Day At The Track

"Falcon" lands money after two-year drought

02:40 PM 08 Oct 2019 NZDT
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Damian Wilson and Caesars Falcon,Harness racing
Damian Wilson and Caesars Falcon after their Harold Ogden Memorial Pace success at Echuca
Echuca HRC

Goulburn Valley based harness racing trainer-driver Damian Wilson wasn't totally surprised recently when he bobbed up with two longshot winners at Echuca.

"They had both been working up to getting the money - it was probably just a case of getting an ounce of luck for a change," Wilson said.

"Caesars Falcon is a newcomer to the stable, but he's improving all the time and Winkn Nod was very unlucky at his previous run when he got knocked over and then held up for a run," he said.

Wilson, of Byrneside, 20 kms west of Shepparton, got the money on Caesars Falcon at 10/1, while young Albury junior concession driver James McPherson drove the perfect race on Winkn Nod to blow punters out of the water at 40/1.

It had been a long time between drinks for six-year-old Caesars Falcon (Falcon Seelster-Hope Riley (Julius Caesar) who previously scored at Tamworth in May, 2017, when handled by young gun Queensland reinsman Brendan Barnes.

"I've only had him now for three runs, but he's got better each time. His first run at Kilmore was okay and then at Shepparton he battled away after racing in the death-seat," Wilson said.

"The owner Mark Shiers is happy because he picked up the horse pretty cheap. He didn't have any racehorses at the time, so when Caesars Falcon came along, he jumped at him.

"The horse has a few issues, like pulling extremely hard, but we are slowly ironing them out. He'd run a few seconds before Mark grabbed him, so he certainly isn't hopeless."

Caesars Falcon led all the way in the feature event on the program, the $7000 Harold Ogden Memorial Pace, named in honor of a club founder.

The late Mr Ogden was Vice President when Echuca held its first meeting in 1948. He was later to race many outstanding horses under the prefix "Armagh" in the 1960s and 1970s.

Truant Armagh (Brian Gath) won the 1976 A.G.Hunter Cup, the last held at the Melbourne Showgrounds. Then there was prolific open class winner Brett Armagh, who ran fourth in an Inter Dominion, and James Armagh and Charles Armagh.

Wilson said while he was thrilled to win the Ogden Memorial, he was very pleased to see James McPherson post a winner.

"I've known James for quite a while because I lived for a bit in Albury where he's from. I've also driven against him and liked that he'll sit and be patient," Wilson said.

McPherson certainly showed a cool head, sitting three back on the fence with Winkn Nod (Grinfromeartoear-Mull of Kintire (Chandon) awaiting his opportunity. And that came with 600 metres to go when he got out into the clear and began to work home.

James McPherson                                                      --Echuca HRC

The eight-year-old, raced by Norm and Joan Visca, won easily by 10 metres in a brisk 1.58-2.

"We thought he'd get buried back on the fence, but James didn't hesitate and when he did get off, everything went to plan," Wilson said.

"Let's hope the double was the start of a bit of a winning run," he said.


Terry Gange

NewsAlert PR Mildura

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