Eye-catching maiden effort from Count Kala
Impressive maiden winner Count Kala has enormous upside here in the Great Southern, according to new trainer Allen McNamara after producing a terrific finishing burst to claim the Maccas/O&T Cup Breakfast Wednesday 12th April Maiden (1230m) at Percy Spencer Racecourse on Thursday.
At his first start for the respected Mt Barker trainer, Count Kala was settled midfield by jockey Peter Hall and worked into the clear on straightening before gobbling up his rivals to win by 1¼ lengths.
Previously trained by Dion Luciani, the four-year-old is a half-brother to talented sprinter Seeker who has won six of his 18 career starts, and carried the famous orange and red colours to victory for owners Lex and Shirley Piper.
Hall stoked Count Kala ($2.80 tote chance) up late when he raced greenly in the run home but cruised to victory over Red Gregory ($20) while Mighty Chance ($21) ran third.
McNamara said it was a pleasing performance and the youngster appeared to have untapped ability.
“I’ve had him about six weeks, we got him from Dion (Luciani),” he said.
“I told the stewards we were going to ride him back because he is a half-brother to Seeker and he sits back in his races and gets home.
“Peter (Hall) jumped off and said he’ll be a better horse when the pace is really on up front.
“I think he can definitely win a couple down here with him, there is plenty there.”
Meanwhile promising four-year-old Friar’s Gift made light work of his rivals in the Congratulations Peter Watson Albany MLA Handicap (1230m), to signal his return to form.
The Peter and Matt Giadresco-trained galloper was a $5.60 second elect in the race but got a superb transit in running from gate four with Jason Whiting aboard.
The Blackfriars gelding was 10th on the turn before spearing through the centre of the track in the final 150m to record a slashing 3¼-length win over $1.90 favourite War Jeune.
Friar’s Gift finished fifth in last year’s listed WA Breeders’ Classic and has now won three of 11 starts.
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