There are certainly some differences between a Group 2 at Ellerslie, an open handicap at Traralgon and a Rating 65 event at Ascot Park, but what they do have in common are some very promising performances by the Cloughmore team.
Durham Town was a yearling selection after trainer Donna Logan phoned me to say that she’d seen an outstanding Falkirk colt. What did I think of the pedigree? It didn’t take too long to figure out that, putting aside the mare’s lack of racecourse performance, there weren’t any danger sigals in the pedigree. Even better, the Tale of the Cat – Sir Tristam cross plus some more Round Table and My Babu via Marju provided a highly arractive pedigree mix. The Group 1 Railway Handicap will be a significant step up from the Group 2 Concorde, but Durham Town does appear to have a touch of class about him.
Firejet was also asked to step up yesterday: in his case it was from a Moe R68 race to an open handicap, the $50,000 Traralgon Cup. This is not an event which traditionally stops the nation, but the favourite was a Group 2 winning son of Rock of Gibraltar and the Group 1 mare La Bella Dama so one could argue that there was some substance to the small field. Firejet scored a tough win, coming from well off the pace to narrowly defeat the public elect. As mentioned in my last article, Firejet is another successful example of the Tale of the Cat – Sir Tristram cross; he also appears to have scope for further improvement.
On the theme of improvement, our homebred Amigo’s performance at Ascot Park on Saturday represented just that. For the first time he handled a firm track and showed the ability to accelerate off a strong pace. He’s still a work in progress in terms of his racing manners but Daniel Bothamley rode him expertly to score a convincing win. Hopefully, the son of Mr Nancho and Antonella, a Bassenthwaite mare from the family of Scenic Shot, will develop into a handy stayer.
Best wishes for the Festive Season to all subscribers, casual readers and anyone who finds this site by accident. I’m off to read 1400 – odd pages of yearling catalogues; let’s hope I can find another Durham Town!