Friar’s Gift sprints over rivals in season ending meeting
Progressive sprinter Friar’s Gift will have another crack at chasing a metropolitan victory after blasting to an eye-catching triumph at the final Great Southern meeting of the season in Albany last week.
Prepared by co-trainers Peter and Matt Giadresco, Friar’s Gift had to overcome a wide draw in The Albany Hotel Handicap (1230m) but travelled strongly in the run to gobble up Friarfighter and Blizzard Express in the final 100m.
Friar’s Gift came from seventh on the turn for jockey Randy Tan to win by ¾ of a length over Blizzard Express and has now won five of 25 starts.
“He’s been knocking on the door and that’s his distance,” Matt Giadresco said.
“He can have another crack in Perth now, he’s run fourth or fifth in much better company there before.
“He was running on today and we might have found another way to win with him so we can ride him another way rather than just leading.”
Tan finished second to fellow young rider Brodie Kirby in the Great Southern Apprentice Premiership after Kirby ended the season with a bang.
One of the nation’s most promising prospects, Kirby finished with 13 wins to edge out Tan (9) and Andrew Castle (4).
Castle was successful at the final meeting of the season aboard Notta Mocha for trainer Roy Rogers in the Inswing Sports Bar Handicap (1900m).
The three-year-old scored his second career win, demolishing his rivals by three lengths, and is likely to be spelled now.
Despite not having a win at the final meeting, leading Albany trainer Steve Wolfe was a dominant winner of the Great Southern Trainers’ Premiership.
Wolfe’s incredible season netted 30 wins as he defeated Paul Hunter (12), Rogers (11) and Peter and Matt Giadresco (10.5).
Wolfe did taste success, however, on Saturday at Ascot, with quality sprinter My Greek Boy winning over 1500m to make it three Saturday metropolitan wins in his last five starts.
Trainer Chris Gilbert won the Hygain Trainer Strike Rate Award with a winning strike rate of 27.27 per cent.
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