Baraki lands Leeson feature win
After a career-best win in Sunday’s $100,000 Mungrup Stud Sprint (1240m) veteran galloper Baraki Beats will back up in a third provincial feature race in as many weeks, when contesting the Batavia Sprint (1300m) in Geraldton.
Former Albany resident Jo-Anne Leeson recorded her biggest win since becoming a trainer in 2007, as Baraki Beats jumped straight to the front and led throughout to win the transferred Mungrup Stud Sprint just seven days after running third in the Fitzpatrick Plate.
Leeson lived in Geraldton for three years and said her eight-year-old will contest the sprint feature there on Sunday.
“My plan for him was to head to Batavia next weekend so we will see how tough he really is,” she said.
“The horse will tell me, he is very communicative and does let me know what’s going on.”
The $100,000 Batavia Sprint will be held in Geraldton this Sunday.
There was a strong local connection with Baraki Beats’ win, not only with Leeson, but winning jockey Natasha Faithfull.
Leeson was the owner-operator of Mindijup Grazing, where Faithfull and Mungrup Stud broodmares manager Steph Mitchell got their first tastes of the industry.
Baraki Beats ($8 chance) began smartly from barrier nine and kept finding in the home straight to down Saracino ($6) by 1.1 lengths while local runner My Greek Boy ($23) filled third.
Fitzpatrick Plate winner Mankind, trained by Hayden Ballantyne, started a $3.50 favourite and finished powerfully in fourth place.
“I was very confident today considering how well he travelled down here,” Leeson said.
“He’s not a horse that’s travelled particularly well and I have always had to go down a couple days earlier but we only came down last night and he travelled beautifully.
“It was definitely a leaders track but I think the sting out of the track helped as this horse is used to racing on a hell of lot harder surfaces than here.
Earlier in the day Abu Dhabi gave Leeson the first leg of a winning double, crossing the field early and powering home for apprentice Laqdar Ramoly in the Triple M Handicap (1240m).
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