In-form Defiantly produces another powerful finish

Cameron NewboldAlbany Advertiser
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Defiantly, outside, powers home to win the Aqua Ice Handicap (1450m) for apprentice Jade McNaught in Albany on Sunday.
Camera IconDefiantly, outside, powers home to win the Aqua Ice Handicap (1450m) for apprentice Jade McNaught in Albany on Sunday. Credit: Laurie Benson Albany Advertiser

Local mare Defiantly is racing in career best form after a slashing performance, coming from last to make it back-to-back wins at Percy Spencer Racecourse on Sunday.

Defiantly was well supported in the market, jumping a $4.60 chance after winning over 1500m in Albany at her last start, and was shuffled back to the tail of the 10-horse field.

Despite being crowded and bumped near the top of the home straight, Defiantly produced an explosive finish under the vigour of boom apprentice Jade McNaught to swamp her rivals late and edge out Long Knife Brother by 0.4 lengths on the line.

Trained by Garry Delane, Defiantly has now won her past two starts for McNaught and was also closing fast over 1600m three starts back when running fourth to Cleo’s Afterparty.

“Her last three runs really have been terrific, she is really in the groove at the moment,” Delane said. “I was blown away by her finish. She got turned sideways on the corner and to still pick up and sprint home like that.

Apprentice Jade McNaught aboard the Garry Delane-trained Defiantly.
Camera IconApprentice Jade McNaught aboard the Garry Delane-trained Defiantly. Credit: Albany Advertiser

“You’ve got to be a little bit excited by that.

“I think the fact she doesn’t spend all that nervous energy pre-race really helps and she has much better recovery and we are able to back her up now.”

Delane was unsure where the five-year-old mare would start next, with even a metropolitan run a possibility.

The win lifted McNaught, the current leader of the Rising Stars series, to five wins in the Great Southern apprentice standings, one behind Shelby Colgate.

McNaught, however, will miss the final two Albany meetings after being suspended for 17 days at Ascot last Friday.

Jockey Andrew Castle recorded a winning treble in Albany on the seven-race card. He booted home Soramimi in race 2 and then broke a long drought on the Steve Wolfe-trainer War Jeune in the Albany Stock Feeds Handicap (1500m).

Jockey Andrew Castle gets the Steve Wolfe-trained War Jeune up to win the Albany Stock Feeds Handicap (1500m).
Camera IconJockey Andrew Castle gets the Steve Wolfe-trained War Jeune up to win the Albany Stock Feeds Handicap (1500m). Credit: Albany Advertiser

War Jeune sat just off leader Little Punga in transit but skipped clear in the home straight to win by more than a length, ending a 694-day drought.

Castle then got everything he could out of Apollo, a new stable acquisition for Wolfe, in race 6 as they narrowly held out Sea Spring and Deheune.

Visiting trainer Mark Wright finished with a double after Not Again Ken and De Andes were both triumphant.

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