One of the big girls of racing, four-year-old mare CAMBAGE (Haradasun x Olympiad) showed that she has returned to racing in fine style after her first-up win in race six of the day, the Pure Projects Benchmark 65 Handicap 1400m at Hawkesbury yesterday, 24th August 2017.
After showing a liking for longer distances with previous wins over 1600 and 2100 metres and running in the Adrian Knox and ATC Oaks last prep, it could be assumed that the 1400 metres of this race may be too short for CAMBAGE to produce her best … that was not the case.
Her jockey, Jay Ford had ridden the mare in a barrier trial at Randwick sixteen days earlier and had stuck with her. CAMBAGE had been given equal top weight of 60.5kgs and she was to jump from barrier four in the small field of eight runners, easy in the betting at $13.
Soon after the start Jay was happy to let his mount find her feet and the pair eventually settled at the rear of the field about eight lengths from the leaders Have A Nip and the other local horse Racy, trained by Jason Attard.
Passing the 1000 metres pole and onto the 800 metres marker, CAMBAGE was travelling beautifully at the rear just biding her time getting along at a nice steady clip. Nearing 600 metres from home Jay began to ease his mare off the fence, still two lengths behind the second last horse.
By the time the field were beginning to round the home turn with 400 metres to go, CAMBAGE was in clear running on the extreme outside with the jockey commencing to urge his horse along.
At the 200 metres, horse and rider had come into the race strongly and were on par with the front runner which was still the Rosehill-based Richard Freedman-trained Hav A Nip. Now full of running with 50 metres to the finish CAMBAGE and Jay were two lengths in front of the pack and charging toward the winning post.
Kept up to the mark by her rider the four-year-old daughter of Haradasun crossed the line 2 3/4 lengths ahead of Charming Lad which finished off well in the time of 1:23.15 in the last 600m sectional of 34.87.
It was a great first up effort after a four month break, this lanky girl has matured in every aspect and like her namesake will become a force to be reckoned with in her future endeavours.
Congratulations all round to owner and trainer Scott, again another high-class training performance by the team. We’re looking forward to CAMBAGE’s upcoming races in anticipation of more successes.