Day At The Track

Cotchin gets deserved win with Karlos

07:44 PM 24 Oct 2019 NZDT
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The Keitch Cotchin (back left) trained Karlos ,Harness racing
The Keitch Cotchin (back left) trained Karlos returned to the winner's list at Shepparton
Shepparton Harness Racing Club photo

ELMORE trainer Keith Cotchin celebrated his first winner since a short break with the victory of Karlos at Shepparton on Wednesday night.

The five-year-old pacer produced a sustained run to overhaul the pacemaker Always Grinning in the shadows of the post to earn career win number three at his 23rd start.

Only 15 of those runs, including all his wins, have come under Cotchin's training.

His victory was in stark contrast to his previous two front-running performances at Shepparton and Echuca in April this year, with Karlos coming from towards the tail of the field.

"He keeps on improving .... we've been keen to try him from behind, which we did in (Wednesday night's) race," he said.

"He's not the smartest tool in the shed. He gets in front and when they get at him and go past him, he seems to get going again.

"We just haven't had the opportunity to have him come from behind too often.

"He's an improving type, so hopefully he can win another race or two."

Formerly trained in New South Wales, Cotchin expects Karlos to have his next run on Melbourne Cup day, at either Swan Hill, Yarra Valley or Cobram.

The win followed a couple of weeks lay-off for the Elmore trainer, who enjoyed a short holiday.

"We only went away for two weeks, but we put all the horses out and it's taken a while to get them back in," said Cotchin, who has just six horses in work at the moment.

"We had our first runners the other night (October 16) and they didn't go too bad, but we were lucky to get the money (on Wednesday night).

"We'll bring a few more back soon, but being spring time, I like to give the young ones a bit more of a break."

They include his promising four-year-old Betternbetter, who is set to return to training at the end of this month.

As they more often than not do, Bendigo region trainers and drivers again made their presence felt at Shepparton.

Marong trainer David Van Ryn and driver Haydon Gray combined to land a winner with the five-year-old trotting mare Maorishadow; Heathcote trainer Ron Sheppard returned to the winner's list with pacing mare Chooz Reactor; while the Kate Hargreaves stable continued its excellent strike-rate this season with a fifth career win for Bootleg Bert.

The six-year-old trotter was driven by Alex Ashwood, who now has eight wins for the season.

Gray's win aboard Maorishadow was his second for the season in only seven drives.


by Kieran Iles

Reprinted with permission of The Bendigo Advertiser

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