the 68 entered and has placed in at least half of them.

And while he will turn 10 next year, Al’s Briefs won’t be stopping soon.

“He will be home for little break before contesting next year,” Gardiner said.

“It should be back racing.”

Gardiner said he deserved the break after a fantastic year, which included those three wins and other place finishes.

“It takes a fair horse to win three in a row,” he said.

“He likes to get back and race through.

“But he’s well suited to 1200m more than 1000m, so he’s had to push a bit.”

Gardiner’s success didn’t just come in race four, he also won race two with Ten Taubada’s, which is part owned by Bundaberg Race Club president Dale Rethamel.

The horse won by a neck over the Bob Murray trained Dia Vernon and the Cherie Vick trained Lil Ruby Rose.

Gardiner ended this year at Thababen Park with four wins, tied with Mary Hassam for the most at the venue.

His two wins on Saturday helped him to level the gap.

But even Gardiner was surprised to win the second race with Ten Taubada’s.

“I don’t know what happened,” he said.

“In the first race he didn’t do anything but on Saturday he was super.”

Gardiner admitted he didn’t do anything different from the first race to the second and said the conditions weren’t that much different to the other race meet last month.

For the Bundaberg trainer there will be no rest during the Christmas and New Year breaks, instead focusing on races and training his horses during that time.

“It’s just like a dairy farmer at the moment,” he said.

“I’ll be going to race at Rockhampton.”

The other winners of the day included the Peter Fleming trained Koby’s Strategy in race one and the Bob Murray trained Ourlastpenny in race three.

The final race of the year, race five, was taken out by Bundaberg trainer Laura Cronin on Gambit.

A large crowd turned up to the meet to celebrate the Christmas Race day.

The club will now take a break before hosting its next meet on February 1.

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