Day At The Track

Feeling right at home

08:23 AM 24 Oct 2018 NZDT
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PASSIONS Delight made a perfect debut for her new connections when she scored a gritty win in her return to Bathurst’s Gold Crown Paceway on Wednesday night.

Leading throughout in a C1/C2 sprint, she threw in a 56.4s final half and dug deep to keep Life Lavros NZ a neck astern at the end of a testing home-straight contest. Sams Express rattled home late for a promising third.

Trainer and part-owner (with Shane Caffyn) Ben Settree explained the circumstances that led to the Bettors Delight-Passions Promise mare making her way into his stable.

“Mat Rue drove her to win the Tiara Gold Consolation here back in March last year, and knows the connections, so when she came on the market at the end of her three-year-old season a few months back, he straightaway let me know.

“She’s beautifully bred, and should make a great broodmare when she’s finished racing.”

Following those two Bathurst runs last year, she made her way into the APG, Vicbred and Breeders Crown 2YO finals, and then joined Danni Hill’s Adelaide stable for a fine three-year-old campaign that featured wins in the S.A. Oaks and the Port Pirie Derby.

Ben Settree and the Moore family have a further reason to see this mare domiciled at their Bathurst breeding establishment : her dam Passions Promise was bred by them, sold for $26,000 at the 2009 Sydney APG Sale, and went on to win $272,345 in an outstanding career highlighted by her success in the Australasian Breeders Crown Final at two.

Passions Delight mightn’t attain those lofty heights, but with earnings now approaching $100,000 and boasting her own Group 1, she’s a wonderful acquisition for Brooklyn Lodge.

She should feel right at home there.

Two Menangle country heats opened the Bathurst proceedings, with wins to $81 longshot Siotada  ( Steve Jones/ Michael Munro) in the C3/C4 grade, and Ominous Warning ( Peter Trevor-Jones/ John O’Shea ) in the C1 class.

Both wins were classy, and the mile rate of 1:54.8 for the latter winner was a great testament to the quality of the track, coming after rainstorms had saturated Bathurst all afternoon.

The two heats of the HRNSW Rewards Series didn’t produce such slick times, but the winners were quite impressive.

Call Me Missy ( Nathan Hurst/ Angela Hedges) came from absolute last at the 400 metres mark to round up her rivals, with her own last half, somewhere south of 56 seconds, suggesting she’ll take some beating in next week’s $10,000 final.

Sophie Brown ( Mark Fletcher/ Amanda Turnbull ) ran slightly faster overall time, with more even quarters, in coming from the one-one trail in her victory, and with a win and three places now from just six starts, she appears to be a professional, adaptable  type which can take advantage of the breaks that come her way.

Eight different trainers and drivers were successful on the card, quite remarkable for this centre which is home to a number of large and very strong stables which frequently produce multiple winners.

Next Wednesday’s meeting features heats of the Bedwells Feed Barn Star-Trek, one of the highlights of the spring racing up at Bathurst, with $10,000 semi-finals on October 31 and the $16,000 final on Friday November 9.

Terry Neil

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