Honest Gauged gets deserving cup victory
Albany trainer Steve Wolfe was glowing of his praise for consistent stayer Gauged after claiming Saturday’s $35,000 TabTouch Mt Barker Cup (2000m) by nearly two lengths.
It was a breakthrough feature race win for the grey gelding, who ran eighth in this year’s Albany Cup back in February and has now won eight of his 42 career starts.
Gauged was a $4.80 chance on the tote in the small field of eight and always travelled strongly for jockey Colin Haddon, charging clear in the home straight to win by 1.7 lengths on the line over Pure Gem.
The victory was Wolfe’s second in the long-running history of the Mt Barker Cup, after previously winning with Juene’s Fantasy.
The son of Moodometer lumped 61kg in his two previous starts and Wolfe said he deserved to win a race of this kind.
“He is badly handicapped in a lot of races,” Wolfe said.
“(Peter) Hall said the previous start the weight beat him but this was the right race for him.
“It’s a pity the Albany Cup wasn’t in a couple of weeks as he’d be cherry ripe for that.
“He’s been honest and it’s a huge bonus for the owners who have stuck with him.”
Wolfe said Gauged had been the beneficiary of his new treadmill in the lead-up to his third career win at Mt Barker.
“Since I’ve had my new treadmill that’s the only place he has worked,” he said.
“He’s always hard to ride at the beach and places like that so he hasn’t been ridden in a month.
“Just the treadmill and the wading pool.
“We’ll have a dip in town in a couple of weeks and it will be lovely if he can win one there.”
Haddon said he had a terrific run in transit and was always confident of winning before claiming his first win in the race.
“He drew the right alley to do no work,” Haddon said.
“We got the split at the top of the straight and once I got that it was never in doubt.”
Pure Gem gave plenty of cheek in front and ran second ahead the Adam Durrant-trained Press The Petal.
Durrant had the $2.40 favourite in the race, State Prosecutor which began slowly and raced wide from the 1000m before fading badly to run last beaten more than 12 lengths.
Prominent Albany owner Nigel Ryde was all smiles on Saturday after Dig Deep, which he has a share in, won the $500,000 Group 2 Karrakatta Plate at Ascot.
With co-trainers Dan and Ben Pearce, Dig Deep was a $100,000 yearling at last year’s sales with Ryde among a big syndicate of owners in the classy two-year-old now headed to the Group 3 WA Sires’ Produce Stakes.
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