Prince of the track

March 12, 2018

Glenrowan Prince wins the Echuca Cup at the Echuca Cup. Photo by Luke Hemer.

BENDIGO based trainer Kym Hann has solved the secret of winning big races.

Don’t go to the track.

His horse Glenrowan Prince stormed to victory in yesterday’s $80,000 Moama Bowling Club Echuca Cup over 1400m – and Hann was at the yearling sales in Adelaide.

On the Sunday before, Glenrowan Prince took out the $70,000 VOBIS Gold Eldorado over 1300m at Wangaratta – and Hann was in Adelaide at the yearling sales.

‘‘I’m just going to train them from now on,’’ a delighted Hann said from Adelaide.

‘‘And get someone else to take my horses to the races, that seems to be a pretty good plan right now.’’

But Glenrowan Prince’s back-to-back success was no fluke. Hann said he set the six-year-old gelding for both meetings “a long way back”.

He also believes he’ll be keeping Harry Coffey, who rides a lot of track work for Hann, in the saddle as he was on the horse in both wins, helping him push his career earnings to almost $400,000.

“I am just glad I have been able to repay him for his hard work with these two wins,’’ he said.

Hann bought the horse as a yearling and said he was a “genuine fighter” when he gets on the track.

“He’s a very tough horse, the kind every trainer would love to have, and when he gets on the track he just doesn’t want to give up,” he said.

“On the back of this form I’m not sure where he will go next – he was being aimed at a race in Darwin but this win will weight him out of that.

“There is a listed race at Caulfield in three weeks so we might consider that and I would love to get him into the Golden Mile at Bendigo next month.

“He’s never run the 1600m before but the way he ran today, jumping fast, settling well and so strong to the line, shows me he is ready to go the extra 200m.”

Coffey agreed and said the only problem he had with the race was the early slow pace.

He said Glenrowan Prince wanted to go harder in the middle stages and was really pulling.

“But once he got free as we straightened I just let him go and he did the rest,” Coffey said.

“To his credit he didn’t falter and he felt really good all the way around.

“This has been a big week for the horse and the stable and the horse was in top shape and I am glad I got both rides.”

Earlier in the day, Echuca trainer Tayne Davies stunned punters when her four-year-old mare Our Free Will mowed down the odds-on favourite Werbowy right on the line in the second race on the card, the $22,000 Maiden Plate over 1000m.

Davies’ 50/1 longshot (it paid $45.70 on the course TAB) was having only its third start and all three have been at Echuca.

In its first outing, in June last year, it finished 14th of 14 and its second start in July saw it 44 lengths adrift of the winner and 13th in a field of 14.

An elated Davies said she had not backed the horse herself as she wasn’t sure how it would run.

“In her first race she was trapped wide for most of the run and her second start saw her pull up shin sore so she was spelled,” Davies said.

“This was also her first start with blinkers, which I think has really helped her focus as she is a bit of a thinker.

“I wish I had put a few dollars on her but she has been a bit hit and miss. She is a bit quirky to train but now I will be looking for a ratings race for her instead of a maiden and that’s good.”

If Davies wasn’t sure how Our Free Will would go, jockey Jake Duffy said from the 600m mark he knew he was going to get up.

Duffy said the mare jumped well and had good protection during the run.

“I knew there was going to be room to go forward in the straight and when she changed foot she just took off,” he said.

“We caught Werbowy close to the finish but I knew we had her covered all the way down the straight.”

For top jockey Michael Walker the Echuca meeting was a chalk-and-cheese experience after winning the Australian Cup at Flemington yesterday on 50/1 shot Harlem.

It was a $1.5 million race and although he had six rides here on Sunday he didn’t get an offer for the $80,000 Moama Bowling Club Echuca Cup.

But he picked up here where he left off at Flemington on Saturday, guiding highly-fancied Miss Damita to victory in the $22,000 Border Inn Plate over 1400m (but in the end Miss Damita would be Walker’s last ride, he withdrew from the rest of the meeting straight after that and appeared to be struggling with the 38C heat).

Walker had been happily philosophical about the change of venue.

“I’m a jockey, if someone offers me a good ride I’ll take it,” he said.

“I have ridden track work on Miss Damita for trainer Mick Price and thought she was a pretty good horse.

“This was her first start and I was pretty confident all the way around that she would win. She jumped well, travelled well and had a good position from the barrier.

“When we got clear in the straight she was always going to get there and I think she might develop into a very good horse although she still has a bit to learn, she is still very new to it all.”

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