City Tracks and Winning ... Perfect Partners

They just have to be, PARTNERS, the four-year-old Nicconi gelding visited the “Big Smoke” for the second time in three weeks and ran his rivals off their feet in the “Lucky Last”, the Rosehill Bowling Club Handicap BM78 (1200m).

The Rosehill Gardens racecourse is located in the Western Suburbs of the Sydney Metropolitan Area. The track had received it’s fair share of rain and along with the cooler wintry weather, hadn’t had much chance of the racing surface drying out, thus the Australian Turf Club declaring a rating of a Heavy 8 for the day’s racing. The moveable rail had been moved five metres out from it’s normal position with showers forecast.

PARTNERS, successful in the TAB Highway race at Royal Randwick on June 20th carrying 57kgs, had been set the challenge of competing in a BenchMark 78 Handicap, up from a Class 3.

However a weight relief of 7kgs, 2kgs of which included apprentice jockey Brock Ryan’s claim, meant that PARTNERS was to carry 2kgs below the allocated minimum weight certainly helping make the job of winning a little easier.

The punting public were in two minds … back one of the higher rated horses with Benchmarks up to an 83 or go for the lowest rated 62 which PARTNERS was. Their choice was the latter, they backed PARTNERS into favouritism to start at $4.40 from an early market price as much as $11.00.

As usual, PARTNERS “sprung the lids” when the field jumped. From their wide barrier (9) Brock let his mount stride to the lead under control. Once into his normal up-tempo rhythm the pair were in front after 100 metres or so.

The Bjorn Baker-trained Tony’s Reward and Malea Magic, trained at Taree by Bob Milligan were also in a forward position possibly trying to keep up with the front-running PARTNERS, the effort may have been too much to ask so that pair eased and were in second and third position respectively.

On toward the 800 metres mark, apprentice jockey Ryan, riding to instructions, began to allow his mount to stride along, this was in preference to a sprint home in the run to the line. The margin to Tony’s Reward had increased to nearly four lengths by the time the fleet-footed PARTNERS reached the marker at 600 metres from home.

After negotiating the home turn, PARTNERS, full of running and was holding a four length lead with 400 metres left to go, Tony’s Reward was feeling the pinch and was dropping back pretty quickly. Malea Magic on the other hand was coming home strongly and looked a threat.

However, the four-year-old Nicconi gelding maintained his margin of four lengths passing the 200 metres and had the others, led by Malea Magic chasing hard and the Snowden-trained Charretera eating up the ground from the back. With the winning post in their sights PARTNERS was feeling the effect of his efforts and the margin to the second horse was deceasing rapidly.

Reaching the winning post was seeming to take an eternity, PARTNERS finally crossed the finish line with a neck to spare from Malea Magic with Charretera a further three quarters of a length away.

Wow !! … What a courageous effort that was, aided by a heady ride by Brock Ryan …thanks Brock. Trainer Scott mentioned in his post-race interview that PARTNERS could do that every day if he had to, which proves once again it shows how invaluable knowing your horse and it’s well being is. To you Scott and your team at home, well done.

The owner B.K. Racing and Breeding also deserve a pat on the back after discussions with their trainer and as a result placed PARTNERS to perfection.

One point of note is that possibly no other horse has gone from winning a TAB Highway race to a city Benchmark 78 handicap in consecutive runs. PARTNERS you are a legend. !

Partners With Tommy

The writing was on the wall after trainer Scott informed punters pre-race that PARTNERS would probably be better second up from his break. PARTNERS, only beaten by 1 1/4 lengths first up, two weeks earlier, was in a race virtually a replica of today’s event, same track, same class, same jockey, same weight and the same barrier. The one difference being the race distance went from 1100 to 1200 metres.

Scott had also stated that he had put some serious work into the horse in between runs and he couldn’t keep the tucker up to him. The assignment of Tommy Berry was yet another indication that PARTNERS would perform well.

As expected, PARTNERS jumped well from gate five, Tommy, sitting as quiet as a church mouse, hardly had to move to get his horse into his usual role of front-runner. Coming up to the 1000 metres post, the pair were a length in front and travelling.

Go forward another 200 metres, positionally nothing had changed, except that PARTNERS was now three lengths in front, and still the jockey hadn’t moved. Approaching 600 metres from home the margin was now five lengths and widening … no movement from jockey Berry.

Rounding the home turn it was a bit of a procession, PARTNERS rolling along strongly, passing the 400 metres the duo led by five, one blink later it was six lengths … will he ever slow down ?.

It was only with 300 metres left to run did Tommy begin urging PARTNERS along. His horse responded well, the margin was back to four lengths but being held. Closing on a furlong from home the rider issued a couple of slaps asking for a bit more.

PARTNERS gave plenty, with 100 metres to go the pair led by four and headed for victory. With the finish line only 50 metres away it was hands and heels from Tommy, but the courageous effort was beginning to take it’s toll.

Bad Boy For Love, trained by Gayna Williams, had come from near last at the turn and finishing full of gusto along the fence. Past the post, it was PARTNERS by a length and a half. The race-time for the 1200 metres was 1:12.76 which was less than half a second slower than the time Viridine ran in the feature event of the day, the Bentley Winter Dash.

Congratulations to Brad Hunt and Ben Vassallo from B K Racing and Breeding, huge supporters of thoroughbred horse racing in Australia. Thank you for selecting Scott and his team at Singleton Racing to look after the training of PARTNERS.

Sincere appreciations to Tommy Berry, thanks for sticking with us and your professional well-rated ride.

It was great to see Singleton Racing notch up a win in the Big Smoke again … keep ‘em coming.

Footnote: PARTNERS two-year-old full sister, Nicci’s Fling scored at Bathurst on Monday … what a week it’s been for "Mum and Dad".

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